I am a former secondary teacher of English and the social studies in urban, international, and rural (Navajo Nation) contexts. My research, teaching, and service are focused on the improvement of educational theory, research, and practice across a wide range of settings.
Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011 - present
Associate Professor Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003 - 2011
Assistant Professor Curriculum & Instruction, University of Houston, 1997 - 1999
Assistant Professor Curriculum & Instruction, New Mexico State University, 1994 - 1997
Ph.D., Language and Literacy Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 1994
M.A., Curriculum Development, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1981
B.A., English and Psychology, Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, KY, 1977
Fulbright Senior Scholar Flex Award, Morocco Fulbright Institute of International Education, 2014 - 2014
Undergraduate Teaching Award College of Education, 2014 - 2014
Visiting Professor Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, 2014 - 2014
Dean's Prize for Breakthrough Initiatives in Teaching College of Education, 2011 - 2011
My research focuses on the improvement of educational research and practice, with a focus on language and literacy education, both domestically and internationally.
Currently, I am a Fulbright Senior Scholar working in Morocco over the next three years to improve the teaching of English in universities there and to study the informal English learning practices of university students. This project is part of a larger project to compare English language policy, practice, and outcomes in Morocco and South Korea.
I am also engaged in a project to theorize relations across print, images, and sound in multimodal texts, with the goal of improving educational websites and multimedia.
Past projects have included studies of poetry education, the use of social theory in educational research, literacy policy, and literacy in school libraries.
Dressman, M. (2016) Reading as the interpretation of signs Reading Research Quarterly 51 (1), 111-136
Dressman, M. (2015) The paradox of poetry education. Routledge International Handbook of Arts and Education Routledge: New York
Dressman, M., Faust, M., & , . (2014) On the teaching of poetry in English Journal, 1912-2005: Does history matter? Journal of Literacy Research 46, 39-67
Journell, W., Dressman, M., Babock, A., Weatherup, N., & Makhoukh, A. (2013) “Toward technology-mediated transcultural education: Learning from a discussion of politics and culture between American and Moroccan students.” International Journal of Social Education 24 (2), 169-192
Dressman, M. (2013) Beyond disbelief: A confessional tale of religion, technology, and academic conceit 14, 255-274
Dressman, M., Journell, A., & Mann, J. (2012) Teacher education: Qualitative research approaches. Handbook of qualitative research in education Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: Cheltenham, Glos, UK
Dressman, M., & McCarthey, S. (2011) Toward a pragmatics of epistemology, methodology, and other people's theories in literacy research. Literacy research methodologies Guilford Press: New York
Dressman, M. (2010) Let's poem: The essential guide to teaching poetry in a high-stakes, multimodal world.. Teachers College Press: New York
Dressman, M. (2008) Using social theory in educational research: A practical guide.. Routledge: London
Dressman, M. (2007) Theoretically framed: Argument and desire in the production of general knowledge about literacy Reading Research Quarterly 42, 332-363
Dressman, M. (2006) Teacher, teach thyself: Teacher research as gendered ethnographic practice. Ethnography 7 (3), 329-356
Wilder, P., & Dressman, M. (2006) New literacies, enduring challenges? The role of capital in adolescent readers' internet practices. Reconceptualizing the literacies in adolescents' lives Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ
Dressman, M., Wilder, P., & Connor, J. (2005) Theories of failure and the failure of theories: A cognitive/sociocultural/macrostructural study of eight struggling students Research in the Teaching of English 40, 8-61
Dressman, M. (2004) Dewey and Bakhtin in dialogue: From Rosenblatt to a pedagogy of literature as social, aesthetic practice. Bakhtinian perspectives on language and literacy education University Press: Cambridge, UK
McCarthey, S., & Dressman, M. (2004) Toward a pragmatics of epistemology, methodology, and other people's theories in literacy research. Literacy research methods Guilford Press: New York
Dressman, M., & Faust, M.. Lessons from the history of poetry education in one journal, 1912-2005: Does history matter? Journal of Literacy Research
Principal Investigator Hardie Collaborative Stipend: Religion, Race and Language in Global Context: A Proposal for Collaborative Undergraduate Ethnographic Research, Bureau of Educational Research, 2007 - 2008
Principal Investigator Using Technology to Enhance Achievement in Math, Science, and Literacy: A Middle School-University Partnership, Hewlett-Packard, 2001 - 2003
Principal Investigator Reading the Lives and Literacies of Disenfranchised, Disaffected Youth, Campus Research Board, 2000 - 2001
Co-Editor Research in the Teaching of English, National Council of Teachers of English, 2007 - 2013
Chair, Early Career Research Award Committee National Reading Conference, 2006 - 2009
Member, Editoral Board Research in the Teaching of English, 2003 - 2008
Area 6 Co-Chair, Adolescent, College, and Adult Literacy Processes National Reading Conference, 2004 - 2006
Book Review Editor Journal of Curriculum Studies, 2002 - 2006
I teach a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. At the undergraduate level, I teach courses in the secondary English education program, a course in content area literacy across many content areas, and a course on social media. At the masters level, I teach courses in curriculum development, social media, and literacy, and at the doctoral level I teach courses in qualitative analysis and writing.
I am equally proud of my work in program development at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and particularly of the study abroad and service learning trips I organize and lead to Spain, Morocco, and the Navajo Nation.
Tchg Diverse Middle Grade Stu Examines the curriculum and philosophy of teaching students in the middle grades. Students will focus on a number of related topics including teaching a diverse middle school student population, including all students in instruction, using technology for teaching middle school English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies and alternative means of assessing students' learning. Seminar content will be integrated with coursework in adolescent development, and special education in middle school settings. Coursework is integrated with a middle grade field experience. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CI 401 and concurrent enrollment in CI 473 and EPSY 430.
Disciplinary Literacy Provides secondary and K-12 level education majors with principles and practices of effective language and literacy instruction in their content areas, consistent with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards for educator preparation of the Illinois State Board of Education. Course Information: 2 or 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 3 graduate hours. Students in music and kinesiology education take for 2 credit hours; students in agriculture, art, mathematics, science, social studies, and English education take for 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: Admission to a teacher education program.
Literacy in Content Areas Provides secondary and K-12 level education majors with principles and practices of effective language and literacy instruction in their content areas, consistent with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards for educator preparation of the Illinois State Board of Education. Course Information: 2 or 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 3 graduate hours. Students in music and kinesiology education take for 2 credit hours; students in agriculture, art, mathematics, science, social studies, and English education take for 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: Admission to a teacher education program.
Social Learning and Multimedia Learning in multimodal environments from a social and cultural perspective. Topics include the formation and expression of individual and group identity across multiple contexts, including social networking, online gaming, reality television programs, streamed video, and in online courses. Assignments include both analytic and project-based tasks, with an emphasis on implications for formal learning environments. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.
Qualitative Research Methods Reviews the principal methodologies used in research on curriculum problems; emphasizes subject-analytical, large-scale survey, experimental, case methods, and clinical studies; emphasizes the conceptual and practical problems in such research.
Qualitative Writing Focuses on analysis of data and writing of qualitative/ethnographic research in educational contexts. Topics include the history of qualitative research practices; approaches to the analysis and interpretation of multiple forms of data, including coding, discourse analysis, text analysis, and structural/post-structural analysis; different styles of qualitative writing; social theory as a framing device; and writing for publication. Provides a theoretically informed but very practical, hands-on approach to qualitative writing for graduate researchers across the broad range of educational and social science contexts. One part of the course focuses on methods of analysis through application, while a second part is designed as a writer's workshop in which students "write up" the data from a study in three narrative styles. Assignments include weekly readings, three short writing assignments, and a more substantial writing project. Advanced graduate standing is useful but not required.