Dr. Esther S. Prins

Dr. Esther S. Prins co-director

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Summa Cum Laude, Wheaton College (1994)
Master of Science, Adult Education, Cornell University (1999)
Ph.D., Adult Education, Cornell University (2003)

Esther provides leadership and research in adult and family literacy. Drawing on critical and sociocultural approaches to education, her research examines the ways in which social class, culture, race/ethnicity, and gender shape how learners participate in, and benefit from, adult education and family literacy. Her other research interests include health literacy, digital literacy, and participatory approaches to education, community development, and research.

Esther previously coordinated an adult education program and taught ESL classes to Latino/a immigrants in Chicago. She has conducted research and worked in rural and urban educational and community settings in the U.S., Belize, El Salvador, Ghana, Tanzania, and Ireland. She also teaches the following graduate courses: Family Literacy; Language, Literacy, Identity, and Culture in Global Contexts; Politics, Language and Pedagogy: Applying Paulo Freire Today; and Historical and Social Issues in Adult Education.

Honors include the Outstanding Researcher Award (Penn State College of Education, 2011), Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research (American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, 2010, with Kai Schafft), Outstanding Paper by an Early Career Scholar Award (Adult Literacy and Adult Education SIG, American Educational Research Association, 2007, with Kai Schafft), Professors for the Future Fellowship (UC-Davis, 2003-04), and Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship (Cornell University, 2001).

Email: esp150@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-0597