Drew’s Teaching Program Has a New Director
Kristen Turner was an associate professor at Fordham.
July 2017 – Teacher education at Drew University’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies will expand in scope and size under its new leader, Professor Kristen Turner.
“The vision is to grow a single program into a department,” said Turner, director of teacher education at Caspersen, which includes the school’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.
Among the new initiatives is in-service programming for teachers—in both local schools and on campus. “Our plan is to make that a big part of what we do,” said Turner.
Turner is a former associate professor of English education and contemporary literacies at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education in New York City, where she spent nearly 11 years.
At Caspersen, she brings with her the Digital Literacies Collaborative, a professional development community that she founded in 2013. The group comprises teachers in the region who share ideas on using technology in the classroom.
Digital literacy is also the focus of Turner’s research and writing. She’s the co-author of two books, Argument in the Real World: Teaching Adolescents to Read and Write Digital Texts and Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World, with Troy Hicks, and is an expert in the field.
Expanding the program
As teacher education director, Turner hopes to establish Drew as a site for the National Writing Project, a network of more than 200 university-based programs that collaborate with K-12 schools to help educators improve student writing.
Caspersen has a long history of supporting teachers, be it providing space for them to return to content knowledge in the Arts and Letters program or preparing them for the workforce in the MAT program. With Turner’s guidance, Caspersen aims to expand its offerings to educators without forsaking the high level of attention and mentoring that professors at Drew provide to students.
Before Fordham, Turner taught English and social studies at Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, N.J. She earned a BA at Bucknell University, an MA in teaching and curriculum at the Teachers College of Columbia University and a PhD in literacy education at Rutgers University.
On the campus of Drew, a small liberal arts school just outside New York City, Turner feels at home. The professor, who lives in Morris County, N.J. with her husband and two children, said, “It’s where I belong. It’s where I’ve always seen myself.”