College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

PhD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Associate Professor
Elementary Education PK-6
Literacy and Reading
Teaching and Teacher Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Parsons

Phone: (703) 993-6559
Fax: (703) 993-2013
Email: sparson5 (@gmu.edu)

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 1405
4400 University Dr.
MS 4B3
Fairfax, VA 22030

Profile

Seth Parsons is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development. He joined the faculty in the fall of 2008 as a member of the Elementary Education and Literacy program areas. He teaches graduate courses and works closely with a professional development school (PDS). His current projects include the following, which he conducts in close collaboration with colleagues and doctoral students: (a) a content analysis of 15 literacy journals' topics of study, theoretical frameworks, and research designs since 2007; (b) a comprehensive resesarch synthesis of motivation and engagement in reading and writing; (c) a series of studies investigating elementary students' motivation to read and write with colleagues from five different states; (d) a literature review of research on teachers' professional visions; (e) development and validation of an observation tool for capturing adaptive teaching; and (f) development and validation of an adaptive teaching inventory for teachers. Before beginning his doctoral studies, which he completed in May 2008, he was a classroom teacher in North Carolina. Dr. Parsons is currently the president-elect of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) and past president of the Greater Washington Reading Council (GWRC). He is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education's (AACTE) Clinical Practice Commision and co-senior editor of School-University Partnerships, the journal of the National Association for Professional Development Schools. Dr. Parsons and colleagues recently received AERA's Review of Research Award (2019) for their review of adaptive teaching that was published in Review of Educational Research. In 2018, he and his colleagues received the ATE Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award for their longitudinal study of teachers' visions, which was published in Teaching and Teacher Education. He was previously selected as a 2014-2015 Emerging Leader by Phi Delta Kappa International and a 2015 Clinical Practice Fellow by the Association of Teacher Educators. In 2016, Dr. Parsons was recognized by George Mason University as a Teacher of Distinction, and in 2012, he received the Jerry Johns Promising Researcher Award from ALER.   

Research Interests

  • Thoughtfully adaptive literacy instruction
  • Teacher education and development
  • Motivating literacy tasks
  • Student engagement
  • Metacognition

Recent Publications

  • Parsons, S. A., Hutchison, A. C., Hall, L., Parsons, A. W., Leggett, A. B., & Ives, S. T. (2019). Teachers’ perspectives of online professional development: A national survey. Teaching and Teacher Education 83, 33-42. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2019.03.006
  • Parsons, S. A., Vaughn, M., Scales, R. Q., Gallagher, M. A., Parsons, A. W., Davis, S. D., Pierczynski, M., & Allen, M. (2018). Teachers’ instructional adaptations: A research synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 82(2), 205-242. doi:10.3102/0034654317743198
  • Parsons, S. A., Malloy, J. A., Parsons, A. W., Peters-Burton, E., & Burrowbridge, S. C. (2018). Sixth-grade students’ engagement in academic tasks. The Journal of Educational Research, 111(2), 232-245. doi:10/1080.00220671.2016.1246408
  • Parsons, A. W., Parsons, S. A., Malloy, J. A., Marinak, B. A., Reutzel, D. R., Applegate, M. D., Applegate, A. J., Fawson, P. C., & Gambrell, L. B. (2018). Upper elementary students’ motivation to read fiction and nonfiction. Elementary School Journal, 118, 505-523.
  • Malloy, J. A., Parsons, A. W., Marinak, B. A., Applegate, A. J., Applegate, M. D.., Reutzel, D. R., Parsons, S. A., Fawson, P. C., Roberts, L. D., & Gambrell, L. B. (2017). Assessing (and addressing!) motivation to read fiction and non-fiction. The Reading Teacher, 71, 309-325. doi:10.1001/trtr.1633
  • Parsons, S. A., Vaughn, M., Malloy, J. A., & Pierczynski, M. (2017). The development of teachers’ visions from pre-service to their first years teaching: A longitudinal study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 64, 12-25. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2017.01.018
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., Scales, R. Q., & Wall, A. (2017). Envisioning our practice: Examining and interpreting pedagogical visions of four early career teacher educators. The New Educator, 13(3), 251-270. doi:10.1080/1547688X.2015.1063177
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., Keyes, C., Puzio, K., & Allen, M. (2017). Contextualizing teacher visioning: A multiple case study of visions and practices. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 18(4). doi:10.1080/14623943.2017.1323731
  • Parsons, S. A., Gallagher, M. A., and the George Mason University Content Analysis Team. (2016). A content analysis of nine literacy journals, 2009-2014. Journal of Literacy Research. doi:10.1177/1086296X16680053
  • Parsons, S. A., Vaughn, M., Bruyning, A., & Daoud, N. (in press). Teaching, visioning, and hope: A longitudinal study of one teacher’s vision. Teacher Education Yearbook XXVI.
  • Parsons, A. W., Parsons, S. A., Ankrum, J. W., & Morewood, A. (2016). Barriers to change: Findings from three professional development initiatives. Literacy Research and Instruction, 55, 331-352. doi:10.1080/19088071.2016.1193575
  • Irish, C. K., & Parsons, S. A. (2016). Sharing a reading technique with families. The Reading Teacher, 69(6), 607-610. doi:10.1002/trtr.1411
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., Gallagher, M., & Branen, J. (2016). Teachers’ adaptive instruction supporting students’ literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 69, 539-547. doi:10.1002/trtr.1426 
  • Vaughn, M., & Parsons, S. A. (guest editors). (2016). This issue: Adaptive teaching: Theoretical implications for practice [themed journal issue]. Theory Into Practice, 55(3), 169-171. doi:10.1080.00405841.2016.1184956
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., Burrowbridge, S. C., Weesner, J., & Taylor, L. (2016). In their own words: Teachers’ reflections on adaptability. Theory Into Practice, 55(3), 259-266. doi:10.1080.00405841.2016.1173993 
  • Parsons, S. A., & Vaughn, M. (2016). Toward adaptability: Where to from here? Theory Into Practice, 55(3). doi:10.1080.00405841.2016.1173998 
  • Parsons, S. A., Malloy, J. A., Vaughn, M., & La Croix, L. (2014). A longitudinal study of literacy teacher visioning: Traditional program graduates and Teach For America corps members. Literacy Research and Instruction, 53, 134-161. doi:10.1080/19388071.2013.868561
  • Parsons, S. A., Parsons, A. W., Richey, L. N., Dodman, S. L., & Scales, W. D. (2014). Year 1 of a longitudinal literacy professional development initiative in an urban school. Journal of School Connections, 5, 29-57.
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., Kologi, S., & Saul, M., (2014). Action research as a reflective tool: A multiple case study of eight rural educators’ understandings of instructional practice. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives. doi:10.1080/14623943.2014.900030
  • Parsons, S. A., Nuland, L. R., & Parsons, A. W. (2014). The ABCs of student engagement. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(8), 23-27.
  • Parsons, S. A., & Vaughn, M. (2013). A multiple case study of two teachers’ instructional adaptations. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 59(2), 299-318.
  • Vaughn, M., & Parsons, S. A. (2013). Adaptive teachers as innovators: Instructional adaptations opening spaces for enhanced literacy learning. Language Arts, 91, 81-93.
  • Parsons, S. A., Dodman, S. L., & Burrowbridge, S. C. (2013). Broadening the view of differentiated instruction. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(1), 38-42.
  • Malloy, J. A., Parsons, S. A., & Parsons, A. W. (2013). Methods for evaluating literacy engagement as a fluid construct. 62nd Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association, 124-139.
  • Parsons, S. A., & Scales, R. Q. (2013). What are we asking kids to do? An investigation of the literacy tasks teachers assign students. 35th Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 143-156.
  • Parsons, A. W., Richey, L. N., Parsons, S. A., & Dodman, S. L. (2013). How do teachers change their practice? Case studies of two teachers in a literacy professional development initiative. 35th Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 127-141.
  • Allen, M. H., Matthews, C. E., & Parsons, S. A. (2013). A second-grade teacher’s adaptive teaching during an integrated science-literacy unit. Teaching and Teacher Education, 35, 114-125. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2013.06.002
  • Parsons, S. A., Richey, L. N., Malloy, J. A., & Miller, S. D. (2013). Are we giving students the high-level literacy skills they need in the 21st century? Reading in Virginia, 35, 6-14.
  • Parsons, S. A., & La Croix, L. (2013). A vision within a classroom of her own: The case of Ann. The Teacher Educators’ Journal, 20, 57-73. 
  • Parsons, S. A. (2012). Adaptive teaching in literacy instruction: Case studies of two teachers. Journal of Literacy Research, 44,149-170. Podcast discussing this article: http://www.voiceofliteracy.org/posts/47567
  • Parsons, S. A., Malloy, J. A., Parsons, A. W., & Burrowbridge, S. C. (2012). Students affective engagement in literacy tasks: Observations of and interviews with sixth-grade students. In S. Szabo, T. Morrison, M. Boggs, & L. Martin (Eds.), 34th Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (pp. 137-147). Commerce, TX: ALER.
  • Vaughn, M., & Parsons S. A. (2012). Visions, enactment, obstacles, and negotiations: Case studies of two novices teachers enrolled in a graduate literacy course. Journal of Reading Education, 38(1), 18-25. 
  • Parsons, A. W., Parsons, S. A., & Dodman, S. L. (2012). Lessons learned from a longitudinal literacy professional development initiative. Making Literacy Connections, 27, 6-11. 
  • Parsons, S. A., Williams, J. B., Burrowbridge, S. C., & Mauk, G. (2011). The case for adaptability as an aspect of reading teacher effectiveness. Voices from the Middle, 19, 19-23. Podcast discussing this article: http://www.ncte.org/journals/vm/podcasts
  • Parsons, S. A., Massey, D. D., Vaughn, M., Scales, R. Q., Faircloth, B. S., Howerton, W. S., Griffith, R. R., Atkinson, T. S. (2011). Developing teachers reflective thinking and adaptability in graduate courses. Journal of School Connections, 3, 93-111.
  • Parsons, S. A., & Ward, A. E. (2011). The case for authentic tasks in content literacy. The Reading Teacher, 64, 462-465.
  • Parsons, S. A., Metzger, S. R., Askew, J., & Carswell, A. (2011). Teaching against the grain: One Title I schools journey toward project-based literacy instruction. Literacy Research and Instruction, 50, 1-14.
  • Parsons, S. A. (2010). Adaptive teaching: A case study of one third-grade teachers literacy instruction. The 32nd Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 135-147.
  • Parsons, S. A., Davis, S. G., Scales, R. Q., Williams, J. B., & Kear, K. (2010). How and why teachers adapt their literacy instruction. The 31st Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 221-236.
  • Mascarenhas, A., Parsons, S. A., & Burrowbridge, S. C. (2010). Preparing teachers for high needs schools: A focus on thoughtfully adaptive teaching. Bank Street Occasional Papers, 25, 28-43.
  • Duffy, G. G., Miller, S. D., Parsons, S. A., & Meloth, M. (2009). Teachers as metacognitive professionals. In D. J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky, & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), Handbook of metacognition in education (pp. 240-256). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Parsons, S. A., & Harrington, A. D. (2009). Reading the script. Phi Delta Kappan, 90, 748-750.
  • Parsons, S. A. (2008). Providing all students ACCESS to self-regulated literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 61, 628-635.
  • Duffy, G. G., Miller, S. D., Kear, K. A., Parsons, S. A., Davis, S. G., & Williams, J. B. (2008). Teachers instructional adaptations during literacy instruction. 57th Yearbook of the National Reading Conference, 160-171.