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College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Lucy K. Spence, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Instruction & Teacher Education
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-0501
Fax: 803-777-3193

Wardlaw 229

Lucy Spence, Ph.D.


Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Masters of Education, Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science, Education, Grand Canyon University


Literacy, Linguistic Diversity


Lucy K. Spence is Associate Professor in the College of Education, Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina (UofSC).

Spence has published qualitative and mixed-methods research in Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Teaching & Teacher Education, and other peer reviewed journals. One of her recent interests is the neuroscience of reading. She carries out this work through collaboration with the UofSC Psychology Department.

She has served as a co-editor of the IAFOR Journal of Education and has consistently reviewed manuscripts and conference proposals for AERA, Literacy Research Association, and Springer Publications. She served as an elected board member and since 2006 has reviewed manuscripts and presentations for the National Council of Teachers of English.

Spence was a visiting research at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan and has collaborated with Japanese educators and researchers leading to several publications.

Selected Publications

Spence, L.K. & Walker, R. (2020 in press). Grappling with ideas: Adolescent writers in a rural African American community. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.

Compton-Lilly, C., Mitra, A. Guay, M. & Spence, L.K. (2020). A Confluence of Complexity: Taking Stock of Reading Scholarship. Reading Research Quarterly. DOI 10.1002/rrq.348

Spence, L.K., & Hashimoto, E. (2020 in press). An exploration of the affordances of mentor texts: Everyday texts and Japanese sixth grade writing curriculum. Writing & Pedagogy.

Spence, L.K. (2020 in press). Deconstructing generous reading: Revising a writing assessment. Critical Questions in Education.

Spence, L.K., & Kite, Y. (2018). Beliefs and practices of writing instruction in Japanese elementary schools. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 31(1), 56-69.

Spence, L.K., Fan, X., Speece, L., & Bushaala, S. (2017). Generous reading expands teachers’ perceptions on student writing. Teaching and Teacher Education, 66, 96–106.

Selected Presentations

Spence, L. K. (2020, accepted). The affordances of haiku as a multimodal text. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Mitra, A. & Spence, L.K.  (2020, February). Neuroimaging, phonological processing, and basic word reading skills in children: A research synthesis. Presented at the SCEPUR Annual Conference, Columbia, SC.

Mitra, A., Spence, L. K., Compton-Lilly, C., & Guay, M. (2020, February). Theorizing the reading brain: An integrative approach to reading and neuroscience. Presented at the Journal of Language & Literacy Education Winter Conference, Athens, GA.

Spence, L. K. (2019, November). Choice is everything: One teachers’ journey. Presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Selected Awards

2013 Visiting Researcher, Kansai University, Osaka, Japan

2011 Provost's Social Science Grant Program, Awardee University of South Carolina

2011 National Conversations on English Learner Education, Participant United States Department of Education

2010 Whole Language Umbrella, Executive Board, elected National Council of Teachers of English

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.