Sullivan Hall Room 413
Monday 7 - 8 p.m.
Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. (Staten Island)
Wednesday 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Robertson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Services and Counseling in the School of Education at St. John’s University. She teaches in the Graduate Literacy Program. Her current research explores students’ perception of self-efficacy and early reading and writing development, and the integration of inquiry based instruction and action research projects to support students’ critical thinking in the elementary grades. Courses taught include Language Acquisition and Emergent Literacy and Teaching Literacy Through Literature. She also coordinates an annual summer institute entitled Emergent Literacy Within a Constructivist Social Context. Dr. Robertson’s research agenda revolves around the concept of optimal learning environments for all children. She has focused her attention upon issues related to early childhood and student diversity (cultural, linguistic, cognitive, and physical). Dr. Robertson is currently exploring second language learners’ reading and writing development, and identifying strategies that facilitate or impede their literacy learning. She appeared on an ABC television special entitled “The Reading Revolution” in September, 2003. In addition to her University responsibilities, Dr. Robertson works with school districts (Freeport and Eastern Suffolk Boces) and teachers (Diocese of New York, Greek Archdiocese of America, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre) to provide staff development for primary teachers in reading and writing instruction, and “project approaches” to content area instruction. In 2007, she coauthored her first text entitled Engaging Readers and Writers in Reflective and Authentic Literacy Practices.
Last year, she began a three year project to create a library for an orphan’s home in Kenya, Africa. To this end, School of Education students gathered, categorized, and shipped 1,200 picture books to the children and their caregivers in the spring of 2007. In the Vincentian tradition this project embodies “compassionate concern,” and “fosters a world view and furthers efforts towards harmony and development.”
University-Diocese of Brooklyn Partnership
A member of and consultant for the Brooklyn Diocese's Early Childhood Task Force, established in the spring of 2012, to reconceptualize and enrich the preschool contexts of Queen of the Rosary Academy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and St. Nicholas in Bushwick, Brooklyn. In this capacity drafted the initial child development center proposal and continue to provide expertise drafting the curricular frameworks and providing staff development.
Concurrently In collaboration with teachers, staff, and administrators at Immaculate Conception Elementary School, in Jamaica, Queens, and with Dr. Smita Guha, Early Childhood Program, St. John's University, establishing two optimal Child Development Centers for four-year-olds.
Advisory board Member for the Archdiocese of New York’s Early Childhood Teaching and LearningCenter
2000 – Present - Consultant to the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s teachers in writing workshop approaches in the primary grades.
2006 – 2008 – Completed a three-year project to create a library for the Caroline W. Mungai Orphanage and Primary School in Wangige, Kenya. Collected and shipped over 10,200 books to the children and their caretakers.
May, 2008 – Teaching Excellence and Scholarship Award, St. John’sUniversity
President Elect of the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University, an organization dedicated to serving the marginalized populations of the world, with special emphasis upon the needs of women and children.
Current writing and research explores the concept of bibliotherapy, or having students read books related to real life situations, to dispel fears, work through problems, and resolve conflicting emotions. Specifically, exploring children’s books depicting grandparents or relatives who have developed Alzheimer’s disease and the ways students begin to empathize and understand the characters, as well as gain insights into the implications of this condition for their own families.