Faculty Profile

Education Faculty

Kristin Gehsmann, EdD

Associate Professor of Education, Coordinator of the Master's in Reading Program

Ed.D. University of Vermont
B.S., M.S. Central Connecticut State University

I am a former elementary school teacher, a K-12 reading specialist and educational consultant with specialities in: closing the achievement gap; literacy development, assessment and instruction; and teacher education/professional development. I hold degrees in elementary education and early childhood education, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Vermont.

My research has been published in regional, national, and international journals and books.  I just recently completed writing a literacy methods textbook with Dr. Shane Templeton, Foundations Professor of Emeritus in Literacy Studies from the University of Nevada-Reno. The book, Teaching Reading and Writing: The Developmental Approach, is available from Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

My most recent collaborative project, The Words Their Way On-Line Workshop, received the software industry's top award - the 2011 CODie award in the category of Best Professional Development Solution.

Kristin M. Gehsmann, associate professor of education and coordinator of the Master's in Literacy program at Saint Michael's College, and her co-author, Shane Templeton, Foundations Professor Emeritus  from the University of Nevada, Reno, recently announced publication of their new book, Teaching Reading and Writing: The Developmental Approach (Pearson/Ally & Bacon, 2014). This book is intended to provide pre-service and experienced teachers with the tools and knowledge necessary to teach reading and writing in a developmentally-responsive and integrated way. Written in a conversational tone, the authors connect theory with practice through sharing authentic classroom vignettes, sample lesson plans, and student work samples. They aim to help teachers know what to teach, when, how, and why.

Earlier this year, Kristin and her co-author presented at the International Reading Association's Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. Their talks addressed how to teach the new Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts while simultaneously meeting the unique needs of students across the five stages of literacy development – a subject they also addressed in a chapter they contributed to a new edited book, Teaching with the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts PreK-2 (Guilford Press, 2013), and in an invited article, "Stages and Standards: Teaching Developmentally in the Age of Accountability," published by the Journal of Education, the nation’s oldest continually published education journal.

Kristin and Shane also recently published two blog posts for Pearson's "My Education Community":   

Teaching Literacy Developmentally in the Age of Common Standards

This blog entry describes how instructors of literacy methods courses can help their students negotiate the complexities of teaching in today's schools by focusing on the developmental approach to teaching literacy.

The Developmental Approach to Teaching Literacy: Teaching Teachers What to Teach, WhenWhy, and How

Understanding the developmental approach helps teachers not only accelerate student learning, but also become more resilient to the inevitable shifts in ideology, pedagogy, and educational policy they'll encounter throughout their careers. In today's post, we'll look more closely at the developmental approach and how children's word knowledge is predictive of other literacy skills, and how this understanding helps teachers prioritize and differentiate their literacy instruction.

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