Biography

Anne Haas Dyson is a former teacher of young children and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. Among her previous appointments was as a longtime professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award. She has spent over 35 years studying the childhood cultures and literacy learning of young schoolchildren, for which she has received numerous awards. Dyson aims, first, to bring respect and intellectual attention to childhood cultures and their relationship to school learning. Young children do not participate in school because they are concerned about the national economy, international competition, or climbing a ladder to academic accolades from a grateful nation. They desire to make sense of their world and to gain companionship in what can be a confusing world. Second, she aims to document the diversity of resources (languages, popular culture texts, semiotic tools, everyday experiences) our diverse school children bring with them with which to participate intellectually and socially in school, especially in written language development. Her newest publications are both Spencer-funded: ReWRITING the basics: Literacy learning in children’s cultures (2013) and, published in 2016, Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on children composing their lives.

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Key Professional Appointments

Professor EPOL, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, 2011 - present

Professor C&I, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006 - 2011

Professor Department. of Teacher Education, Michigan State University, 2002 - 2006

Professor Division of Language, Literacy, & Culture, University of California, Berkeley, 1991 - 2002

Associate Professor Division of Language, Literacy, & Culture, University of California, Berkeley, 1987 - 1991

Assistant Professor Division of Language, Literacy, & Culture, University of California, Berkeley, 1985 - 1987

Visiting Assistant Professor Division of Language, Literacy, & Culture, University of California, Berkeley, 1984 - 1985

Graduate Faculty Graduate School, University of Georgia, 1984 - 1985

Assistant Professor Department of Language Education, University of Georgia, 1981 - 1985

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Education

Ph.D., Education, University of Texas, Austin, 1981

M.Ed., Education, University of Texas, Austin, 1976

B.S., Elementary Education (concentration: English), University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1972

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Awards, Honors, Associations

David Russell Award for Distinghished Research National Council of Teachers of English, 2015 - 2015

Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts (with C. Genishi, Teachers College) National Council of Teachers of English, 2015 - 2015

John R. Hayes Award for Excellence in Educational Research Written Communication (journal), 2014 - 2014

Vera Nofftz Early Childhood Education Fellow Given for "preeminence in the field of early childhood education", College of Education, 2011 - 2014

Fellow of the American Educational Research Association American Educational Research Association, 2012 - present

Early Literacy Educator of the Year Award National Council of Teachers of English, 2012 - 2012

John R. Hayes Award for Excellence in Writing Research Award given for best article in Written Communication during the preceding year (2008), Written Communication, 2009 - 2009

Janet Emig Award given by the Conference on English Education of the National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of English, 2006 - 2006

Selection as Mary Lou Fulton Distinguished Lecturer Selection by Mary Lou Fulton Endowment Advisory Committee of the College of Education, Arizona State University, 2006 - 2006

Janet Emig Award National Council of Teachers of English, 2002 - 2002

Purves Award National Council of Teachers of English, 1999 - 1999

Distinguished Teaching Award University of California-Berkeley, 1998 - 1998

Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award Choice, 1995 - 1995

David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English National Council of Teachers of English, 1994 - 1994

Research & Service

My major research interests are related to the social and cultural processes of schooling and literacy, including:

+ethnographies of childhood and, more broadly, of the experiential qualities of contemporary schooling for all participants

+the development of childhood cultures, especially the role of popular culture in that development, with a particular interest in city kids

+the development and use of written language in contemporary childhoods and cross-culturally

+the politics of identity and language in school, including the role of English variants, like African American Language

My current research centers on the intersection of literacy and childhoods. The latter is a relatively new interdisciplinary field which focuses on both how societies conceive of and arrange for “childhoods” and, also, on how children themselves act as agents in the construction of their own childhoods. For example, I have examined institutional expectations of the proper child prepared for and learning written language (through a study of what is considered “basic” and, also, “appropriate” in content) and children’s expectations for each others’ use of written language. The children’s actions involve use of place-based resources (like environmental print on frequented neighborhood sites) and appealing and shared knowledge based on media (e.g., movies, television, radio). Briefly, then, the work entails a study of the ideological foundation of “basics” curricula (i.e., ideologies of language and of appropriate childhoods), their classroom enactments, and their interpretation by young, marginalized children (i.e., marginalized in the institution and society by class, race, and language). To further illustrate, I have received Spencer funding for an international project comparatively examining the resources, challenges, and childhood responses of young children to institutional structures for literacy learning across the globe. Most recently, I have an ongoing ethnographic and longitudinal study of the negotiation of racialized, gendered, and classed space as children move through a seemingly "integrated" school. The common core's metaphor of a child climbing the literacy ladder ignores completely the precariousness of "common" and "community" in school.

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Publications

Dyson, A.. "Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on composing unique lives". (Publication date: February 2016) Routledge: global; for U.S.: New York, NY, USA

Dyson, A. (2015) The search for inclusion: Deficit discourse and the erasure of childhoods. Language Arts Journal/National Council of Teachers of English 92 (3), 199-207  link >

Dyson, A.. Chapter 6: Making Space for Missing Childhoods: Implications for Theory, Policy, and Pedagogy. Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on composing unique lives Routledge: London/New York, U.K./U.S.A..

Dyson, A. (2013) ReWRITING the basics: Literacy learning in children's cultures.. Teachers College Press: New York, USA

Dyson, A. (2012) Relations between oral language and literacy. The encyclopedia of applied linguistics Wiley-Blackwell: Indianapolis, IN

Dyson, A. (2009) Writing in childhood worlds. Handbook of writing development Sage: London

Dyson, A., & Smitherman, G. (2009) The right (write) start: African American language and the discourse of sounding right Teachers College Record 111 (4), 973-998

Genishi, C., & Dyson, A. (2009) Children, language, & literacy: Diverse learners in diverse times.. Teachers College Press: New York

Dyson, A. (2008) Staying in the (curricular)lines: Practice constraints and possibilities in childhood writing Written Comunication 25, 119-159

Dyson, A. (2007) School literacy and the development of a child culture: Written remnants of the "gusto of life.". International handbook of student experiences in elementary and secondary school Kluwer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Dyson, A. (2006) Literacy in a child’s world of voices, or, the fine print of murder & mayhem. Response to David Olson Research in the Teaching of English 41, 147-153

Dyson, A. (2006) On saying it right (write): “Fix-its” in the foundations of learning to write Research in the Teaching of English 41, 8-44

Dyson, A. (2005) Crafting "the humble prose of living": Rethinking oral/written relations in the echoes of spoken word English Education 37, 149-164

Dyson, A., & Genishi, C. (2005) On the case: Approaches to language and literacy research (A National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy Volume).. Teachers College Press: New York

Dyson, A. (2004) Diversity as a “handful”: Toward retheorizing the basics Research in the Teaching of English 39, 209-213

Dyson, A.. The place of childhoods in school writing programs: A matter of ethics. The Sage handbook of early childhood literacy, second edition SAGE: London

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Grants

Principal Investigator The Interplay of Child Cultures, Schooling, and Literacy: A Working Conference on Global Perspectives on Childhoods and Composing, The Spencer Foundation, 2013 - 2014

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Service

Editorial Board Member Language & Literacy Series, Teachers College Press, 1989 - present

Editorial Board Member Written Communication, 1987 - present

Teaching

Dyson, whose courses are consistently rated as excellent, teaches courses in three major areas. First, she teaches qualitative methodology, focusing on ethnographic studies in educational settings. Among her courses are both an introductory level methods course and an advanced issues course for students working on proposals and dissertations. The methods course fills up within a matter of hours. Second, she teaches courses on language and literacy, stressing both their sociocultural diversity and the issues regarding their politicization in the schools. She also teaches a course on young children’s initiation into school literacy, stressing children’s socialization into literacy practices, both official and unofficial (or peer governed) and schools’ institutional processes that privilege certain learners, thereby constructing “success” and “failure.” Finally, she offers a class on popular culture and contemporary childhoods, considering the dynamic relationship between childhoods and consumer culture. In addition to her formal teaching, she consults with a large number of graduate students on their research.

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Courses

Ethnographic Methods in Educ This course focuses on goals, nature, and methodological means of ethnographic research in educational settings broadly defined. Such research aims to describe and, moreover, to understand the ways of living of teachers, students, administrators, parents, and other participants in relevant social spaces. The class will be grounded in the disciplinary perspectives of cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural studies. We will have an ongoing discussion of how one conducts ethnographic research, and all members of the class will conduct their own mini-study. Course Information: 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

Ethnographic Research in Educ This course focuses on goals, nature, and methodological means of ethnographic research in educational settings broadly defined. Such research aims to describe and, moreover, to understand the ways of living of teachers, students, administrators, parents, and other participants in relevant social spaces. The class will be grounded in the disciplinary perspectives of cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural studies. We will have an ongoing discussion of how one conducts ethnographic research, and all members of the class will conduct their own mini-study. Course Information: 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

Adv Issues in Qual Research Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education.

Adv Qualitative Research Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education.

Contemp Childhoods&Pop Culture Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education.

Lang, Id & Poli of Schooling Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education.

Writ in Contemporary Childhood Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education.

Anne Haas Dyson

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership

Contact

Office

366 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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