Nelly Hecker, a faculty member at Furman University since the fall of 1979, has served as Chair of the Department of Education and Director of Teacher Education since 1999. With a Bachelor of Science (1963) and Masters (1964) degrees from Springfield College and Ed. S. (1974) and Ph.D. (1978) degrees from The University of Georgia, her area of specialty is Literacy Education. In 1962, as part of an exchange between the United States and Uruguay, she received a two-year Fulbright Scholarship to study in Massachusetts. Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Hecker has been interested in student and teacher development and in supporting the consistent use of effective teaching practices. Her presentations at state and national conferences highlight curriculum innovations, the use of children's literature in the classroom, and content area reading strategies. Dr. Hecker has had a broad range of teaching experiences in bilingual schools, elementary grades, and higher education. She has participated in curriculum development institutes on the use of case study methodology to facilitate reflection and decision-making and has authored or co-authored children's literature articles. As Co-Director of the Library of Congress Adventure of the American Mind Grant at Furman (2000-2007), she worked with in-service teachers (K-12) interested in developing effective skills to use online resources from the Library of Congress in their classrooms. Recipient of the 2013 Alester G. Furman, Hr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Advising, she remains committed to offer encouragement and support to teacher candidates as they embrace their preparation as educators.​

Name Title Description


Tch Rdng in the Content Areas

This course is designed for prospective and in-service elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers. It will provide opportunities for an in-depth study of teaching reading and writing in various subject matter areas and present skills and strategies that facilitate reading, writing, and learning with content textbooks, content-area authentic texts, and other media.


Literacy Fnd & Inst, Grd PK-3

Study of early literacy reading and writing instruction and the role of the teacher as a decision-maker. Content will focus on integrating reading, writing, speaking, and listening processes across the curriculum. Major emphasis will be placed on children146s literature and its effective presentation in the classroom.


Literacy Prcs & Inst, Grds 2-6

Reading and writing instruction in the elementary grades emphasizing the development of critical thinking and metacognitive skills. Content will focus on integrating communication processes in the content areas; children146s literature and its effective presentation in the classroom; and the role of the teacher as a reflective practitioner.

  • Fulbright Scholar, 1962-64
  • Alester G. Furman, Hr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Advising, 2013
  • Aaron, Ira E., Hecker, Nelly, & Hutchinson, Sylvia M. (1993). Seventy-one years of distinguished books: An analysis of the Newbery Award winners, 1922-1992. In B. L. Hayes and K. Camperell (Eds.). Yearbook of the American Reading Forum, Vol. XIII. Reading: Strategies, practices, and research for the 21st century (pp. 89-96). Logan, UT: American Reading Forum;
  • Hecker, Nelly, & Jerrolds, Bob W. (1995). Cultural values as depicted in Hispanic contemporary fiction books for children. In B.L. Hayes and K. Camperell (Eds.). Yearbook of the American Reading Forum, Vol. XV. Linking literacy: The past, present, and future (pp. 115-124). Logan, UT: American Reading Forum;
  • Hecker, Nelly. (1998). 1997 Contenders/Winners: Children’s book awards in five English-speaking countries: A reaction and a retrospective appreciation for a body of work. In R.J. Telfer (Ed.). Yearbook of the American Reading Forum, Vol. XVIII. Finding our literacy roots (pp. 73-75). Whitewater, WI: American Reading Forum;
University of Georgia
Universit​y of Georgia
Springfield College
Springfield College

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