Dr. Beth Buchholz Receives Elizabeth G. Sturtevant Exemplary Article Award

Dr. Beth Buchholz, assistant professor in the Reich College of Education’s (RCOE) Department of Reading Education and Special Education, received the Elizabeth G. Sturtevant Exemplary Article Award from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) for her article “Failure is an Option: Making Room for Mistakes in Literacy Education”. The article was published in Educating for a Just Society: Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Yearbook. She and her co-authors were honored with an honorarium at the awards ceremony at the ALER conference in Corpus Christi, Texas, in November.

This is the inaugural year for the Elizabeth G. Sturtevant Exemplary Article Award, which “was established to honor the legacy of Betty Sturtevant—a committed ALER member, an insightful scholar, a devoted mentor, and a kind friend— and recognizes an article that is accepted for publication in the ALER Yearbook that is exemplary in rigor and relevance."

“This award is meaningful because it recognizes the importance of literacy teacher educators working across institutions to think, write, and produce knowledge together,” said Buchholz. 

“Collaborating for many years, my co-authors and I have experienced the power of learning with and from those outside of our own contexts,” she continued. “This award pushes us to continue engaging in conversation and research as a larger community of practice in teacher preparation to explore the power of positioning failure—within supportive, reflective environments--as an integral part of what it means to become a strong teacher.”

Abstract: Five literacy teacher educators discuss how their conceptual understanding of productive failure (Kapur, 2016) influences their work with teacher candidates. Examples drawn from three settings related to lesson planning, enactment of teaching, and reflection are described in connection to productive failure. Tensions around relationships and transfer of practice to settings outside of the campus-based teacher education setting are illustrated to provide insight into current dilemmas of practice.

Buchholz earned a Ph.D. in literacy, culture, and language education and a M.S. in elementary education from Indiana University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a researcher, she studies at the intersection of new literacies, play, multimodal composing, and childhood studies. She works to extend current sociocultural theories to explore the social, ideological, and critical work of children as they collaboratively compose texts and identities across physical and digital boundaries. She aims to see young writers for who they are—rather than who they are becoming—and to understand how they use writing in life spaces (and digital spaces) shared with other children. She is committed to longitudinal ethnographic methodology, deeply rooted in the complexity of daily life in real classrooms, as a means of co-constructing knowledge with teachers, children, and families.


Vander Zanden, S., Buchholz, B. A., Husbye, N. E., & Rust, J., Wessel-Powell, C. (2019). Failure is an option: Making Room for mistakes in literacy teacher education. Educating for a Just Society:Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Yearbook, 41, 13-29.

The ALER Yearbook can be accessed online here: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aleronline.org/resource/resmgr/yearbooks/aler_yearbook_2019_final.pdf


Beth Buchholz
Published: Jan 14, 2020 9:13am