Faculty: Paul Ricks
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Office: 201-N MCKB
I’m originally from the ever-exotic Winslow, Arizona, a little town on the edge of the Navajo and Hopi tribal lands. No worries if you haven’t heard of the place, but if you’re a fan of old school rock music then it will perhaps ring a bell. Also, I studied Portuguese and Elementary Education as an undergraduate, which later led to international and stateside teaching opportunities in university and elementary settings. After teaching in fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms for seven years (it smelled like a lot of puberty, but it was an absolute blast), I eventually went back to grad school at another smallish town, State College, PA, where I worked with Dr. Yenika-Agbaw at Penn State.
My wife Stephanie and I have three little boys who keep things pretty interesting/exciting at our place. For those who may wonder, I’m a Ravenclaw, Steph is a Hufflepuff, and we just found out that our eldest is a Slytherin. The youngest two have yet to be sorted, but as ours is already a house divided, I imagine we’re in for a wild ride.
As a children’s and YA literature specialist, I like to think that my courses help readers to rediscover a love for reading. I feel like we educators often do ourselves a great disservice by taking something that is inherently beautiful/approachable/liberating, such as literature, and making it altogether quite painful. My hope, however, is that my courses do something to alleviate that unnecessary pain and suffering, and instead serve as means for learners to reframe how they position themselves as active participants in the reading process.
I teach about the artistry involved in the creation of texts for young readers, I teach about how children’s literature can and must be taken seriously, and I teach about how our engagements with literature—specifically children’s literature—help us to better understand ourselves and each other.
Critical analysis (e.g., postcolonial, critical multicultural, critical race) of texts for young readers
How read-aloud discussions enhance and/or take away from readers’ transactions with texts
The joys and productive discomforts of working with translated texts
How readers make meaning through the interanimation of written words and illustrations in picturebooks
Playing Tug of War: The Tensions of Teacher Candidates and Their Instructor During Interactive Picturebook Read-Alouds
- Authors: Ricks, Paul Hancock; Yenika-Agbaw, Vivian
- Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal
Interrogating whiteness: A critical content analysis of notable picture books recommended by the National Council for the Social Studies
- Authors: Gates, Jacob; Ricks, Paul ; Rodriguez-Astacio, Rene
- Publication Type: Book, Chapter/ Section in Scholarly Book