Members of the Professional Thematic Webinars Steering Group

Members of the Professional Thematic Webinars Steering Group

Tiziana Mascia, Associazione Literacy Italia, Italy (Chairperson)  Contact
Tiziana Mascia has a Ph.D. in general pedagogy, social pedagogy, and general education, from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where she is now a researcher at the Faculty of Education. She has conducted research activities on the relationship between teacher training on reading literacy and students’ skills, also in environments with a high concentration of immigrant students and/or at risk of social exclusion. She has developed educational training plans for teachers in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools which defines guidelines for reading literacy instruction at school. Her actual research focuses on the development of distance education programs and on digital literacy skills for primary years of education. She is the author of the distance education program of Rai Cultura’s Invito alla lettura and editor of the column ‘Letture internazionali’ for the Italian youth literature magazine Pepeverde. She is the founder and chairperson of Associazione Literacy Italia (ALI).

Veronika Rot Gabrovec, Bralno društvo Slovenije, Slovenia (ExC FELA) Contact 

Dr Veronika Rot Gabrovec teaches Language in Use classes, Australian Studies and Children’s Literature at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). She has worked with students of English (as a foreign or second language) of nearly all age groups, and with pre-service and in-service teachers. In the future, she hopes to expand her experiences even further, and possibly join a University of the Third Age both as a teacher and a student.


Tara Concannon-Gibney, Literacy Association of Ireland, Ireland Contact
Dr. Tara Concannon-Gibney lectures in the area of literacy. A former primary school teacher, she has worked with pre-service and in-service teachers in Ireland and in New York for over a decade. Prior to joining D.C.U. in 2017, she was program coordinator of the B.Sc. in Early Childhood at Marino Institute of Education (Dublin) where she lectured in literacy and Early Childhood. Her current research interests include emergent literacy, language and literacy development through play, the literacy development of English language learners, and teacher professional development. She has published in many peer-reviewed national and international journals and is the author of the book Teaching Essential Literacy Skills in the Early Years: A Guide for Students and Teachers. She is also a past-president of the Literacy Association of Ireland.

Dr. Renate Valtin, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Lesen und Schreiben (DGLS), Germany Contact
Renate passed her teacher examination and Ph.D. in Hamburg and worked as a professor of education in Berlin from 1975 – 2008. She has done extensive quantitative and qualitative empirical research in reading/dyslexia, social cognition, educational psychology and education and is author/co-author of 300+ publications. She was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2011-12 she was one of the ten expert members on the European Union High-Level Group of Experts on Literacy. She was member of the Reading Expert Group of PIRLS 2006 and of the German team of PIRLS 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016.  She served as chairperson/member in several committees of IRA (f.i. the PISA/PIRLS Task Force), as President of the German Association for Reading and Writing, as chairperson of IDEC (International development of Europe Committee of the International Reading Association) and as vice-president of FELA. Since her retirement, she is active in ELINET (European Literacy Policy Network).

Jeroen Clemens, RAIN, Nederlands Contact
Jeroen Clemens focuses on digital literacy and language education. He graduated from the University of Groningen as a Language Teacher, Linguist, and Educational specialist.  He has been working in education for over 40 years. Jeroen has been a Language Teacher (of Dutch), Teacher trainer, Head of the Language department of a National Institute for School Improvement, and trainer/ coach.  Nowadays he works with teachers (language teachers only or a mixed group with additional teachers of other subjects) in teacher development teams (TDTs). They develop, research, and implement materials and lesson plans, related to digital literacy in the language curriculum and on the school level. He is also a consultant, working with the school management, he gives lectures and workshops at conferences and in teacher training institutes and writes articles and blogs.  He is involved in several European networks, as a member of FELA, and in ELINET as (co)chair Digital Literacy. See more information on his website (in Dutch and English) at

Professor Sue Ellis, Department of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sue Ellis, UKLA, UK Contact
Sue Ellis (UKLA, International Committee) recently retired as Professor of Education, Strathclyde University. She believes literacy research should generate knowledge that makes a positive difference to children, teachers, and schools.  Her work explores how literacy policy, curricula, and knowledge mobilization frames can prompt educators to raise attainment by addressing their own contexts and values.
Using co-production methodologies, the principles and practices of teacher-noticing and humanizing pedagogies, recent large-scale projects explored the support that helps educators orchestrate and align data from conflicting knowledge domains (psychology, social psychology, linguistics, sociology, anthropology…) to raise attainment and equity through inclusive, socially just schooling. Ellis, S. & Rowe, A. (2020) Literacy, social justice, and inclusion: a large-scale design experiment to narrow the attainment-gap linked to poverty. Support for Learning, 35 (4). pp. 418-439. ISSN 1467-9604

Petra Potočnik, Društvo Bralna značka Slovenije – ZPMS, Slovenia Contact
Petra Potočnik graduated in comparative literature and literary theory. Working as an expert associate professional in the Slovenian Reading Badge Society since 2006, her work focuses on different activities in the field of development of reading culture and literacy among various target audiences (reading mentors, teachers, librarians, young readers) and coordination of organizations engaged in reading culture at the national level. Since 2012, she is the national coordinator for reading culture at the national project Cultural Bazaar led by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education. She also works as the national coordinator of the National Month of Reading Together, a national network for literacy and reading culture, which operates as a joint initiative of nine organizations since 2018.
She participates in the development of the online platform Family Literacy (Slovenian Institute for Adult Education). Since 2010, she has been a member of the editorial board of the Manual for reading quality youth literature, which is created every year at the Pionirska – Centre for Youth Literature and Librarianship.

Lisbeth Skov Thorsen, Landsforeningen af Læsepædagoger (LL), Denmark Contact
I have been working as a reading consultant for 18 years. I am working in an authority north of Copenhagen helping public schools to make motivating teaching in reading and writing and helping schools how to support struggling readers. Recently we have developed Guided Reading into a danish context and all schools in my authority are now teaching Guided Reading. The kids love it, also the teenagers. That is very important! We think we have found a way to keep more readers reading by teaching them our Guided Reading.

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