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San Diego State University

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Marva Cappello, Associate Professor

Office: EBA 215
Phone: 619.594.1322

Professional Biography

Marva Cappello, Ph.D is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education where she teaches courses in literacy methods and assessment as well as qualitative research methods at the credential, masters, and doctoral levels as well as advises doctoral students in the joint SDSU/Clairmont program. Dr. Cappello coordinated the district/university partnership at a Professional Development School in Chula Vista for 10 years. Her overseas teaching experiences include instruction in Innovations in Instruction and Curriculum Development for SDSU students in American Samoa. Dr. Cappello’s publication history includes work focusing on the process and products of young children's writing. Her most recent research focuses on using visuals to support English language development and meeting the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts, as well as the use of visuals to support qualitative inquiry.  

Education (degrees earned)

Ph.D. Education, University of Southern California August 2000, Language, Literacy & Learning
Dissertation: Authenticity, Appropriation and Voice: One Primary Classroom’s Writing Experiences  

M.S. Education, City University of New York, Hunter College August 1992 , New York, Elementary Education, Concentration in Reading

Bachelor of Fine Art, Rochester Institute of Technology, August 1984, Rochester, New York, Major-Photography, Minor-Literature  

Professional leadership activities and honors

Dr. Cappello has served as co-editor of Literacy Teaching and Learning: An International Journal of Early Reading and Writing, and is currently on the editorial board of Language Arts. She also serves as an Institutional Delegate representing San Diego State University at the California Commission for Teacher Education.  

Grant History

National Endowment of the Arts. (2011-2012) Museum of Photographic Arts consortium partner grant to support the CARE program. (participant)

Cappello, M. (2006). A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Visuals and Visual Literacy in Fourth Graders’ Content Area Comprehension. University Grants Program, San Diego State University.

Cappello, M. (2006). The Impact of the Visual Thinking Strategy on Fourth Graders Literacy and Science Learning. Emerging Trends: San Diego State University. Cappello, M. (2003). The utility of the photo-interview for accessing children’s perceptions about writing. Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: San Diego State University

Cappello, M. (2002). The impact of preservice instruction on student teacher’s decisions about content area comprehension strategies in elementary schools. Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: San Diego State University

Selected publications

Cappello, M. (2011). Photography for teacher preparation in literacy: Innovations in instruction.  Issues in Teacher Education, 20 (1), 95-108.

Cappello, M. & Moss, B. (eds.) (2010). Contemporary readings in literacy education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cappello, M. & Hollingsworth, S. (2008). Literacy inquiry and pedagogy through a photographic lens. Language Arts, 85 (6), 442-449.

Lapp, D., Frey, N., Fisher, D., Moore, K., Cappello, M. (2008). Traditional vs. online literacy methods courses: Comparing student teachers’ understandings and applications.  The Reading Professor, 30 (1), 34-38.

Cappello, M. (2006). Under construction: Voice and identity development in writing workshop. Language Arts, 83(6), 478-487.

Cappello, M. (2005). Supporting independent writing: A continuum of writing instruction. California Reader, 39 (2), 38-46.

Cappello, M. (2005) Photo interviews: Eliciting data through conversations with children. Field Methods, 17(2), 170-182.

Cappello, M.,& Farnan, N. (2005). Truth #7: Teacher preparation programs situate school curricula in the larger context of teaching and learning. In S.D. Lenski, D. Grisham, & L. Wold (Eds.) Literacy Teacher Preparation: Ten Truths Teacher Educators Need to Know. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. 64-75.  

Courses Taught

  • Literacy Methods and Assessments, Student Teaching Seminar and Team Leading (Credential)
  • Innovations in Instruction, Children’s Literature,Curriculum Design, Literacy Assessment (Masters)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Doctoral) 

Recommended links

Will Common Core Curriculum Clear The Way for Arts In Schools?