Nancy L. Peterson

Placeholder Image Nancy Peterson

University Faculty Fellow in Ethics for the Professions 2013-2014

The Ethics Across the Curriculum Faculty Advisory Committee (EACFAC) is proud to name Nancy L. Peterson, Professor of Education, as the University Faculty Fellow in Ethics for the Professions during the 2013-2014 academic year. “The purpose of the fellowship is to facilitate faculty scholarship and creative work in interdisciplinary ethics,” said David R. Keller, director of UVU’s Center for the Study of Ethics, which hosts the fellowship. “The fellowship is a great honor. The fellow is chosen through a competitive application process by a committee of UVU faculty peers.”

Nancy L. Peterson is professor of teacher education in the School of Education and co-founder and chair of UVU’s Forum on Engaged Reading. Prior to her tenure at UVU, she taught one year at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She received her Ed.D. at the University of Virginia, her M.Ed. at Old Dominion University, and her B.S. at Brigham Young University.

Peterson’s professional experience was teaching 4th grade, 6th grade, kindergarten, and K-6th music and art in public schools in Utah, Arizona and Texas prior to earning her graduate degrees. Her scholarship to date has been primarily in the areas of writing instruction in elementary classrooms, addressing the academic diversity in classrooms, and inspiring a life-long passion for reading. Her ongoing research is increasingly multifaceted and interdisciplinary, exploring democratic classrooms where the social and emotional needs of students are addressed as well as the academic needs, even in the diverse complexities of today’s elementary classrooms. 

Upon hearing of the award, Stan V. Harward, Interim Dean, UVU School of Education, said: “For over ten years, Dr. Nancy Peterson has made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of students preparing to become professional teachers. She is a great model of the power and passion of what the moral enterprise of teaching is all about. Nancy’s research and efforts in the area of ethics in education during the 2012-14 academic year will benefit our school and our profession. We are proud of her accomplishments and look forward to supporting her efforts."

In 2011-12, Peterson was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, associated with the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. She worked specifically with Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman’s research group in the Social Development Lab investigating the Responsive Classroom Approach, where she was on the front lines of research about a teaching strategy that she has passed along to hundreds of UVU students over the past 15 years. Sara Rimm-Kaufman of University of Virginia stated, “Nancy brings 15 years of experience preparing teachers to teach elementary school classrooms. Her input has been incredibly useful to us as we interpret our findings, particularly because she brings tremendous insights about the process of teacher change and about why teachers gravitate toward some classroom practices rather than others.”

Peterson’s first year at Utah Valley was UVSC’s first year to produce its own elementary education bachelor degree graduates. Her influence has helped to shape the School of Education programs, which have earned the reputation the School of Education enjoys for producing classroom-ready teachers and interns who are ethical, active learners and decision-makers. She has made scholarly presentations at more than 30 state, regional and national conferences, and has published collaboratively in peer-reviewed journals. Her book, Encouraging Your Child’s Writing Talent: A Parent’s Guide was published by Prufrock Press in 2006. Peterson authors and edits a blog--“For the Love of Reading,” celebrating UVU’s Forum on Engaged Reading ( and has co-chaired that conference for 14 years on behalf of the School of Education.