Misty Sailors

Misty Sailors
University of North Texas | UNT · Department of Teacher Education and Administration

Doctor of Philosophy

About

92
Publications
41,225
Reads
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680
Citations
Introduction
Sailors' research interests focus on comprehension instruction, the professional development of teachers, and the importance of print-rich environments for literacy development. She directed a collaborative international project that designed, authored, printed and distributed over 7 million children’s books with local and international colleagues in Malawi and South Africa. She has worked with literacy educators in the USA, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mozambique, and Chile.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
University of North Texas
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 2003 - July 2019
University of Texas at San Antonio
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1998 - May 2003
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (92)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract In this study, we examined the effectiveness of an innovative approach to literacy instruction in Malawi on teachers' perceptions, attitudes, and instructional practices. Two groups participated in the study: Treatment teachers received complementary teaching and learning materials, workshops, and directive coaching, and control teachers r...
Article
THIS INTERPRETIVE study explored the qualities of six high-performing schools that served low-income South African students. The theoretical framework and methodology derived from research on effective schools conducted, for the most part, in the United States. Data consisted of interviews and classroom observations over the course of two collectio...
Article
The study reported in this article focused on the preparation of elementary preservice teachers to teach reading and on their first 3 years of teaching in schools. Graduates of 8 programs judged as "excellent" by an expert review panel participated in this study. The research was guided by 2 questions: (1) What effects do participation in and compl...
Article
The importance of a highly qualified teacher for student learning is undeniably the most important factor in political and research circles today. The question is not "do we need quality teachers?" but "how do we prepare quality teachers?" In this article, we report on the early field experiences offered to preservice teachers at 8 universities and...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we describe and report on the results of a study in Texas that tested 2 models of professional development for classroom teachers as a way of improving their practices and increasing the reading achievement of their students. To meet this goal, 44 participating teachers in grades 2-8 learned to teach their students cognitive readin...
Article
Full-text available
Early elementary students are not typically introduced to science-specific disciplinary literacies-the specific ways in which scientists use and interpret language-even though authentic experiences with literacy strategies and tools used within the field may help incorporate learners into the scientific community of practice. The lack of freely ava...
Article
In this article, we argue that the “science of reading” (SOR) construct is being used to shape the future of literacy teacher preparation and silence the voices and work of literacy teacher education researchers to the detriment of quality science, quality teaching, and quality teacher preparation. First, we briefly inspect the SOR movement in term...
Book
Full-text available
Accessible and inviting, this book showcases how teachers and literacy coaches can use research as a tool to teach literacy effectively and with intention. Sailors and Hoffman invite literacy specialists and practicing and preservice teachers into a conversation about how they can use research as means for professional development, mentorship, and...
Book
Full-text available
This book explores notions of justice-oriented literacy coaching and offers a way of being in the world with young people, teachers, and communities that centers transformative coaching, teaching, and learning. It is intended to disrupt the traditional and historical positioning of literacy coaches in US schools today. Through the lens of social ju...
Book
his book explores notions of justice-oriented literacy coaching and offers a way of being in the world with young people, teachers, and communities that centers transformative coaching, teaching, and learning. It is intended to disrupt the traditional and historical positioning of literacy coaches in US schools today. Through the lens of social jus...
Article
Full-text available
Children in low‐income, postcolonial countries such as Malawi have few opportunities with quality reading materials that promote independence as readers. In this study, we argue that access to locally produced text relevant to linguistic and cultural contexts is a fundamental human right for children throughout the world. Situating this study withi...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we describe our collaborative work with the Moçambique Ministry of Education in re-imagining primary literacy teacher preparation through an initiative that promotes closer personal (literacy focused) relationships between preservice teachers (formandos) and primary-aged students during the formando’s preparation program. Our work se...
Book
Full-text available
The Seventh Edition of this foundational text represents the most comprehensive source available for connecting multiple and diverse theories to literacy research, broadly defined, and features both cutting-edge and classic contributions from top scholars. Two decades into the 21st century, the Seventh Edition finds itself at a crossroads and diffe...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we first clarify the meaning of theory and model, particularly in relation to literacy studies. We then explore meanings of paradigm and their shifts relevant to the field of literacy research over the past half-century or so. Subsequently, we review central theories and associated models that influence literacy research, including...
Article
In this study, we compared the types of texts found in two metropolitan areas (Santiago, Chile, and San Antonio, TX, USA) as a way of documenting the sponsorship of literacy within these two communities. We found (roughly) equal number of texts across the sites but interesting patterns within each. San Antonio's texts were primarily sponsored by in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Given the billions of dollars spent every year on “silver bullets” that promise “quick fixes” for improving literacy teaching and subsequently, literacy achievement, calls for more thorough examinations of the professional development of classroom literacy teachers (hereby referred to as professional development) are warranted. Likewise, while lite...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we review research on children’s motivation to read and its relations to children’s reading comprehension. Researchers have provided evidence that motivation is strongly associated with reading outcomes such as comprehension and their ability to use effective reading strategies. As such, the consideration of motivation with student...
Article
Many professionals, including members of the International Literacy Association, are concerned with the lack of reading materials in classrooms across the world. In this paper, the authors present the creation of high-quality, locally produced, complementary reading materials in Malawi, where there are very few children's books and few opportunitie...
Article
Education reform, including methods to create greater gender equality, is an ongoing process in post-Apartheid South Africa. Using an African feminism theoretical framework and a critical content analysis approach, we examined the representation of female characters in a subset of supplementary reading titles created under an international developm...
Article
Literacy is a basic right of all children around the world. In this article, we describe our work in promoting literacy in Sub-Saharan Africa. We frame our work in contrast to much of the deficit-oriented work in international aid, offer suggestions for ways that the reader might engage in work around literacy that is international in character, an...
Article
In this study, we examine the social practices related to literacy in classrooms in Chile in order to examine school-based literacy practices. We also examined the constraints and affordances literacy learning offered Chilean students. Through our case study and cross-case analysis, we discovered that although the classrooms contained an assortment...
Article
This article reports on a case study of a mid-programme capacity building evaluation within a large education aid programme collaboration between non-governmental educational organisations in Malawi and US university literacy faculty. The article outlines the programme context and its formal and informal capacity building inputs. Analyses of data c...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the relationship between Chichewa (L1) and English (L2) literacies in Malawi. Through our use of hierarchical linear modeling, we found that cross-language literacy transfer between Chichewa and English did occur, but that the pattern and the strength of the relationships varied depending on the literacy domain (i.e., reading or wri...
Article
We used a quasi-experimental, pre-post-test design to measure the cost effectiveness of a complementary reading program. Our findings indicated that the educational innovation under discussion was particularly effective in changing teacher practices and attitudes and that had the intervention been in place longer than four months, we would have see...
Chapter
Full-text available
While international literacy rates are on the rise (UNESCO, 2013), countries like Malawi continue to struggle with literacy rates. In fact, only 61% of the adult population in Malawi is literate (Macro International, 2008). Recent regional testing revealed that Malawi has some of the lowest literacy rates compared to other countries in the area (Mi...
Article
This article explores the nature of stories appearing in supplementary reading books authored by teachers in South Africa. Teachers wrote about topics including the role of education in improving lives and the richness and diversity of South Africa. Themes included caring, responsibility, achieving goals, earned respect, traditional values and brea...
Article
Personal narratives can be powerful venues for understanding human experiences. In this paper, we tell the story of Lutanyani, a Black South African multilingual teacher and author of supplemental reading materials in a marginalized South African language. Through various word images, we convey the role of language, in particular written language,...
Article
The Textbooks and Learning Materials Programme at the University of Texas at San Antonio collaboratively designed and developed learning and teaching materials for Malawi schoolchildren. Three goals drove our work: (a) develop learning and teaching materials, focusing on language instruction for Standards 1 – 3; (b) develop an implementation model,...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we report on the results of a project devoted to improving literacy in South Africa's rural schools; specifically we report the results of an intervention study that centered on improving mother-tongue literacy instruction offered to learners in Grades 1 and 2 in South African schools. Our findings demonstrate that there are positi...
Article
This case study illustrates a community-based constructive learning approach to ePortfolio development, and the subsequent phenomena and outcomes that came from the initial implementation. The authors discuss why and how an ePortfolio system was chosen, as well as faculty engagement, student engagement, and recommendations to others based on the Un...
Chapter
This case study illustrates a community-based constructive learning approach to ePortfolio development, and the subsequent phenomena and outcomes that came from the initial implementation. The authors discuss why and how an ePortfolio system was chosen, as well as faculty engagement, student engagement, and recommendations to others based on the Un...
Article
We report on the development and validation of the TEX-IN3, a research tool and protocol designed to assess the quality of the classroom literacy environment. The TEX-IN3 is described in terms of its theoretical base as well as its practical applications. The TEX-IN3 includes three basic components: a text inventory, a text “in-use” observation, an...
Article
This study focuses on the features of the first grade texts included in basal readers used for beginning reading instruction in Texas during the year 2000 adoption period. The authors investigated the general features of student texts with respect to the instructional design of the text, the accessibility of the text for beginning readers, and the...
Article
CIERA Inquiry 1: Reader and Text Should beginning reading instruction be literature-based or skill-based? Should the language in texts be highly literary or highly decodable? Educators and politicians in Texas have played significant roles in pushing early reading instruction from one extreme position to another through shifts in textbook adoption...
Article
Discusses the factors involved in determining text difficulty. Discusses some of the reasons children choose to read certain materials, such as personal connections, culture and language, interest, and expertise. Illustrates these factors through descriptions of work with individual students, classroom observations, and research on students' intere...

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Projects

Projects (10)
Project
This project is part of the Better Education through Teacher Training and Empowerment for Results (BETTER) program, funded by the Canadian government. Our goals include, (a) Enhance the partnership between the IFP and the annex school (One formando/one child initiative); (b) Improve the quality of teacher preparation by implementing mentoring; and (c) Improve literacy achievement of primary grade children