Meet Dr. Ann M. Neely, our children’s literature expert
Dr. Ann M. Neely has spent 35 years of her 40-year career at Vanderbilt University. She came to Peabody College’s Department of Teaching and Learning in 1985 as director of Elementary/Early Childhood Student Teaching and to teach courses in education. Although Neely held a variety of administrative roles for the college and university, she always taught at least one class in children’s literature and became known nationally as an expert in the field. She created courses in children’s literature that included experiential learning through travel (Harry Potter/ trip to London, E.B. White/trip to Maine). She also created classes that focused on the literature of social transformation that included travel to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. A second version of this class included an opportunity for students to work with local Nepali refugee families. These examples illustrate why Neely is regarded as a creative teacher who was always looking for meaningful experiences for her students.
Neely has worked with non-profit organizations focusing on the education of preschoolers. She chaired a task force that developed the Westminster School for Young Children and served on the Board of the Martha O’Bryan Center which included a preschool.
Neely joined the Polylino team to create this Educator Guide in 2021. Her research into using picture books with young children and her work with preschool teachers has informed her development of this guide.