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College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Mary E. Styslinger, Ph.D.

Title: Professor, English and Literacy Education
Department: Instruction and Teacher Education
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-2233
Office: 232 Wardlaw


Ph.D. , Curriculum and Instruction, Language Arts and Literacy, Kent State University

M.A. , English, University of Akron

B.S., Education, Language Arts, Auburn University


Secondary English and Literacy


Mary E. Styslinger is an associate professor of English and Literacy Education at the University of South Carolina where she directs the Midlands Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project. She served as secondary program coordinator and advises students pursuing MT, MAT, MEd, and Ph.D. degrees in secondary English and Literacy education. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in English and literacy methods. She has published articles in English Journal, Voices from the Middle, Language Arts, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Kappan and is a frequent presenter at the National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, and the Literacy Research Association conferences. She has received grants to fund her research and professional development with teachers from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation as well as the National Writing Project. She is passionate in her research efforts to interweave literacy into the secondary English curriculum and across the disciplines. Recently she has focused her attention on marginalized and at-risk youth including those incarcerated and those on the autism spectrum.

Selected research studies

National Writing Project, Midlands Writing Project.

COE Research Grants, The “Hidden Literacies” of Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome Center for Teaching Excellence and Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning, Reading Behind the Fence.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, Project RAISSE: Reading Assistance Initiative for Secondary School Educators.

Selected publications

Styslinger, M. E., Ware, J. O., Bell, C., & Barrett, J. L. (2014). What matters: Meeting content goals through teaching cognitive reading strategies with canonical texts. English Journal, 103(4), 53-61.

Styslinger, M. E., & Overstreet, J. (in press). Strengthening Argumentative Writing with Speaking and Listening (Socratic) Circles. Voices from the Middle.

Styslinger, M.E., Clary, D. M., & Oglan, V. (in press). Motivating study groups across the disciplines in secondary schools. Professional Development in Education.

Styslinger, M. E., Walker, N., & Lenker, T. (in press). Beyond the sticky note and Venn diagram: Comprehension strategies for 21st century schools. Voices from the Middle.

Styslinger, M. E., Walker, N., & Eberlin, E. L. (in press). Teaching in third space: Understanding pre-service teachers’ reading with incarcerated teens, Journal of Reading Education.

Styslinger, M. E. (2012/2013). Making meaning: Strategies for literacy learning. Kappan. 94(4), 40-45.

Selected presentations

April 2013 International Reading Association, Adolescent Literacy Institute Learning from Each Other: Teacher Study Groups through Project RAISSE.

November 2012 National Council of Teachers of English Beyond the Sticky Note and Venn Diagram: Making Meaning with Cognitive Reading Strategies.

November 2011 Literacy Research Association Teaching in “Third Space”: The Perspectives of Pre-Service Teachers Reading with Incarcerated Teens.

June 2011 Conference on English Education Beyond “Minimally Adequate”: A Study into Critical Issues of Social Justice with Pre-Service High School English Teachers.


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