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WLU Lifetime Membership Award
2019 Award Winner: Constance Weaver In Memoriam
The Whole Language Umbrella presents the 2019 Lifetime Membership Award posthumously to Dr. Constance (Connie) S. Weaver, an internationally renowned educator and professor emerita of English at Western Michigan University. Dr. Weaver’s lifelong expertise covered such topics as grammar instruction; literacy; reading and writing theory; miscue analysis; and learning theory, particularly whole language theory. In addition to her knowledge about applied linguistics, Connie also researched the theoretical reconceptualization of dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other learning disabilities.
Following her retirement after 39 years of service at Western Michigan University, Dr. Weaver joined the faculty of Miami University in Ohio as a professor of teacher education from 2009 to 2014 where she held an endowed chair in reading and language arts.
Dr. Weaver was also the author, or co-author, of over a dozen books during her career to include the popular Reading Process and Practice, 3rd Edition that continues to be used in Literacy Education certification programs throughout the country and around the world. This is also true for her classic text Teaching Grammar in Context published in 1996. In addition, Grammar for Teachers remains an all-time best seller for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Dr. Weaver’s expertise in grammar also led her to assisting the Michigan Department of Education during their efforts to revise their grammar curriculum throughout the state. During this time, she also served three terms on the NCTE Commission on Reading that included one term as director.
For nearly five decades, Dr. Weaver worked to develop better understandings about reading and writing and how to best support our children’s growing proficiency in these curriculum areas. Her innovative scholarship and research added greatly to theories of reading, writing and learning, particularly to improving our understanding of whole language theory and practice during times of challenge to this theoretical model. The fact sheets that she developed about these theories and practices during the early 1990s contributed to those that remain available here: https://www.celtlink.org/celt-fact-sheets.
Fittingly, the essence of Dr. Connie Weaver’s research remains as an integral part of our current Whole Language Beliefs that can be viewed here: http://www2.ncte.org/groups/wlu/beliefs/. We remain grateful to Connie for her scholarship and research that sponsored the significant contributions that she made to the field of education, and in particular, to a clearer understanding of Whole Language.
Nomination Deadline: April 1
Purpose: The award is presented to a member who has, throughout his/her career, made an outstanding contribution to whole language in general and/or the Whole Language Umbrella in particular.
Award Criteria: The overall profile of the person will be considered with key consideration given to career accomplishments demonstrated through a variety of means. Contributions considered are:
- setting in place organizational structures;
- founding TAWL groups;
- serving on the WLU Executive Board;
- serving as a leader of an Interest Action Group;
- facilitating conference organization;
- long term commitment in speaking to and working with TAWL groups and WLU.
Award Specifics: The recipient receives a plaque and lifetime WLU/NCTE membership presented by the WLU President at the Opening Sessions during the Literacies for All Summer Institute.
Judging: The award is presented at the discretion of the WLU Executive Board and at the recommendation of the Awards Committee. No more than one such award will be given in any year, and there may by years when no award is given.Nomination Form
WLU Lifetime Membership Award Recipients
2017 Kathryn Mitchell Pierce, Saint Louis University, Missouri
2016 Debra Goodman, Hofstra University, Hempsted, New York
2015 Don Holdaway, author
2014 Richard Meyer, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque