Building a Platform to Teach Literacy with Whole Books

Jeanne A. Curley

Marjorie Cass McKeown is the Founder and CEO of ALEE, an EdTech startup that provides educators with tools and resources to teach literacy using whole books featuring classic works of literature. She joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about her journey beginning as an teacher, rising through the ranks as a literacy coach and administrator before deciding to go to business school at MIT where ALEE began to germinate.

From there, we learn what it’s been like launching just eight months ago while expanding on the significance and complexity of our growing literacy challenge in the US. Marjorie describes how she is designing ALEE to provide teachers with what they need to provide scaffolding and support to protect the essential relationship between a teacher, a student, and a great book. We touch on the challenges of teaching in difficult times and the fear teachers are experiencing when dealing with important but difficult works of literature to teach reading these days. Marjorie shares the higher-level skills and thinking associated with the whole book as opposed to excerpts or synthetic passages that are increasingly used in literacy education.

It’s a thought-provoking exploration of entrepreneurship, literacy, and the power of teaching through great books. Don’t miss it!

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