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Anne Haas Dyson
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, forthcoming in 2015, Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on children composing their lives.
- 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
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
Activities & Honors
- Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, American Educational Research Association, 2012-present
- Editorial Board Member, Language & Literacy Series, Teachers College Press, 1989-present
- Editorial Board Member, Written Communication, 1987-present
- Language Arts Educator of the Year Award, National Council of Teachers of English, 2015
- John R. Hayes Award for Excellence in Educational Research, Written Communication (journal), 2014
- Vera Nofftz Early Childhood Education Fellow, Given for "preeminence in the field of early childhood education", College of Education, 2011-2014
- Early Literacy Educator of the Year Award, National Council of Teachers of English, 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
- 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
- Selection as Mary Lou Fulton Distinguished Lecturer, Selection by Mary Lou Fulton Endowment Advisory Committee of the College of Education, Arizona State University, 2006
- Janet Emig Award, National Council of Teachers of English, 2002
- Purves Award, National Council of Teachers of English, 1999
- Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California-Berkeley, 1998
- Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award, Choice, 1995
- David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English, National Council of Teachers of English, 1994
Research StatementMy 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Dyson, A. "Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on composing unique lives" 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.
- 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., Smitherman, G. (2009). The right (write) start: African American language and the discourse of sounding right. Teachers College Record, 111(4), 973-998.
- Dyson, A. (2009). Writing in childhood worlds. Handbook of writing development. Sage: London.
- 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.
In The News
Identity, language, power, and agency emerge as key commonalities in how children learn at Global Perspectives conference
Apr. 9, 2014
The stories of young children from several continents were related by professors from all over the world at an April College of Education conference called “Global Perspectives on Childhoods and Composing: The Interplay of Child Cultures, Schooling, and Literacy.” Read more...
Dec. 7, 2012
Anne Haas Dyson, professor in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, has received the Early Literacy Educator of the Year Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). NCTE seeks to recognize distinguished contributions to the language and literacy education of young children. Read more...