“Not all who coach hold the title of coach, but all those who coach to improve literacy learning, in it’s broadest sense, are literacy leaders.”- Rita M. Bean

Rita M. Bean, PhD, is professor emerita of the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Instruction and Learning. For over twenty-five years, she taught students preparing to be reading specialists and served as director of the Reading Center. Prior to joining the university, she taught at the elementary level and served as reading coordinator (K–12), the role which stimulated her interest in coaching to support teacher professional learning. Bean has focused her research on the role and impact of reading specialists and literacy coaches in schools.

She served as co-director of a large-scale evaluation study of a literacy initiative in Pennsylvania that included coaching as a major approach for professional learning. She has also participated in several national studies that have resulted in position statements about the role of reading specialists and literacy coaches (International Literacy Association). She received her bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Bean received the University of Pittsburgh’s Distinguished Teacher Award and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award for her community and outreach efforts to improve literacy. Bean also served as President for the Reading Hall of Fame from 2015-2017.