• Ph.D. 2018 – University of Maryland, Educational Psychology
  • M.S.Ed. 2012 – Johns Hopkins, Reading
  • B.A. 2006 – Marquette University, Political Science

Areas of Expertise

  • Literacy
  • Reading comprehension
  • Equitable instruction
  • Teacher education
  • Educational psychology
  • Rural communities
  • Mixed methods research


Courtney Hattan is an assistant professor in the science of reading. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Maryland and her reading specialist degree from Johns Hopkins University. Hattan’s research interests are shaped by her experiences as a language arts and social studies teacher at the elementary and middle school levels. Specifically, Hattan’s work centers equitable and evidence-based instruction that supports students in activating and building their background knowledge during reading. She was the 2019 recipient of the Timothy and Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award and was named a Reading Hall of Fame Emerging Scholars Fellow.


Courtney Hattan’s program of research centers on the interplay between readers’ knowledge and what they understand and remember from text. Operating through an equity lens, Hattan bridges sociocultural and cognitive theories of learning and literacy, employs mixed-methods research designs, and seeks to build community-informed research-practice partnerships. Hattan’s work has examined reading materials commonly used in classrooms, observed literacy instruction, and evaluated various methods for helping students recall and apply their knowledge before, during, and after reading. Her research is published in outlets such as Review of Educational Research, Reading Research Quarterly, and Journal of Educational Psychology.

Dr. Hattan is accepting doctoral students to begin in the 2024-2025 academic year.