Faculty Bookshelf: Interview with Cheryl Kreutter

A continuing series of interviews with SUNY Geneseo faculty on their reading interests; today’s “Faculty Bookshelf” delves into the pursuits of School of Education professor, Cheryl Kreutter.

What are your current research Interests?
My current research interests focus on literacy teacher education, critical literacy, and international children’s & young adult literature.  I wonder how reading and reflecting on literature through a critical literacy lens might impact teachers’ use of international text. I’m also curious about how the Common Core State Standards will influence teacher choice of literature and pedagogy in English Language Arts classrooms.

What is your favorite literary genre to read for pleasure?

Action and adventure, particularly those involving aviation.

What book is on your nightstand now?
Now We Read, We See, We Speak: Portrait of Literacy Development in an Adult Freierian-Based Class by Victoria Purcell-Gates and Robin A. Waterman

Tell us about a book that changed your life.
A book that has highly influenced my professional thinking is Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire.  Freire believed that the true purpose of literacy education is to liberate people to become fully human.  Teachers and students must engage in dynamic, mutual exchanges to read critically both the world and the word, in order to deconstruct the layers of socio-political meanings of words and reconstruct meanings that contribute toward the transformation of an unjust society. I purposefully incorporate dialogue and critique throughout my courses to emphasize personal and social transformation attained through literacy.

Name a book you just couldn’t finish.
The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two by Patrick Ness.  (sequel to Knife of Never Letting Go.)

What were your favorite books as a child?
Mysteries.  (Although, I should say Mark Twain because I grew up in Elmira, NY).

If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be?  What would you want to know?
I would like to (re)meet Louise Rosenblatt.  I attended a presentation where she, at age 98, stood up, shook her fist, and reprimanded the audience of educators for not making our voices heard to policy makers, and I, no doubt, would benefit from her insights about current education policy. I’d also like her recommendations for ways that I can help my students understand how and why she preferred her transaction theory of reading not to be confused with reader response theory.

Do you have a favorite book?  What is it and why is it your favorite?
My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I make it a point to reread it every year or so.

Do you want to learn more about the reading habits of a Geneseo Faculty member? Let us know by emailing Tracy Paradis at paradis@geneseo.edu