Dena Zook-Howell has been working with the Institute for Learning since 2005, and is a part-time Fellow with the English Language Arts Team. Having taught first grade through high school, Dena has worked in both elementary and secondary ELA capacities with such districts as Los Angeles Unified, New York City (various regions/districts), Guilford, CT, Prince George’s County, MD, and Paterson, NJ. Dena graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from Columbia Union College and has graduate degrees in the areas of Reading (University of Maryland), Special Education (Providence College), and Administration (University of Rhode Island).
A teacher at heart, Dena was in the classroom for 13 years before becoming a Literacy Coach in 2000. Her focus on embedded professional development led her to work at both the school level and district level in the Providence Public Schools in Rhode Island, and in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. She has shared her love of practice-based professional development in her Content-Focused Coaching® (CFC) work with IFL.
Her work with the Institute includes designing and implementing professional development that deepens conceptual understanding of literacy processes for students and expands teacher knowledge bases for content and pedagogy, linking rigorous literacy instruction to effective use of the CFC model to support teachers, and developing curriculum materials that assist teachers to enact the Principles of Learning in their literacy instruction.