fran perkins headshotFran Perkins

Associate Professor

Reading Education Program

Fran Davis Perkins, Ph.D. was recently appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UAB School of Education.   Her primary focus is reading/language arts instruction. Fran’s public school experience includes more than nine years as a teacher of primary students and facilitator of professional development for elementary school teachers. Dr. Perkins worked as a faculty member at Alabama A & M University, The University of Alabama, the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Metro RESA (a regional educational service agency) in the metro Atlanta area, before returning to Birmingham.

Dr. Perkins' research efforts focus on examining the role of culturally authentic literature in the literacy development of young children and their families. Her international travels and teaching in higher education have enabled her to expand her work to include cross-cultural educational issues. She is a member of numerous professional organizations and presents nationally on topics such as international practices in education, African American and multicultural literature for children, family literacy, developmentally appropriate practices, and the role of the community in the education of our children.

Fran has published several articles and book chapters. Some of her publications include Author Studies: Profiles in Black; Celebrating African American Authors; Literacy in the Inner City; Multicultural Literature: A Context for Family Mathematical Problem Solving; Authentic Assessment in the Classroom: Principles and Practices; and “People Like Us“: Self-Affirmation in Literacy Transactions.

Dr. Perkins’ commitment to community involvement is evidenced by her work with young children. She stated the IMANI book clubs in neighborhood churches in order to create greater interest in reading among elementary, middle and high school students.


Josephine Prado-headshotView CV Josie Prado

Assistant Professor

English as a Second Language Program

"Currently, I am Assistant Professor of English Learner Education in UAB's Department of Curriculum and Instruction. My responsibilities include teaching EESL 615Grammar for ESL Teachersand EESL 610Second Language Acquisitionin the Master of Arts in Education program for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). I also manage the grant for Southeast ECHO: ELs Charting new Horizons and Opportunities. I hold a Ph.D. in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Educational Linguistics from the University of Alabama where I developed my current research interests of language use, identity, and the relationship between school and community. I received a Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA-TESOL) from the University of Alabama, which focused on academic writing in higher educational settings. My Bachelor of Arts degree is in German language and literature from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

My fascination with the intersection of identity, language, and culture has been encouraged through my life and professional experiences. As a 6th grader, I lived in Zürich Switzerland where I was a GSL student (German as a Second Language) in public school. In college, as a German major, I lived in Marburg Germany for more than a year studying at the Phillips Universität. Each of those experiences afforded me important insights into perspectives outside of the United States. However, working at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as a German-speaking tour guide set my foundation for a much broader understanding of the cultural world we live in. While my experiences with the UN sparked new global perspectives, living in Ecuador for five years instilled in me a profound appreciation and respect for the ingenuity of cultural practices, including those that were both familiar and unfamiliar to me.

My respect for the professionalization of teaching English as a second/foreign language began when I accepted a position as an “English teacher” in Ecuador on the merits of being a native speaker, and found myself to be woefully unprepared. Through my degree programs and my work as a K-12 ESL Specialist, I have had numerous opportunities to teach ESL/EFL students in a variety of contexts, from pre-k children in their first school setting all the way through high school, university and professional levels, to adults taking conversational English. I look forward to working with Alabama educators so that, together, we can continue strengthening positive, effective learning environments for English learners in classrooms across the state."