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Sarah Fischer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Literacy Education



(717) 796-1800 x2270

Interest and areas of expertise

• Intersections of reader identity and theories of place
• Emergent literacy practice
• Marginalia
• Texts for children

  • Ph.D., Penn State University, 2015
    Curriculum and Instruction; Concentration: Language, Culture, and Society
  • M.Ed., Penn State University, 2012
    Curriculum and Instruction; Concentration: Children’s Literature
  • B.S., Penn State University, 2008
    Kindergarten and Elementary Education
Classes I teach
  • EDUC 226: Children’s Literature
  • EDUC 301: Literacy: Climate, Curriculum and Instruction I
  • EDUC 302: Literacy: Climate, Curriculum and Instruction II
  • EDUC 330: Instructional Design and Assessment

When I was a student in high school, I was certain that I wanted to be a psychiatrist. However, I had a teacher who encouraged all of his students to get out into the community and learn about various professions firsthand. He would organize fieldtrips for us and set up meetings with community members. Interestingly, we never met with teachers or administrators about the field of education, but the role my teacher played in designing these learning experiences around each of us as individuals made me realize how much of an impact teachers had made on my life. I chose to become an elementary teacher, because I value the opportunity to teach all disciplines and am very interested in the ways children choose to use their increasing independence to explore the world around them at this age.  

Exploring new and familiar places with my family, running and hiking, kayaking, reading, watching Angela Lansbury movies and collecting Little Golden Books

Research and Publications

Book Chapters

Fischer, S. (2016).  The hidden curriculum in room 10: School mythology and professional identity negotiation in the Miss Malarkey picture book series. In M. Shoffner (Ed.), Saviors, Scapegoats, and Schoolmarms: Examining the Classroom Teacher in Fiction and Film for Teacher Education. New York, NY: Routledge.

Fischer, S. (2015). Re-storying “progress” through familial curriculum making: Toward a husbandry of rooted lives. In P. L. Thomas, P. Carr, J. Gorlewski, & B. Porfilio (Eds.), Pedagogies of kindness and respect: On the lives and education of children. New York, NY: Peter Lang.


Fischer, S. (2017). Reading with a crayon: Pre-conventional marginalia as reader response in early childhood. Children’s Literature in Education. (Forthcoming)

Fischer, S. (2015). Playing in literary landscapes: Considering children’s need for imaginative literature in place-based education. Bank Street Occasional Papers Series, 33. Retrieved from


Fischer, S., Gehman, M. & Harris, J. (October 2016). I’m a reader, too! Teacher websites that inspire lifelong reading. Presented at the 2016 Keystone State Reading Association annual meeting: Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.

Fischer, S. (November 2015).  Children’s greeting cards and the commercialization of sentiment. Paper presented at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association annual meeting: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Fischer, S.  ( May 2015). Pre-conventional marginalia: Young children as annotators of reading experience. Paper presented at the Eleventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Fischer, S. (2014, October). Literacy in the place-conscious classroom.  Presented via Penn State’s EdLion.