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Highlighting the Research and Expertise of College of Charleston Professors

Professor Patrick Harwood
Department of Communication


Professor Margaret Hagood
Elementary Education

Professor Margaret Hagood

From Playing School to Teaching School
By Alison Mays

Just like many young girls, Margaret Hagood enjoyed playing school and loved going to school even more. Hagood says she would find herself learning something new and would be excited to share with someone else what she had just learned.

Originally from Louisiana, Hagood came to the College of Charleston as an undergraduate where she earned her B.S. in Elementary Childhood Education. After graduation Hagood traveled

around the United States, teaching in urban and rural contexts in Washington, D.C., Jackson Hole, Wy., Greenville, S.C., and Chapel Hill, N.C.

While in Greenville, Hagood taught at Furman University's Child Development Center and earned a master's degree in Reading and Language Arts at Furman. Then she moved on to the University of Georgia where she was awarded a Ph.D. in Reading Education.

It was during her time at Georgia when Hagood first became interested in young adolescents and their reading of popular culture. Studying in this area she began to find connections between who they are, the identities they are forming, and the kinds of popular culture texts they want to read, including both print and nonprint formats.

In 2002, Hagood returned to the College of Charleston to teach in the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle Grades Education Department. Today, Hagood teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in early childhood, elementary and middle grade literacies, focusing on socio-cultural and post-structural theories, and making connections between traditional and new literacies.

Over the years Hagood has co-authored a book on using popular culture in the literacy classroom. She has also had her work published in research and practitioner journals and has written several chapters on new literacies, identities, and methodologies in edited texts.

She is currently the Director of Research for the Center for Advancements of New Literacies in Middle Grade Education at the College of Charleston, working with several other colleagues in the School of Education. As director, she performs research in middle schools, studying how educators and students understand and use new literacies, and bridge in- and out-of-school learning.

Hagood says the worst part about teaching is seeing students disappointed when they don't do as well as they would like. She believes that students who define their success by grades alone miss some of the most valuable learning opportunities.

At the end of the day Hagood says the best part about teaching is taking a theory and analyzing it with a group of people who have different experiences that relate to the theory.

"I love what I do," Hagood says. "I love the people I work with and the students I teach."

Hagood's students say she is a very challenging professor, but she knows how to prepare students to be educators in various contexts.

"Dr. Hagood is the best professor that I have ever had," junior Blake Oliver says. "I have learned more about teaching in her class than I have in all other education classes put together."

Outside her busy life of teaching and research, Hagood remains just as active. She is involved in numerous service activities with the College, the Charleston community, and various literacy initiatives. She also stays busy with her husband and two young boys. And congratulations are in order as Professor Hagood is soon expecting a third child!