Shireen Al-Adeimi

MA in Educational Studies: Teaching and Learning

Student status: Alum, graduated 2012

Geographic region of origin: Yemen/Canada

Education prior to Ed Studies MA: Western University, Bachelor of Arts

Prior to joining the program: 

Prior to enrolling at Michigan, I completed my teacher training at Western University in London, Canada and subsequently worked as a Language Arts teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Why the Teaching & Learning program? 

As a teacher, I hoped that enrolling in this program would equip me with the skills necessary to improve my students’ literacy outcomes, as well as learn about the research foundations upon which these skills are based. As such, I was attracted to the University of Michigan because of the balanced approach between research and practice that the program offered. I was also interested in the possibility of pursuing research at the graduate level, so I hoped that my time at Michigan would help me make decisions about my future career path.


Given my interest in conducting research, I joined Dr. Mary Schleppegrell’s Language and Meaning research team where I helped collect data at various school sites in Detroit, and gained experience in analyzing data. The work resulted in a co-authored chapter with Dr. Schleppegrell’s research team; but more broadly, it solidified my interest in research and compelled me to apply to doctoral programs in language and literacy.

Individualized course of study: 

Courses I chose included:

When choosing my courses, I tried to choose that would address four areas of interest:

  1. The wider educational context in the United States: Foundational Perspectives on Educational Reform
  2. Theoretical background in language and literacy: Language and Learning in Home and School Settings; Developmental and Psychological Perspectives on Education
  3. Research methods: Research and Educational Practice; Data Collection Methods
  4. Practice-based skills: Curriculum Development and Education; Instructional Coaching; Contemporary Perspectives on Literacy Research

Highlights of the Michigan experience:

While I enjoyed many aspects of my time at Michigan (e.g. the ability to conduct research, the flexibility of the program, etc.), the best part about being at Michigan was the relationships I built with professors and other graduate students. I gained invaluable advising from Dr. Schlelppegrell and Dr. Palincsar as well as mentorship from doctoral students at the school. My year at Michigan helped shape my future academic trajectory as it helped me determine my interest in pursuing doctoral work on topics that I began thinking about as a result of being in the Teaching and Learning program at the University of Michigan. I have fond memories of my time at Michigan and have remained in close contact with my advisors, friends, and colleagues since graduation.

Life after U-M:

After my year at U-M, I enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I’ve been conducting research on improving students’ writing outcomes through academic language development and whole-class, dialogic discussion. I also taught a class on linguistic diversity, and am currently teaching a class on preparing future educators to work with English language learners.

Shireen invites prospective students to contact her with any questions about the program or completing a master's degree en route to doctoral study.

Al-Adeimi’s program of study: