Meet Our Faculty

Maureen Spelman, Ed.D.

Maureen Spelman

Associate Professor

Email: spelman@sxu.edu

Areas of Specialization

Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy, Special Education


Dr. Spelman holds a M. Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University Chicago as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in reading from Saint Xavier University. In 2006, she earned an Ed. D. in curriculum and instruction with cognates in reading and special education from Loyola University Chicago. She has been privileged to serve as a professional educator in various capacities. In the field, her professional roles have included: elementary classroom teacher, junior high school teacher and department chair, primary level reading specialist, and elementary school principal. She has worked in both parochial and public schools in the Chicagoland area. During her time at Saint Xavier University, Dr. Spelman has been an adjunct instructor, assistant professorial lecturer, professional development consultant, literacy coach, assistant professor and associate professor. The overarching vision that has guided her journey as a professional educator has been one of ensuring that all children have access to high-quality teaching and learning.

Dr. Spelman’s experiences as an educational practitioner have served both to inform and lay the foundation for her current work in higher education. Since coming to work at the university level, her scholarly work has centered on that same overarching vision, which she continues to examine through the lens of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Working in higher education has provided opportunities to engage in teaching, service and scholarship activities ranging from pre-service teacher preparation at one end of the continuum, to supporting professional teachers seeking advance degrees, as well as supporting the professional development of professional educators in the field.

Dr. Spelman’s current service and research activities primarily examine effective teacher preparation programs, recent trends in professional development practices, research-based instructional strategies, data driven interventions and instruction, as well as current educational reform movements. This work has required that she examine and bridge both theory and practice in the field of education. Her intellectual project is to help renew the field of teaching as she works with both pre-service and in-service professional educators. Her particular focus has been serving professional educators in Catholic elementary schools. This has led Dr. Spelman to engage in numerous grant-writing activities that have enabled her to bring her vision to urban, high-needs partner schools. She has been fortunate to receive funding from several sources, such as the Big Shoulders Fund and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, that have supported her work with Catholic elementary school partners; these generous foundations have allowed Dr. Spelman to engage both SXU colleagues as well as SXU students in serving schools and children at-risk for failure.

Courses Offered

Curriculum and Instruction Program

Elementary Education Program

Selected Publications

Rohlwing, R. , & Spelman, M. (in press). Characteristics of adult learning: Implications for the design and implementation of professional development programs. In L. Martin, S. Kragler, K. Bauserman, & D. Quatroche (Eds.)  Handbook of professional development in education: Successful models and practices, PreK-12. New York: Guilford Press.

Spelman, M. & Rohlwing, R. (2013). The Relationship between Professional Development and Teacher Learning: Three Illustrative Case Studies of Urban Teachers. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching. 6(1), (pp 149-164) LaJolla, CA: National University Publications.

Spelman, M. & Bell, D. (2012). Transforming Literacy Instruction in Urban Settings: Combining Professional Development and Instructional Coaching to Improve Student Achievement. In Martin, L., Boggs, M., Szabo, S., & Morrison, T. (Eds.), Joy of teaching: ALER 34th Yearbook (pp 149-168). Texas A&M: Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers.

Oszakiewski, H. & Spelman, M. (2011). The reading/writing workshop: An approach to improving literacy achievement and independent literacy habits. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 39(2), 13-26.

Bell, D., Spelman, M., Mackley, H., & Zhao, L. (2009). The teacher work sample: Candidate and mentor perceptions. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, Volume 22(2), 27-37.

Spelman, M.V. (2007). From policy to practice: A case study of initial certification reforms in three private university schools of education. Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 2(1), 61-69.

Selected Honors