John D. Beach

Associate Professor

Dr. Beach is a native New Yorker who did not learn to read until the summer between third and fourth grade when he finally learned the fundamentals of literacy (including phonics) during summer school in the Glen Cove NY schools (P.S. 69 in the Bronx failed to teach him how to read, using a whole word approach). This early experience most likely framed his career focus on literacy education. He worked in public schools for 10 years as a first grade teacher and reading specialist for grades K to 8. He is permanently certified in New York State to teach Nursery, Kindergarten, grades 1 to 6, Reading K to 12, and French and Russian in grades 7 to 12. He has been a full-time faculty member at the Universities of Wisconsin, Maine, Nevada-Reno, SUNY Cortland, and Boise State University. Father of three grown children (and grandfather to two), he lives with his wife, dog, and cats near the ocean in southern Queens, NY.

Ph.D., Reading Education, University at Albany, State University of New York
Post-Master’s Certificate of Specialization , Reading Education, C. W. Post Center, Long Island University
M.S., Elementary Education, C. W. Post Center, Long Island University
M.A., French, Binghamton University, State University of New York
B.A., French, State University of New York at Oswego

Teaching Interests

Traditional and online courses in literacy: children's literature, language arts, psycholinguistics, literacy development, content area literacy, literacy coaching and leadership, diagnosis and correction of literacy difficulties, educational assessment

Research Interests

Theoretical synthesis of language, literacy, and literature; comparison of children’s and adults’ “best book” choices; “Guided Reasoning” for critical comprehension in grades 4 to 12; storytelling and the language arts

Select Publications
Journal Articles

Beach, J. D. (2015). Do children read the children's literature adults recommend? A comparison of adult's and children's annual "best" lists in the United States 1975–2005. In: New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship. London, UK: New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship. vol. 21, pp. 1-25.

Beach, J. D. (2011). Les fonctions de la pratique lettrée: perspectives théocratique, aristocratique et démocratique. In: Littéracie et diversité, 17e conférence européenne sur la lecture/Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Literacy. Mons: Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Literacy.

Beach, J. D. (2007). Comedy: Children’s literature’s hidden treasure. In: Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Reading. Berlin: Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Reading.

Beach, J. D., and Combs, M. (1994). Stories and storytelling: Personalizing the social studies. The Reading Teacher. vol. 47, pp. 464-471.

Beach, J. D. (1992). New trends in an historical perspective: Literature's place in language arts education. Language Arts. vol. 69, pp. 550-556.

Beach, J. D. (1991). Comparing paired novels to learn the elements of fiction in the children's literature course. The Reading Professor. vol. 14, pp. 23-27.

Beach, J. D. (1983). Teaching students to write informational reports. . Chicago, IL: The Elementary School Journal. vol. 84, pp. 213-220.

Creative Contributions


Beach, John D., "Special Informal Storytelling Gathering " , Storytelling Special Interest Group, International Reading Association, New Orleans, LA. May 11, 2014 - May 11, 2014
Storytelling performance as a Featured Teller at the annual evening event at the IRA convention.


Beach, John D. Performer, "Playing with stories: Story crafting for teachers, students, writers, and other imaginative thinkers." , NCTE Storytelling Committee, National Council of Teachers of English, Washington, DC. November 21, 2014 - November 21, 2014
Storytelling performance as Featured Teller at "The Swapping Ground" evening event at the annual convention of NCTE. This event has been given each year at the convention since 1990.