Meet Our Faculty

Holly Mackley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Email: mackley@sxu.edu

Areas of Specialization

Children’s emergent and early literacy, Qualitative investigation of new classroom teachers’ experiences teaching reading, Children’s literature


Holly Mackley, Ph.D., has been a faculty member in the School of Education at SXU since 1988. She earned her doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in reading and early childhood literacy, a master’s degree from Western Washington University in reading education and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in elementary education. 

Dr. Mackley began her teaching career as a primary grade teacher in Muscatine, Iowa, a K-6 substitute teacher in Seattle Public Schools and a K-2 multigrade teacher in an independent elementary school on the campus of Fairhaven College in Bellingham, Washington. After the graduate degrees, she worked as an editor of elementary grade literacy textbooks for Scott, Foresman Publishers, and then freelanced as a textbook writer and editor. Before joining the faculty at SXU, she was an adjunct instructor at National College of Education. At SXU, in addition to her regular teaching, scholarship and service activities, Dr. Mackley has served as the director of student teaching from 2002-2007 and as chair of the Elementary Education Program since 2008.

In her role as a teacher educator, Dr. Mackley believes that the most important work she does relates to the context of the authentic environment of the elementary school: the supervision and mentoring of field experience candidates and student teachers, in collaboration with the practicing classroom teachers, many of whom are SXU alums. It is her greatest privilege to participate in the inspiring journey her students make from teacher candidate to student teacher and, ultimately, to practicing teacher.

Courses Offered

Selected Presentations and Publications

Mackley, H., (2013, April). Elementary classroom student teachers reflect on literacy instruction during clinical practice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, San Antonio, TX.

Hilton, P., & Mackley, H. (2010, April). New teachers’ literacy Instruction: Reflection, self-assessment, and support.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, Chicago, IL.

Bell, D., Spelman, M., Mackley, H., & Zhao, L. (2009). The teacher work sample: Candidate and mentor perceptions. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 22(2), 27-37.

Mackley, H. (2002, May). Pre-service teaching and online response to literature: If it’s electronic, is it better? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, San Francisco, CA.

Mackley, H., & Stecker, P. (1998, May). The power of notable nonfiction: Preparing readers for the transition to intermediate grades. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, Orlando, FL.

Mackley, H. (Ed.). (1994). World book of word power activities 2. Chicago: World Book.                

Kontos, S., Mackley, H., & Baltas, J.G. (1986). Story knowledge in preschoolers:  A comprehensive view. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 147, (2), 189-197.