Texas Tech University

Julie Smit, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Curriculum and Instruction

Email: julie.smit@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-8938

Office: Education 319


Julie Smit is an Assistant Professor of Language, Diversity, and Literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University.  Her research interests involve literacy and learning as a collaborative effort, in which students, families, and teachers work together to generate, negotiate, and build on understandings.  Specifically, she is interested in how narrative fiction can play a role in the social, emotional, and relational development of adolescents.  Her latest research has explored how empathy plays in this process, specifically, how a student’s ability to empathize with characters in stories leads to new knowledge about people, relationships, and social issues.

Dr. Smit has been involved in creating learning opportunities for educators to become responsive teachers, coaches, and literacy leaders.  She has conducted professional development for teachers in the topics of teacher leadership, critical literacy, cultural awareness, reading engagement and strategies, and writing instruction.  Currently, she is the Literacy Champion at Alderson Elementary.  Her responsibilities include working with teachers to develop writers’ workshop in their classrooms.  She is also collaborating with the fine arts teachers at this local school and the School of Theatre and Dance, College of Visual and Performing Arts to develop a performing arts curriculum for fifth grade students.



  • Ph.D., 2015 - University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 
    Doctor of Philosophy in Reading
    Dissertation: Eighth Grade Girls’ Knowledge Building with Narrative Texts
  • M.S., 2004 - College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
    Childhood Education, Grades 1-6.
    Reading Specialist Certification
  • B.S., 2001 - Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada 
    Honors in Chemistry

Areas of Expertise

  • Emergent and Early Literacy (language, reading, and writing acquisition)
  • Writing instruction
  • Intervention instruction for struggling readers and writers
  • Content Area Literacy
  • Critical Literacy
  • Dialogic and learning communities
  • Design-based research
  • Leadership and Literacy Coaching

Selected Publications

Refereed articles and book chapters

Deeney, T., Dozier, C., Smit, J., Davis, S., Laster, B., DeKonty Applegate, M., … Milby, T. (2011). Clinic experiences that promote transfer to school contexts: What matters in clinical teacher preparation. In P. J. Dunston, L. B. Gambrell, K. Headley, S. King Fullerton, P. M. Stecker, V. R. Gillis, & C. C. Bates (Eds.), 60th Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association (pp. 127–143). Oak Creek, Wisconsin: Literacy Research Association Inc.   

Dozier, C., & Smit, J. (2013). Building writing communities and partnering with families: Multiple perspectives from a writing practicum. In E. Ortlieb & E. J. Cheek (Eds.), Advanced Literacy Practices: From the Clinic to the Classroom (1st ed., Vol. 2, pp. 161-179). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Johnston, P., Dozier, C. & Smit, J. (2016). How language supports adaptive teaching through a responsive learning culture. Theory Into Practice, 55(3), 189-196.

Smit, J. (2016). The effect of empathy in guiding the knowledge building of eighth grade girls as they reflect upon their experiences with literature. Scientific Study of Literature, 6(1), 59-86.