Dr. Deborah Litt

Professor Emerita of Education

Phone: 202-884-


  • B.A., American Studies, Yale University
  • Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Reading, University of Maryland, College Park


  • Beginning Reading
  • Reading Difficulties
  • Literacy Teacher Education


  • Finalist for Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award from the International Reading Association, 2003

Select Works Published

  • Literacy Teacher Education: Principles and Effective Practices
    Litt, D. Martin, S., Place, N., Guilford Press, 2014
  • “Do Children Selected for Reading Recovery Exhibit Weaknesses in Phonological Awareness and Rapid Automatic Naming?”
    , Literacy Teaching and Learning, 14 (1 & 2), 2010
  • “10 Rules for Reading
    , The Reading Teacher, 60 (6), 2007
  • Presentation: “Promising Practices in Literacy Teacher Education: Researchers of Literacy Teacher Education Bridge Theory to Practice
    , Literacy Research Association Conference (National Reading Conference), 20111


The animating force behind all that I do as a professional is my desire to improve the quality of K-12 education, especially for children who are not being well-served by public education. I aspire to foster in teacher candidates the same dispositions I hope they will foster in their students: (1) an intrinsic desire to learn; (2) independence in learning; (3) honest and accurate reflection and self-evaluation; and (4) the development of critical thinking, including a disposition to question. For aspiring teachers in elementary education I add a fifth goal: new elementary school teachers should enter their first job knowing how to teach reading. In my classes, I model the activities, attitudes, and grouping structures that are highly effective in cultivating the above goals and dispositions among students in K-12 classrooms. Through in-class activities and assignments, I strive to disrupt unexamined, naive assumptions about literacy learning and teaching.