Female professor stops at students desk to discuss his work.

Tara Johnston, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park (2023) - Reading Literacy
  • M.Ed., Belhaven University (2016) - Reading Literacy, Reading Specialist K-12
  • B.A., Millsaps College (2014) - Elementary Education


  • 1-6 Elementary Education, 1-6 Reading Specialist: State of Maryland, Valid 2020-2025
  • K-6 Elementary Education, K-12 Reading Education: State of Mississippi, Valid 2019 – 2024


  • Foundations of Education
  • Teaching Language Arts in Early Elementary Education
  • Literacy and Language for Young Children (Birth through Grade 1)
  • Diagnostic Reading Assessment and Instruction

Research Interests

  • Early Elementary Literacy Instruction
  • Content Area Literacy
  • Pre-Service Teachers' Literacy Practices and Perceptions

Recent Publications

  • Stark, K., Wexler, J., Shelton, A., Johnston, T. B, & Omohundro, K. (2023). Explicit and evidence-based literacy instruction in middle school: an observation study. Reading and Writing. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-023-10470-y
  • Johnston, T. B. & Dreher, M. J. (2022). Planting knowledge seeds: Teaching content area vocabulary to young children. Pennsylvania Reads, 21(1) 36-39.