Dr. Sylvia Pantaleo

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Dr. Sylvia Pantaleo

Professor, Language & Literacies

PhD (Elementary Education), University of Alberta

MA (Curriculum & Instruction), University of Calgary

BEd (Elementary Education), Queen's University

BA (Psychology & Sociology), University of Guelph

(Early Childhood Education), Fanshawe College

Office:  MacLaurin A364

Phone:  250-721-7845

Email:  

About me

My 12 years of elementary and middle school teaching experience inform my university teaching and program of research. An Elva Knight Award from the International Reading Association in 2002, SSHRC grants in 2003 and 2006, and a University of Victoria, SSHRC General Research Grant in 2012 have supported my research. During my numerous studies, I have worked collaboratively with teachers and students in Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 classrooms. Participation in the research has afforded the students with opportunities to develop their narrative competence, literary understanding, and visual meaning-making skills and competencies by reading and discussing a selection of sophisticated picturebooks and graphic novels, as well as other formats of multimodal text. In addition, during several of the classroom-based studies, the students have had opportunities to apply and transform their knowledge by designing and composing their own multimodal print texts.

My area(s) of focus are:

  • Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • Student response to literature
  • Literature-based literacy programs
  • Language and Literacies education
  • Visual Literacy
  • Multimodality

Teaching

University Teaching Experience
July 2001–present University of Victoria
Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
July 1997–June 2001 Queen’s University
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education
August 1995–June 1997 Montana State University - Billings
Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education and Reading
1995 (Summer) University of Calgary
Sessional Instructor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
1995 (Winter) University of Alberta
Sessional Instructor, University Practicum; Facilitator and Research Assistant, Department of Elementary Education
1994 (Summer) Okanagan University College
College Professor, Department of Elementary Education
1993–1994 University of Alberta
Sessional Instructor, Department of Elementary Education
1993 (Summer) Okanagan University College
College Professor, Department of Elementary Education
1992–1993 University of Alberta
University Practicum Facilitator, Department of Elementary Education
1990–1991 University of Calgary
Sessional Instructor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Classroom Teaching Experience
Sept. 1994–Dec. 1994 Westglen Middle School, Didsbury, AB
Special Education, Grades 5–8
1988–1992 Olds Elementary, Olds, AB
Grades 4, 5, and 6
1985–Dec. 1987 Sundre Elementary School, Sundre, AB
Grade 3
1982–1985 Carbon School, Carbon, AB
Grades 3 and 5
1981–1982 McLeese Lake Public School, McLeese Lake, BC
Grades 4/5
1980–1981 Buffalo Head Prairie School, Buffalo Head Prairie, AB
Grade 1

Writing

Articles Published in Refereed Journals 2014-2020

Pantaleo, S. (2020). Slow looking: “Reading picturebooks takes time.” Literacy, 54(1), 40-48.

Pantaleo, S. (2019a). Creativity and elementary students’ multimodal narrative representations. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 42(1), 17-27.

Pantaleo, S. (2019b). Exploring metalepsis in Snappsy the alligator (Did not ask to be in this book!). Journal of Children’s Literature, 45(1), 15-25.

Pantaleo, S. (2019c). Metalepsis in elementary students’ multimodal narrative representations. Research in the Teaching of English, 54(1), 8-30.

Pantaleo, S. (2019d). The meaning-making affordances of composing print and digital graphic narratives. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 47(4), 437-449.

Pantaleo, S. (2019e). The semantic and syntactic qualities of paneling in students’ graphic narratives. Visual Communication, 18(1), 55-81.

Pantaleo, S. (2019f). Studio habits of mind, picturebooks and student multimodal ensembles. Ubiquity: The Journal of Literature, Literacy, and the Arts, 6(2),

Pantaleo, S. (2018a). Elementary students’ analytical responses about David Wiesner’s TheThree Pigs. New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, 24(2), 167-188.

Pantaleo, S. (2018b). Elementary students’ meaning-making of graphic novels. Language and Education, 32(3), 242-256.

Pantaleo, S. (2018c). Learning through and about picturebook artwork. The Reading Teacher, 71(5), 557-567.

Pantaleo, S. (2017a). Critical thinking and young children’s exploration of picturebook artwork. Language and Education, 32(2), 152-168.

Pantaleo, S. (2017b). Exploring the artwork in young students’ multimodal compositions. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education. 45(1), 17-35.

Pantaleo, S., & Walker, G. (2017). Exploring the artwork of Peter Brown’s Mr. Tiger goes wild. Journal of Children’s Literature, 43(1), 38-47.

Pantaleo, S. (2016a). Primary students transgress storyworld boundaries in their multimodal compositions. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(2), 237-251.

Pantaleo, S. (2016b). Primary students’ understanding and appreciation of the artwork in picturebooks. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 16(2), 228-255.

Pantaleo, S. (2016c). Teacher expectations and student literacy engagement and achievement.Literacy, 50(2), 83-92.

Pantaleo, S. (2015a). Language, literacy and visual texts. English in Education, 49(2), 113-129.

Pantaleo, S. (2015b). The intentionality of design in one middle years student’s multimodaltext. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 6 (4), 398-418.

Pantaleo, S. (2014a). Elementary students consider the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of typography in picturebooks. New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, 20(2), 144-166.

Pantaleo, S. (2014b). Exploring the artwork in picturebooks with middle years students. Journal of Children’s Literature, 40(1), 15-26.

Pantaleo, S. (2014c). Reading images in graphic novels: Taking students to a “greater thinking level.” English in Australia, 49(1), 38-52.

Pantaleo, S. (2014d). The metafictive nature of postmodern picturebooks. The Reading Teacher, 67(5), 324-332.



Books

Bainbridge, J., & Pantaleo, S. (1999). Learning with literature in the Canadian elementary classroom. Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press & Duval House Publishing.

Pantaleo, S. (2008). Exploring student response to contemporary picturebooks. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Sipe, L., & Pantaleo, S. (Eds.). (2008). Postmodern picturebooks: Play, parody, and self-referentiality. New York: Routledge.


Selected Chapters in Books

Pantaleo, S. (2018). Paratexts in picturebooks. In B. Kümmerling-Meibauer (Ed.), Routledge companion to picturebooks (pp. 38-48). London, UK: Routledge.

Pantaleo, S. (2017). What are postmodern picturebooks? In M. Martinez, C. Temple & J. Yokota (Eds.), Thinking and learning through children’s literature (pp. 46-47).  New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

Pantaleo, S. (2015). Filling in the gaps: Exploring the writerly metaphors in Shaun Tan’s The red tree. In J. Evans (Ed.), Challenging and controversial picturebooks: Creative and critical responses to visual texts (pp. 225-242). London, UK: Routledge.

Pantaleo, S. (2012). Exploring grade 7 students’ responses to Shaun Tan’s The red tree. In M. Mackey (Ed.), Picturebooks and literary understanding in honour of Lawrence Sipe (pp. 51-71). New York, NY: Springer. (Published originally as an article in 2012 in Children’s Literature in Education 

Pantaleo, S. (2011a). An ecological perspective on the socially embedded nature of reading and writing. In K. Pahl & J. Roswell (Eds.), Early childhood literacy: Volume IV: New directions in early literacy policy and practice (pp. 115-136). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (Published originally as an article in 2009 in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy)

Pantaleo, S. (2010a). Contemporary picturebooks with radical change characteristics. In M. C. Courtland & T. Gambell (Eds.) Literature, media, and multiliteracies in adolescent language arts classrooms (pp. 103 -125). Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

Pantaleo, S. (2009b). Exploring children's responses to the postmodern picturebook, Who’s afraid of the big bad book? In J. Evans (Ed.), Talking beyond the page: Reading and responding to picturebooks (pp. 44-61). London: Routledge.

Pantaleo, S. (2008a). Ed Vere’s The getaway: Starring a postmodern cheese thief. In L. Sipe & S. Pantaleo (Eds.), Postmodern picturebooks: Play, parody, and self- referentiality (pp. 238-255). New York: Routledge.

Pantaleo, S. (Guest Ed.). (2001a). Integrating literature throughout the curriculum. In C. Cornet & K. Smithrim, The arts as meaning makers: Integrating literature and the arts throughout the curriculum (Canadian edition) (pp. 63-114). Toronto: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Pantaleo, S. (Guest Ed.). (2001b). Literature seed strategies. In C. Cornet & K. Smithrim, The arts as meaning makers: Integrating literature and the arts throughout the curriculum (Canadian edition) (pp. 115-132). Toronto: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Pantaleo, S., & Sipe, L. (2008). Postmodernism and picturebooks. In L. Sipe & S. Pantaleo (Eds.), Postmodern picturebooks: Play, parody, and self-referentiality (pp. 1-8). New York: Routledge.

Research

Previous and Ongoing Research Projects:
Title of Research: Thinking Critically About and With Multimodal Texts
Status of Research: Completed (2019)

Over a two-year period, two studies were conducted with three classes of elementary students in two different schools.  The exploratory studies focused on the development of students' visual meaning-making skills and competencies through pedagogy on elements of visual art and design in picturebooks and graphic novels.  An overarching goal of the research was to develop students' critical thinking and aesthetic understanding through an examination of multimodal texts.


Title of Research: Developing Students' Visual and Narrative Meaning-Making Knowledge and Competences
Status of Research: Completed (2017)

This study explored the development of Grade 4 students' understanding, analysis and interpretation of elements of visual art and design in picturebooks.  The goals of the research also focused on extending students' narrative competence through a focus on metafictive literature, and developing students' critical thinking and aesthetic understanding through an examination of multimodal texts.


Title of Research: Thinking Critically About and With Multimodal Texts
Status of Research: Completed (2016)

This study explored the development of Grade 4 students' understanding, analysis and interpretation of elements of visual art and design in picturebooks and graphic novels.


Title of Research: Primary Grade Students Explore the Artwork of Picturebooks
Status of Research: Completed (2015)

This study explored the development of Grade 2 students' understanding, analysis and interpretation of elements of visual art and design in picturebooks.   


Title of Research: Primary Grade Students Explore the Artwork and Story Structure of Picturebooks
Status of Research: Completed (2014)

This study explored the development of Grades 2/3 students' understanding, analysis and interpretation of elements of visual art and design and narrative structures in picturebooks.  


Source: University of Victoria, SSHRC General Research Grant
Year Awarded: 2012 (April)
Title of Research: Meaning-Making as a Process of Design
Status of Research: Completed

This study explored how to develop middle school students' visual meaning-making skills and competencies by focusing specifically on elements of visual art and design in picturebooks, graphic novels, magazines and web pages.


Source: SSHRC
Year Awarded: 2006 (April)
Title of Research: Reading and Writing Interactive Texts
Status of Research: Completed

The 2006 SSHRC grant enabled me to further my classroom-based research with contemporary picturebooks. During two years of the research I worked with two teachers and their Grades 3 and 4 students. The studies focused on how elementary students responded to the metafictive character in postmodern picturebooks, and how the students used their knowledge of metafiction in creating their own print texts. During the research I did not use the term metafiction with the students and instead referred to the literary and illustrative devices used in the picturebooks as interactive devices to emphasize the participatory and co-constructing roles required of readers.

During the third year of the research, I worked with a teacher and her Grade 7 students. The research project, which was 10 weeks in duration, explored how developing students’ knowledge of literary and illustrative elements affects their understanding, interpretation and analysis of picturebooks and graphic novels, and the subsequent creation of their own print texts. Specifically, by participating in the research, the Grade 7 students had opportunities to develop their understanding and appreciation of the techniques that authors and illustrators use when creating picturebooks and graphic novels. As well as learning about various metafictive devices, the students were introduced to some illustrative techniques and art elements, and to a few compositional principles of graphic novels.


Source: SSHRC
Year Awarded: 2003
Title of Research: Adolescent Literacy Practices in an Era of Radical Change
Status of Research: Completed

This research explored children's and adolescents' understanding of postmodern texts, specifically texts with Radical Change characteristics, and identified teaching and learning practices that facilitated the development of multi-literacy skills.


Source: University of Victoria, Office of the Vice-President, Research
Year Awrarded: 2002 (September)
Title of Research: Adolescent Literacy and Radical Change Texts
Status of Research: Completed

The study explored Grade 8 students' oral and written responses to literature with Radical Change characteristics.


Source: International Reading Association, Elva Knight Award
Year Awarded: 2002 (May)
Title of Research: Constructing Literary Understandings: Grade 1 Students Respond to Picture Storybook Read-Alouds
Status of Research: Completed

The study explored Grade 1 students' oral, written and artistic responses to picture storybooks with metafictive devices.


Source: University of Victoria, Office of the Vice-President, Research
Year Awarded: 2001 (September)
Title of Research: Exploring the Oral, Written and Artistic Responses of Grade 1 Students to Picture Storybooks
Status of Research: Completed

The study explored Grade 1 students’ oral, written and artistic responses to picture storybooks.

Conferences

Conference Presentations 2014-2020

2020

Pantaleo, S. The need for slow looking. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, Denver, CO. Conference cancelled COVID-19.

2016

Pantaleo, S. Developing student narrative competence. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

2015

Pantaleo, S. Reading the artwork in picturebooks. Saskatchewan Reading Conference, Regina, SK.

2015

Pantaleo, S. Reading the medium of comics in graphic novels. Saskatchewan Reading Conference, Regina, SK.

2014

Pantaleo, S. Learning about and with picturebooks. International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

2014

Pantaleo, S., Roser, N., Martinez, M., Greeter, E., & O’Neal, S. Books that set young children talking (and why they do). International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

2014

Serafini, F., Pantaleo, S., & Youngs, S. Reading picturebooks closely: Developing strategies for comprehending multimodal texts. International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Workshops

Professional Workshop Presentations 2014-2020
2019

Graphic Novels: Much to See, Much to Learn, Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable, Victoria, BC

2018

Talking About the Art of Picturebooks. International Education, Division of Continuing Studies, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

2018

Learning About and With Picturebooks in Grades 3-7, Sooke Teachers’ Association Professional Development Conference, Belmont High School, Langford, BC

2016

Exploring Diverse Narrative Structures in Picturebooks, Sooke Teachers’ Primary Teachers Association & Sooke Teachers’ Association Elementary K-5 Conference, Royal Bay High School, Langford, BC

2015

The Art of Picturebooks, School District #61 Primary Teachers’ Association Conference, School District #61, Torquay Elementary School, Victoria, BC

2015

Wordless picturebooks: Visual storytelling extraordinaire, Gulf Island School District #64, Salt Spring Island, BC

2014

Talking and learning about the playful nature of metafictive picturebooks, Kindergarten and Primary Institute 2014: Optimal Environments for Teaching and Learning, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

2014

Picturebooks, visual literacy and narrative competence, Sooke Primary Teachers’ Association Conference, School District #62, Happy Valley Elementary School, Langford, BC

Awards

2011   University of Victoria Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award

1998   Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers Award Recipient

1994   University of Alberta–Mary Louise Imrie Graduate Student Award

1993   University of Alberta–Ph.D. Scholarship

1993   University of Alberta–Dr. Marie Meyer Memorial Research Grant

1992   University of Alberta–Ph.D. Scholarship

1992   Government of Alberta–Excellence in Teaching Award

1990   ATA Educational Trust Fund–Vi Fishbourne Memorial Fund

1989   University of Calgary–Sharon Aikenhead Memorial Award