College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Seth A. Parsons
PhD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Professor
Elizabeth G. Sturtevant, PhD, Center for Literacy
Elementary Education PK-6
Literacy
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 a Professor in the College of Education and Human Development. He joined the faculty in the fall of 2008 and teaches courses in the Elementary Education, Literacy, and Research Methods program areas. His current projects include the following, which he conducts in close collaboration with colleagues and doctoral students: (a) a comprehensive resesarch synthesis of motivation and engagement in reading and writing; (b) an investigation of elementary students' motivation to read different genres; (c) the development and validation of an observation tool for capturing adaptive teaching; (d) the development and validation of an adaptive teaching inventory for teachers; and (e) a study of preservice teachers' metacognition. Before beginning his doctoral studies, which he completed in May 2008, he was a classroom teacher in North Carolina. Dr. Parsons is co-editor of Journal of Literacy Research, the flagship journal of the Literacy Research Association. He is past president of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) and the Greater Washington Reading Council (GWRC). He was a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education's (AACTE) Clinical Practice Commision. 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
  • Motivation to read
  • Student engagement
  • Adaptive teaching
  • Teacher metacognition
  • Teacher education and development
Recent Publications
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., & Gallagher, M. (in press). Challenging scripted curricula with adaptive teaching. Educational Researcher. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189x211065752
  • Seeger, C., Parsons, S. A., & View, J. (in press). The equity-centered adaptations of teachers in high-poverty schools. Education and Urban Society.
  • Gallagher, M. A., Parsons, S. A., & Vaughn, M. (in press). Adaptive teaching in mathematics: A review of the literature. Educational Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2020.1722065  
  • Vaughn, M., Wall, A., Scales, R. Q., & Parsons, S. A. (2021). Teacher visioning: A conceptual review of the literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, 108, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103502
  • Daoud, N., & Parsons, S. A. (2021). Visioning and hope: A longitudinal study of two teachers from preservice to inservice. Peabody Journal of Education, 96(4), 393-450. https://doi.org/10.1080/0161956X.2021.1965412
  • Vaughn, M., Parsons, S. A., & Massey, D. D. (2020). Aligning the science of reading with adaptive teaching. Reading Research Quarterly, 55(s1), s299-s306. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.351
  • Parsons, S. A., Gallagher, M. A., Leggett, A. B., Ives, S. T., & Lague, M. (2020). An analysis of 15 journals’ literacy content, 2007-2016. Journal of Literacy Research, 52(3), 341-367. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086296X20939551
  • Parsons, S. A. (2020). Stressing engagement in literacy practice. International Reading Association website, Instructional Practices. https://www.literacyworldwide.org/get-resources/instructional-practices/stressing-engagement-in-literacy-pedagogy (invited)
  • Ives, S. T., Parsons, S. A., Parsons, A. W., Robertson, D. A., Young, C., Polk, L., & Daoud, N. (2020). Elementary students’ motivation to read and genre preferences. Reading Psychology, 41(7), 660-679. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2020.1783143
  • Ankrum, J., Morewood, A., Parsons, S. A., Vaughn, M., & Parsons, A. W. (2020). Development and implementation of the Adaptive Teaching Observation Protocol (ATOP). Reading Psychology, 41(2), 71-86. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2020.1726845
  • Parsons, S. A., Hutchison, A. C., Hall, L., Parsons, A. W., Ives, S. T., & Leggett, A. B. (2019). U.S. teachers’ perspectives of online professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 82, 33-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.03.006
  • Parsons, A. W., Parsons, S. A., Dodman, S. L., Nuland, L. R., Pierczynski, M., & Ramirez, E. (2019). A literacy professional development initiative in an urban elementary school: Year 2 of a longitudinal design-based study. The Journal of Educational Research, 112(4), 447-462. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2018.1552915
  • 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, 88(2), 205-242. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654317743198  
  • – 2019 Review of Research Award from American Educational Research Association
  • 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. https://doi.org/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(3), 505-523. https://doi.org/10.1086/696022
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.01.018
  • – 2018 Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award from the Association of Teacher Educators
  • 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(3), 309-325. https://doi.org/10.1001/trtr.1633
  • 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. https://doi.org/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). https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2017.1323731
  • Parsons, S. A., Ives, S. T., & Parsons, A. W. (2017). Motivating literacy learning with self-determination theory. The Oklahoma Reader, 53(2), 34-41. (invited)
  • Groth, L. A., Parker, A., Parsons, S. A., Sprague, D., Brown, E. L., Baker, C., & Suh, J. (2017). George Mason University’s elementary PDS program: Embracing innovation. School-University Partnerships, 10(1), 3-5. (invited because of our program’s Exemplary PDS Program Award)
  • Parsons, S. A., Gallagher, M. A., & the George Mason University Content Analysis Team. (2016). A content analysis of nine literacy journals, 2009-2014. Journal of Literacy Research, 48(4), 476-502. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086296X16680053
  • 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(4), 331-352. https://doi.org/10.1080/19388071.2016.1193575
  • Irish, C. K., & Parsons, S. A. (2016). Sharing a reading technique with families. The Reading Teacher, 69(6), 607-610. https://doi.org/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(5), 539-547. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/10.1080.00405841.2016.1173993
  • Parsons, S. A., & Vaughn, M. (2016). Toward adaptability: Where to from here? Theory Into Practice, 55(3), 267-274. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2016.1173998
  • Parker, A. K., Parsons, S. A., Groth, L., & Brown, E. L. (2016). Pathways to partnership: A developmental framework for building PDS relationships. School-University Partnerships 9(3), 34-48. http://napds.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/93-parker.pdf  (invited)
  • Parsons, S. A., & Vaughn, M. (2016). One teacher’s instructional adaptations and her students’ reflections on the adaptations. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 51(1), 4-17.
  • Parsons, S. A., Parker, A. K., Daoud, N., Bruyning, A., Gallagher, M. & Groth, L. (2016). Striving to enact the professional development school philosophy: George Mason University’s Elementary Education program. The Teacher Educators’ Journal, 9, 136-155.
  • Parsons, S. A., Malloy, J. A., Parsons, A. W., & Burrowbridge, S. C. (2015). Students’ engagement in literacy tasks. The Reading Teacher, 69(2), 223-231. https://doi.org/10.1002.trtr.1378
  • Brown, E. L., Suh, J., Parsons, S. A., Parker, A., & Ramirez, E. M. (2015). Evaluating teacher candidates’ performance in their PDS internship: An analysis of performance across different program tracks. Journal of Research in Education, 25(1), 35-56.
  • 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(2), 134-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/19388071.2013.868561
  • Parsons, S. A., Parsons, A. W., Nuland, L. R., Dodman, S. L., & Scales, W. D. (2014). Year one of a longitudinal literacy professional development initiative in an urban school. Journal of School Connections, 5(1), 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, 15(5), 634-650. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/1177/003172171409500806
  • Samaras, A. P., Karczmarczyk, D. F., Smith, L. Woodville, L., Harmon, L., Nasser, I., Parsons, S. A., Smith, T., Borne, K. D., Constantine, L., Mendoza, E. R., Suh, J., & Swanson, R. (2014). The shark in the vitrine: Experiencing our practice from the inside out with transdisciplinary lenses. Journal of Transformative Education, 12(4), 368-388. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541344614551637
  • Samaras, A. P. with Karczmarczyk, D. F., Smith, L., Woodville, L., Harmon, L., Nasser, I., Parsons, S. A., Smith, T., Borne, K. D., Constantine, L., Mendoza, E. R., Suh, J., & Swanson, R. (2014). A pedagogy changer: Transdisciplinary faculty self-study. Perspectives in Education, 32(2), 117-135.
  • Vaughn, M., & Parsons, S. A. (2013). Adaptive teachers as innovators: Instructional adaptations opening spaces for enhanced literacy learning. Language Arts, 91(2), 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.
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2013.06.002
  • 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., & Vaughn, M. (2013). A multiple case study of two teachers’ instructional adaptations. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 59(2), 299-318.
  • 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, 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., 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, 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.
  • Parsons, S. A. (2012). Adaptive teaching in literacy instruction: Case studies of two teachers. Journal of Literacy Research, 44(2), 149-170. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086296X12440261
  • Podcast interview about this article: http://www.voiceofliteracy.org/posts/47567
  • Vaughn, M., & Parsons S. A. (2012). Visions, enactments, obstacles, and negotiations: Case studies of two novice teachers enrolled in a graduate literacy course. Journal of Reading Education, 38(1), 18-25.
  • 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. 34th Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 137-147.
  • 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., Metzger, S., Askew, J., & Carswell, A. (2011). Teaching against the grain: One Title I school’s journey toward project-based literacy instruction. Literacy Research and Instruction, 50(1), 1-14.
  • 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(1), 19-23.
  • Podcast interview about 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(1), 91-111.  
  • Parsons, S. A., & Ward, A. E. (2011). The case for authentic tasks in content literacy. The Reading Teacher, 64, 462-465. https://doi.org/10.1598/RT.64.6.12 (invited)
  • Parsons, S. A. (2010). Adaptive teaching: A case study of one third-grade teacher’s literacy instruction. 32nd Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 135-147.
  • 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.
  • Parsons, S. A., Davis, S. G., Scales, R. Q., Williams, J. B., & Kear, K. (2010). How and why teachers adapt their literacy instruction. 31st Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 221-236.
  • Parsons, S. A., & Harrington, A. D. (2009). Following the script. Phi Delta Kappan, 90, 748-750.
  • Parsons, S. A., Gray, E. S., Moore, N., & Davis, S. G. (2009). Distinguished scholars’ insights into obtaining funding for literacy research. 58th Yearbook of the National Reading Conference, 197-204.
  • Parsons, S. A. (2008). Providing all students ACCESS to self-regulated literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 61(8), 628-635. https://doi.org/10.1598/RT.61.8.4
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