Biography

I aim to teach in ways that provoke my students to think more deeply and critically about issues in education. I am concerned that what they learn connects to their backgrounds and interests and gives them a sense of new possibilities.
Marilyn Parsons

Dr. Parsons was a classroom teacher for 12 years in California and Utah teaching in public and alternative programs. Since receiving her PhD she has taught at 3 universities, The University of Utah, The Ohio State University, and now UIUC.

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Key Professional Appointments

ProfessorCurriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - present

Department HeadCurriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - 2006

ProfessorIntegrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1999 - 2004

Section HeadIntegrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1998 - 2001

Associate ProfessorIntegrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1991 - 1999

Assistant ProfessorIntegrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1988 - 1991

Visiting ProfessorTeacher Education, Michigan State University, 1987 - 1988

Associate ProfessorCurriculum & Instruction, University of Utah, 1986 - 1988

Assistant ProfessorCurriculum & Instruction, University of Utah, 1979 - 1986

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Education

Ph.D., Cultural Foundations, University of Utah, 1997

M.A., Education, California State University, Long Beach, 1969

B.A., Elementary Education, California State University, Long Beach, 1964

Research & Service

Dr. Parson’s current research includes a self-study of the recent pilot implementation of the edTPA from the point of view of the instructors teaching in the elementary/middle school program. She has also just completed a cross-cultural study of how global perspectives are included in social studies program in South Korea, Turkey, and the U.S., with case studies of one teacher education program in each country. Her research interests include educational reform related to teacher education and social studies education particularly related to issues of social justice and diversity. She is also interested in collaborative research methodologies, urban education, and action/teacher research and self-study/narrative inquiry. Recently Dr. Parsons published 2 books with teachers: one describes the ways in which learning successes happened daily in a an urban school that was labeled "failing" by its test scores, and a second book, a 15-year longitudinal study of an experimental PDS teacher education program.

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Publications

Johnston-Parsons, M. (2010) Focus on Policy: Dreaming of collaboration Language Arts 87 (4), 287-295

Christenson, M., Kerper, R., Boyd, B., Lynch, C., Dyer, J., Green, P., al, e., & Parsons, M. (2009) Doctoral students as boundary spanners: Complexity and ambiguity for university supervisors within an M.Ed./PDS project School-University Partnerships 2 (1), 84-95

Johnston-Parsons, M., Lee, Y., & Thomas, J. (2007) Students of color as cultural consultants: A self-study of race and social justice issues in a teacher education program Studying Teaching Education 3 (1), 67-84

Johnston-Parsons, M., Wilson, M., Bernardi, J., Bowling, M., Karl, M., Lloyd, E., McCualsky, M., & al, e. (2007) Success stories from a failing school: Teachers living under the shadow of NCLB.. Information Age: Charlotte, NC

Johnston, M., & Parsons, M. (2006) The mirror and the lamp: Action research and self studies in the social studies. Research methods in social studies education: Contemporary issues and perspectives Information Age: New York

Saud, U., Johnston, M., & Parsons, M. (2006) Cross-cultural influences of educational reform: A case study of Indonesian teacher education Journal of Education for Teaching 32 (1), 3-20

Johnston, M., Thomas, M., & Parsons, M. (2005) The benefits and burdens of ETS portfolio evaluation on early career principals in Ohio. Educational Administration Quarterly 43 (4-5), 368-386

Griffin, M., Bass, L., Johnston, M., Perselli, V., & Parsons, M. (2004) Knowledge, social justice and self study. The international handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices Kluwer Academic: Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Johnston, M., & Parsons, M. (2001) Constructing ourselves: An evolving philosophy in the Open Classroom. Learning together: Children and adults in a school community Oxford University Press: New York

Johnston, M., Christenson, M., Norris, J., & Parsons, M. (2001) Teaching together: School/university collaboration in the social studies.. National Council for the Social Studies: Washington, DC

Johnston, M., Brosnan, P., Cramer, D., Dove, T., & Parsons, M. (2000) Collaborative reform and other improbable dreams: Professional development schools at The Ohio State University.. SUNY Press: New York

Johnston, M., & Parsons, M. (1997) Contradictions in collaboration: New thinking on school/university partnerships.. Teachers College Press: New York

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Grants

Principal InvestigatorUS/Indonesia Teacher Education Consortium (USINTEC) Workshops, National Science Foundation (Ohio State University), 2007 - 2008

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Service

Member of journal editorial boardInquiry in Education, 2009 - 2012

member, Board, John Dewey SocietySIG within AERA, John Dewey Society, 2006 - 2009

Teaching

Dr. Parsons taught for 12 years in K-6 grades in California and Utah. She taught in a elementary school in Pomona, California with a large Hispanic population. In Utah she taught one year in the public schools and then was the first teacher in an Free School, The Thoreau School, which is now (35 years later) a Charter School in Salt Lake City. A book written about the school's development, Learning Together, was published in 1998. After receiving a PhD in Cultural Foundations at the University of Utah, she has taught at the University of Utah, Ohio State University, and now UIUC.

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Courses

Iss Prac in Address Diversity Course examines multiple perspectives on and pedagogical responses to the historical diversity that has characterized United States education since its beginning. Course places particular emphasis on cultural issues, including the social construction and implication of race in contemporary society. Identity issues play a significant role as students examine the intersections of their biographies with those children in classrooms, especially in relation to classroom practices and the belief systems embodied in them. Developing concepts of racism (personal, cultural, and institutional) as well as of class and gender, are pivotal in response to agendas of privilege, equity, and justice. Culturally relevant practices are examined, as well as those developed in regard to differences in "ability" or in response to language and dialect differences. Course Information: 1 undergraduate hour. 1 graduate hour. Prerequisite: CI 448; admission to the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

Tchg Elem Social Studies Course examines the nature and role of social studies in elementary schools, both in terms of the formal curriculum and of the impact of the school as a social system on children's social learning. Examines multiple approaches to what should be experienced and learned in social studies as well as the nature of social inquiry. Various instructional methods emphasizing direct experiences as well as reading are emphasized. Local, state, and national trends in curriculum and evaluation are addressed. Students engage in social inquiry, as well as develop, implement, and evaluate an action research project focusing in depth on a particular practice of social education. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

Argentina Study Abroad Seminar course on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty member. Course Information: 2 to 4 undergraduate hours. 2 to 4 graduate hours. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

GP Cooperating Teachers Seminar course on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty member. Course Information: 2 to 4 undergraduate hours. 2 to 4 graduate hours. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Intergroup Dialogue Seminar course on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty member. Course Information: 2 to 4 undergraduate hours. 2 to 4 graduate hours. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Programs in Teacher Education The focus of this course will be a study of programs in teacher education considered in light of historical, social, and policy influences and also related to wider issues in contemporary teacher education efforts and research. We will consider the current context of teacher preparation programs in the U.S., examine the historical factors that have brought U.S. teacher education to this point, assess the influence of public policy on teacher education in the U.S. and globally, and study a variety of exemplary models of teacher education in the U.S. and globally. Students will conduct a study of a particular program and present this in a poster session at the end of the semester.

Marilyn Parsons

Professor, Curriculum & Instruction

Contact

Office

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

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