Associate Professor

Department Name 
Teacher Education
Office Location 
Memorial Hall 116C
Mailing Address 
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Suzanne  Gespass

Academic Background

  • 1989 Doctor of Philosophy, Teaching and Teacher Education, Elementary Education Major, Applied Linguistics Minor, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, Dissertation: Control and Use of Pronouns in the Writing of Native American Children. Dissertation Director: Kenneth Goodman.
  • 1981 Master of Education, Elementary Education with a focus in Language and Literacy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1975 Teaching Credential, Upper Valley Teacher Training Program, Hanover, New Hampshire.
  • 1974 Bachelor of Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York.

Selected Presentations

  • October 1981 “The Role of Children’s Literature in Literacy Development”(with Melisa Choroszy).Southwest Regional Conference of the International Reading Association, Tucson, Arizona.
  • March 1981 “A Literate Environment for Literacy Development”(with Dr. Yetta Goodman). Language Arts Conference of the National Council of teachers of English, Portland, Oregon.
  • February 1982 Symposium on Research in Language and Literacy, Elementary Education Conference, Tucson, Arizona.
  • May 1982 “Pronouns in Freddie Miller,” center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking, Boulder, Colorado.
  • October 1982 “Readers and Pronouns,” Southwest Regional English Teachers’ Conference, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • December 1982 “Text Features as They Relate to Miscues- Pronouns,” Miscue Analysis Conference for Teacher Educators, Tucson, Arizona.
  • November 1983 “Taking the Cue from the Reader,” National Reading Conference, Austin, Texas.
  • November 1984 “Using Miscue analysis to Study Text,” Miscue Update Conference, Detroit, Michigan.
  • November 1986 “Control and Use of Pronouns in the Writing of Native American Children,” National Reading Conference, Austin, Texas.
  • October 1987 “The History of Whole Language,” Tri-County Reading Association, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
  • November 1990 “Using Miscue Analysis,” Central Jersey Teachers Applying Whole Language, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • February 1991 “Looking into Whole Language Classrooms,” New Jersey Lenape Teachers Applying Whole Language, Hampton, New Jersey.
  • March 1992 “Theme Cycles in the Classroom”(with Shirley Paris), Tri-County Reading Association, Flemington, New Jersey.
  • August 1992 “Merging Miscues and Think-Alouds”(with Carol Brown), Whole Language Umbrella, Niagara Falls, New York.
  • August 1992 “Nothing But the Truth: One School Moving Towards Whole Language” (with Beth Bayuk, Kathy Gumlack and Susan Meeks) Whole Language Umbrella, Niagara Falls, New York.
  • November 1992 “Pronoun Use in the Work of Young Writers,” National Council of Teachers of English, Louisville, Kentucky.
  • August 1993 “Classroom Use of Miscue Analysis with Expository Texts” (with Shirley Paris), Whole Language Umbrella, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • October 1993 “Miscue Analysis, “Round table presentation at the Fall Conference of Central Jersey Teachers Applying Whole Language, Hightstown, New Jersey.
  • February 1994 “Deepening Responses to Literature,” Tri-County Reading Association, Flemington, New Jersey.
  • July 1994 “Using Reading and Writing to Teach Math and Science” (with Janet Woods), Whole Language Umbrella conference, San Diego, California.
  • September 1994 “Reader Response,” New Jersey Lenape Teachers Applying Whole Language, Hampton, New Jersey.
  • November 1994 “Reading Strategies for the Intermediate Grades,” Tri-County Reading Association, Flemington, New Jersey (invited).
  • April 1995 “Self-Monitoring Strategies for Reading Comprehension,” Central Jersey Teachers Applying Whole Language, Princeton Junction, New Jersey (invited).
  • May 1995 Introduction of keynote speaker, Paula Dansiger at the International Reading Association Annual Convention, Anaheim, California.
  • July 1995 “Reading: Using What We Know About the Process” (with Y. Goodman and B. Altwerger), National Council of Teachers of English International Conference, New York, New York.
  • April 1996 “Using Writing to Teach Mathematics in the Primary Grades” (with J. Woods) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, San Diego, California.
  • May 1997 “In-Process Reading Assessment: Coining Miscues and Think-Alouds for Classroom Use” (with C. Brown, C. Cappelli and J. Woods), International Reading association, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • March 1998 “Guided Reading,” Central Jersey Teachers Applying Whole Language, West Windsor, New Jersey (invited).
  • May 1998 “The Joy and Uniqueness of Editing Professional Publications,” International Reading Association Publication Series, International Reading Association, Orlando, Florida (invited).
  • February 1999 “Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of the Connections Between Education Course Content and Field-Site Experience” (with Judith Fraivillig), Eastern Educational research Association, Tampa, Florida.
  • May 1999 Participation in the IRA Publication Series (invited), International Reading Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • November 2001 National Council of teachers of English Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD
    “Perspectives on field site experiences for pre-service teachers before student teaching: Deciding what’s important from varying points of view”
    Presentation that highlighted university-school partnership with Dutch Neck School as an innovative pre-service teaching field experience. Presented with the assistant principal, Tudy Tanzillo and teachers Diane Miness, Kristi Mattingly and Ginny McNeil.
  • March 2002 New Jersey Reading Association Annual Conference, New Brunswick, NJ.
    Presentation with members of the Summer Institute of the Trenton Area Writing Project.
  • February 2003 “Thinking With Children About Stories and Books: Making Connections” Lawrenceville, NJ
    Conference to celebrate the new Early Childhood Education Program at Rider University “Focus on Young Children’s Thinking.”
  • November 2003 Who’s in charge here? When student teachers and supervisors share power, responsibility and purpose. Chicago, IL NAEYCTE Annual meeting with Cynthia Paris.
  • February 2004 “Supporting Inquiry-based Teaching and Learning Through Virtual Learning Communities” Chicago IL. AACTE Annual Meeting with Judith Fraivillig, Carol Brown, Judy Burry-Stock, and Janet Jackson
  • May 2005 (accepted) “Does Johnny’s reading teacher love to read? Is this important?” San Antonio, TX, Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, with Sharon Mckool.


  • February 1982 Analysis of Text Structures as They Relate to Patterns of Oral Reading Miscues (with K.S Goodman), Final Report Project NIE 6-80-0057
  • March 1983 Text Features as They Relate to Miscues- Pronouns (K.S. Goodman), Occasional Paper, Arizona Center for Research and Development, University of Arizona.
  • 1984 Textual Cohesion (with M.Maguire and A. Marek), in a Two-Year Case Study Observing the Development of Third and Fourth Grade Native American Children’s Writing Processes by Y. Goodman, Final Report, NIE grant No. NIE-G-81-0127
  • Spring 1987 “Whole Language Evaluation: An Integral Part of the Curriculum” (with Y. Goodman), The reading Instruction Journal, Vol.30, No.3, pp.25-30.
  • November 1992 “He Got Hone Before He Could Get Him,” Pronoun Use in the Work of Young Writers in Literacy Events in a Community of Young Writers, Y. Goodman and S. Wilde (eds.), Teachers College press.
  • Fall 1994 “Exploring Disjuncture’s Between Theory and Practice in Literacy Education” (with Carol Brown), Focus on Education.
  • 1999 Case commentaries in Cases in Literacy for Preservice Teacher, Janet Richards (ed.), Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • November 2001 Examining the Mismatch Between Learner- Centered Teaching and Teacher- Centered Supervision (with Cynthia Paris) The Journal of Teacher Education 52, 5, 398-412

Professional Affiliations

  • International Reading Association (Early Childhood Assessment Committee, 1993-1995)
  • National Council Of Teachers Of English
  • New Jersey Reading Association (co-chair, Parents and Reading Committee, 1986-1987, co-editor Reading instruction Journal, 1994-2001)
  • Central Jersey Teachers Applying Whole Language (chair, Nominating Committee, 1992-1993; Program Committee, 1992-1994)
  • Whole Language Umbrella, Member Teacher Educator Special Interest Group
  • New Jersey Association for Teacher Educators
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • National Association for the Education of the Young Child

Service to the Profession and the Community

  • 2001-present SELECT VLC Responsible for the mentoring aspect of developing a virtual learning community with Cynthia Paris
  • Conducted workshop on mentoring for Hopewell Valley School District, April, 2002
  • 2001 Training Program for Literacy Tutors for Princeton Young Achievers, June
  • 2000-2002 Co-director with Carol Brown of The Trenton Area Writing Project
  • 1994-Present Member of Advisor Board, Princeton Young Achievers, Chair, Program Committee, 1998-present.
  • 1994-1996 Member of Advisory Board, Multicultural Recruitment Committee, Princeton Regional Schools.

Current Research Agenda

  • Long term study of the impact of learner-centered instructional and supervision practices during teacher preparation on the work of practicing teachers in the early years of their careers. Recent study of how teachers’ personal reading habits affect the way they teach and promote reading the their classrooms.


  • Selected Andrew J. Rider Scholars (students with the highest GPA in the school of Education) as the person who influenced them most at Rider; 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004

Courses Taught

  • ELD 301 Emergent Literacy
  • ELD 308 Fostering Language and Literacy
  • SED 431 Content Reading in the Secondary School
  • GLTP 502 Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision of Reading Language Arts
  • READ 501 Psychology of the Reading Language Process
  • ECED 507 Emergent Literacy
  • EDU 464 Student Teaching and Seminar