Dr. Laura Turchi

Dr. Laura B. Turchi


Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Curriculum and Instruction

Program: Secondary Education

Office Number: 344 FH

Phone: 713-743-5937

Email: lturchi@uh.edu

Research Interests:

I have navigated higher education in many roles: adjunct, clinical professor, faculty in a teaching-focused college, and now tenure-track in a research I institution. Thus I am keenly aware of power differentials and the challenges these bring to collaboration. I have received awards and commendations for facilitating faculty projects, for instance by leading groups to creative consensus about complicated policy and curricular issues.

My research enables me to be useful as programs move into new digital platforms and design opportunities for students to take advantage of 21st century learning tools. In the US and overseas I have served as a program reviewer and grant evaluator, and thus I understand the power and difficulty in responding to national and international standards and other external measurements of effectiveness. At UH my teacher education research is on the procedural decisions and practice impacts of the formal observation and evaluation process utilized with student teachers.

My teaching practice includes traditional, hybrid, and online platforms. In keeping with my research focus on 21st century learners, and in addition to assigning and supporting extensive writing assignments, I typically require students to create digital and multimodal products as an expression of what they know and can do. I am a dedicated team member of the faculty, graduate students, and instructional design experts who deliver Introduction to Teaching and related courses every semester.


Turchi, L.B. (March 2019). Invited Symposium Speaker. Teaching Shakespeare and Race. Learning to Teach English Language Arts: The Mandates for Literacy, The Desire for Cultural Responsiveness, and The Place of Shakespeare. Lafayette College, Easton, PA.

Turchi, L. B. (February 2019). Keynote. Shakespeare FuturED: An International Conference Exploring the Nexus of Shakespeare Studies and Education. Personalized Shakespeare: Teaching Matters Where the Most Established Curriculum and Disruptive Technologies are Both at Play. The University of Sydney, Australia. Shakespearereloaded.edu.au

Turchi, L. B. (February 2019). Invited Address and Workshop, Learning Futures Program. Supporting Collaborative Efforts to Rejuvenate Higher Education Courses: Design-Based Research as a Process for Thoughtful Transformation. Learning Futures Program, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Turchi, L.B. (December 2018). Invited Faculty, Humanities Texas Shakespeare Workshops for Secondary ELA teachers. Classroom-Based Theater Practices in the Shakespeare Classroom. Lufkin, TX.

Since the Spring of 2017 I have partnered with Dr. Ann Christensen, Professor in the English Department, to establish the Teaching Shakespeare in Houston Project. We are both faculty for Humanities Texas for workshops and institutes on teaching Shakespeare. We also co-edit a "Teaching Shakespeare" column for the English Journal. With initial Small Faculty Grants (UHDOR) funding, we hosted secondary school teachers for the UH performance of Julius Caesar and teaching discussions related to that play. On April 20th, with the UH Shakespeare Club, we hosted a community screening of Romeo is Bleeding. This is an award-winning documentary about an urban CA spoken-word poetry group’s reimagining of Romeo and Juliet as a protest against gun violence. In Fall 2017 we hosted Teaching Shakespeare in Houston in the 21st Century, an intensive weekend workshop for teachers with a focus on themes of strangers and exiles explored in the plays. Spring 2018 we organized groups to attend performances at Main Street Theater and Alley Theater.

In May 2016 I joined the Fulbright Specialists Roster for a five-year term. My potential value to overseas universities arises from my experiences in higher education as an administrator, a grantwriter, a program coordinator, and a faculty member. In the Fall of 2016, through the Global Education Policy Fellowship Program, I traveled to India to study the challenges of equity and access to education in that country. I hope to not only extend my knowledge but also to connect with the vibrant Indian community in Houston. This is one way I am working to expand my professional networks, which are already interdisciplinary and international, connecting teachers of English literature and language as well as practitioners and researchers of teacher education. Another dimension of this has been language immersion experiences in Costa Rica in 2017 and Spain in 2018.


Recent Publications:

Thompson, A. & Turchi, L.B. (2016). Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centred Approach. London and New York: Bloomsbury Publishing/ The Arden Shakespeare.

Turchi, L.B. & Christensen, A.C. (2018). Teaching Titus Andronicus in Houston. The English Journal 108 (1) 95-97.

Turchi, L.B. & Christensen, A.C. (2018). When the “House” (of Montague) Is a Color not a Clan: Teaching Romeo and Juliet Productions Where Difference Signals Inevitable Conflict. The English Journal 108 (2) 111-114.

Turchi, L. B. (2018). The Shakespeare Classroom as an Activity-Based Social System. Ubiquity: The Journal of Literature, Literacy, and the Arts, Praxis Strand, 5 (1) 89-113. http://ed-ubiquity.gsu.edu/wordpress/ ISSN: 2379-3007

Book Chapters
Turchi, L. (2018) Second Language Immersion: Self-Study to Interrogate and Articulate Principles of Embodied Learning. In D. Garbett & A. Ovens (Eds.). Proceedings of Castle 12: Pushing Boundaries and Crossing Borders: Self-Study as a Means for Knowing Pedagogy. 505-512. Herstmonceux, UK: S-STEP ISBN: 978-0-473-35893-8.

Turchi, L.B. and Nance, K.S. (2018). Supporting New English Language Arts Teachers as Nascent Professionals: Examining How They Design Instruction Intended to Enable Secondary Students to Succeed with the Curriculum and Required Assessments. In D. McDonald & C. Craig (Eds.), Facing Challenges and Complexities in Retention of Novice Teachers. 203-220. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Thompson, A. & Turchi, L. (2017) Shakespeare, Social Justice, and Pedagogy: Making Bodies Matter in the Classroom. In V. Traub (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook for Shakespeare and Embodiment. 724-737. Oxford University Press.

Turchi, L., Hinde, E., Dorn, R., & Ekiss, G. (2016). Six Credit Hours for Arizona, The United States, and The World: A Case Study of Teacher Content-Knowledge Preparation and the Creation of Social Studies Courses. In Alexander Cuenca and Alicia Crowe (Eds.), Rethinking Social Studies Teacher Education for Twenty-First Century Citizenship. 143-166. Springer International Publishing.

Turchi, L.B. and Schmidt, P.S. (June 2019 expected publication). “Arts-Based Pedagogy: Exploring Shakespeare Study in the Classroom.” In K. Macro & M. Zoss (Eds.), A Symphony of Possibilities: A Handbook for Arts Integration in Secondary English Language Arts xx-xx. Champaign-Urbana: NCTE Press.



B.A. in English, St. Olaf College, 1983
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, National-Louis University (National College of Education) , 1989
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction, Appalachian State University, 1997