Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Frances Steward

Frances A. Steward, Ph.D.

Curriculum & Instruction
Office: Horrabin Hall, 22A
Phone: 309/298-1961


       My life’s focus (53 years) has been in the teaching field of service, and this bio reflects and relates to my instructional training and teaching progression. My bachelor’s degree in education was completed in 3 years, therefore I began teaching at age 20 and taught in varied instructional classrooms for 10 yrs. in Mississippi, 16 yrs. in LA, 3 yrs. at LSU, 10 yrs. Administrative in TX, and 15 yrs. at WIU. I attended LSU (1970-2000) for higher certifications, degrees, and a Ph. D.

Teaching below grade level performing students was a joy for me in the Title I program (11 yrs.) in Louisiana, I guided administrators and teachers as a Curriculum Director (8 years) and Gr. K-12 Reading Specialist (2 yrs.) at an Educational Service Center in Texas since I was qualified with additional certification and degrees: Masters, Ed. S., Supervisor, Supervisor of Student Teaching, Special Education Mild/Moderate, and Administration. My life’s work unfolded uniquely and naturally as I balanced caring for a family member, teaching special education students (4 yrs.) in self-contained and inclusion classrooms, and attaining my Ph.D. degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. Participating in the doctoral program, I instructed post-secondary students and experienced the research world of higher education. Another career role emerged with stimulating excitement: Teaching as a WIU tenured full professor! For 15 years, I have been instructing undergraduate and graduate students at WIU in literacy reading methods (primary level; assessment), Parent and Community Involvement, and Children’s Literature course.

One service activity that is a special interest to me is coordinating WIU students’ donations of children’s books to begin or add to libraries in countries around the world (Haiti, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Romania, Cambodia and the U. S.). Book donations in the U. S. include multi-state emergency shelters, AZ Indian Reservation, and disadvantaged student populated schools. Literacy methods and Children’s Literature students and I annually participate in Dickens on the Square. In addition, we decorated and read to community children in 2 Living Windows; wore Victorian style clothing; strolled around the Square to enhance the wintery English scene. We won second place for 3 years, and I was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2012 from The Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corporation. Family members (106) attended in Dec. 2015. We also participated in Moon Over Macomb. Many family members (199) attended in Oct. 2015. The children decorated pumpkins, bookmarks, and made scarecrow puppets.

Throughout my educational career, my focus has been to assist teachers and students in disadvantaged settings. Currently, I am guiding pre-service teachers to extend for all learners and their families. My hope is that provisions will continue to be made for students who have obstacles to overcome wherever they are and whatever the circumstances so that each student shall be successful academically and in making school-related decisions.