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:

In Spring 2017 I have partnered with Dr. Ann Christensen, Associate Professor in the English Department, to establish the Teaching Shakespeare in Houston Project. 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 are expecting to host 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.

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 is my planned language immersion experience in Costa Rica, July 2017.

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.


Recent Publications:

Thompson, A. & Turchi, L. (2016).  Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: The Student-Centred Classroom.   Bloomsbury/Arden Publishing

Articles and Chapters
Turchi, L. & Thompson, A. (2013).  Shakespeare and the Common Core: An opportunity to reboot.   Phi Delta Kappan, 95 (1), 32-37.  

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 Press, In Alexander Cuenca and Alicia Crowe (Eds.), Rethinking Social Studies Teacher Education for Twenty-First Century Citizenship Section 1: Rethinking Social Studies Teacher Education Curriculum

Thompson, A. & Turchi, L. B. (2016). Shakespeare, Social Justice, and Pedagogy: Making Bodies Matter in the Classroom. In Valerie Traub (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook for Shakespeare and Embodiment (pp. 20).  



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