All of Dr. Al Hazza's professional interest rise from a unique collision of forces of being the child of Western European parents in middle America and her later formative experiences traveling and working across the globe. Dr. Tami Craft Al-Hazza, Associate Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture, specializes in the examination of the interplay between the early literary experiences of youngsters and their acquisition of literacy skills and inclinations which leads to broad reading interests. She has more than twenty-five years of experience teaching in pk-12 and higher education both in this country and abroad. Her early experiences in elementary and middle school in the roles of classroom teacher, ESL teacher, and as a reading specialist prepared her for her present role in teacher training. These formative teaching experiences, moreover, includes living and teaching extensively in the Middle East where, among other roles, she taught at the American School in Kuwait and served as teaching faculty at Kuwait University.Given her interests in the impact of early literacy experiences of young people, Dr. Al-Hazza's research interests focus on the impact of representative works of world literature from many cultures, but she explores the particular features of Middle East literature as it occurs in this country. Placed in the context of her interests in minority children, she has explored the potential role of Middle Eastern literature on children's perception of other cultures including dimensions of Arab narratives within the world perspective as they take form among young readers. She is author of one book on teaching pedagogies which appropriately introduce young learners to Middle East literature titled, Books About the Middle East: Selecting and Using Them with Children and Adolescents, and she has published numerous articles on related issues involving the impact of reading experiences on children's world views and self-efficacy. A second dimension of Dr. Al-Hazza's research focuses on the issue of motivating readers. Her most recent investigations examine preservice teachers' reading and digital practices and their motivation to read. These research endeavors are documented in such journals as The Reading Teacher, Childhood Education, Middle School Journal, Preventing School Failure, and Multicultural Perspectives. Augmenting this research agenda, she is also exploring the use of iPads in the classroom to bridge the gap between students' private literacies and the literacy demands within educational settings. Dr. Al-Hazza has received numerous teaching awards, including Outstanding Teaching Award, Kuwait University, and Most Inspirational Faculty Member Award at Old Dominion University. She has delivered keynote addresses, such as the national conference at Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Discovering the Middle East through Literature and Poetry at the University of Illinois, and the Kuwait Student Union Annual Conference. Finally, she has been a co-recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Award, which recognizes an article which makes a significant contribution to the professional literature concerning multicultural literary experiences for youth.
- Middle East Literature - Teacher's Early Literacy Environments-Pleasure Reading