Dr. Marilyn J. Narey is an innovative teacher, teacher educator, and researcher. Her broad and diverse background includes experiences teaching pre-K through adult learners as a university professor, supervisor of curriculum and instruction, reading specialist, instructional technology specialist, and as a middle school language arts and K-12 visual arts teacher. Most recently, after teaching seven years as an Associate Professor at East Stroudsburg University, Dr. Narey recently moved back home to Pittsburgh where she is teaching in the Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education (DILE) at Duquesne University.
As a teacher, Dr. Narey earned numerous awards and funding for the creative, transdiciplinary curricular projects that she designed and implemented in her middle and high school classrooms. From “Eye-to-I,” an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum that focused upon students’ investigations of perception/optical effects, to “TAKE-TWO,” a multimodal literacy development project involving an innovative arts-technology-based curriculum that engaged teams of students creating video documentaries of their communities, Marilyn’s projects have met with great success. Additionally, her innovative high-school arts program model garnered national attention. Among the courses included in the model is Concept and Creative Thinking that addressed a perceived gap in the PA arts standards by focusing on creativity development.
As a professor of teacher education, Dr. Narey works with her teacher candidates to develop innovative practices that bring about educational quality for diverse learners through transdisciplinary curriculum design and multimodal literacy. In her current position at Duquesne University, she continues to examine the intersections of curriculum, context, and creative capacities within the teaching-learning process. Emphasizing the importance of teacher creativity development, she points out, “We need to attend to the creative capacities of teachers as well as learners.”
Dr. Narey also believes that it is important to stay connected to K-12 students and their communities. At East Stroudsburg University, she developed numerous school-community-university partnerships. Now back in her home town of Pittsburgh, she has begun several new multimodal literacy initiatives with local schools and has participated as a member of the RemakeLearning Digital Corps teaching youth at the Hilltop Y site. As she underscores in her university classroom, “Curriculum isn’t ‘cut-and-paste’–as teachers, we need to know a young learner and his/her world, then build curriculum from the learner’s personal experience. Real learning emerges from the curiosity and passion of the learner and the teacher.” Following her own curiosity and passion, Dr. Narey continues to seek opportunities to explore teaching-learning in in-school and out-of-school environments.