Main Menu Summer 2013

Marilyn Johnston-Parsons

Educational Background

  • 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

Key Professional Appointments

  • Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005-present
  • Department Head, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005-2006
  • Professor, Integrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1999-2004
  • Section Head, Integrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1998-2001
  • Associate Professor, Integrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1991-1999
  • Assistant Professor, Integrated Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, 1988-1991
  • Visiting Professor, Teacher Education, Michigan State University, 1987-1988
  • Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Utah, 1986-1988
  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Utah, 1979-1986

Activities & Honors

  • Member of journal editorial board, Inquiry in Education, 2009-2012
  • member, Board, John Dewey Society, SIG within AERA, John Dewey Society, 2006-2009

Research Statement

My current research interests include educational reform related to teacher education and social studies education particularly related to issues of social justice and diversity. I use socio-cultural, post-colonial, and post-structural feminist perspectives to frame my research. I recently was working on a project in an urban Chicago school working collaboratively with teachers to integrated social studies and content area writing.

I recently published a book, Dialogue and Difference in a Teacher Education Program: A 16-Year Sociocultural Study of a PDS, that is a longitudinal study of an experimental, collaborative teacher education program at the Ohio State University and the Professional Development School (PDS) that was the central focus of our work together. Begun in 1992, this book traces the program's development, philosophy, practices, and a follow-up with the graduates of this program.

I am interested in collaborative and narative research methodologies, urban education, and teacher education reform. I regularly do action research/self-studies of my own teaching.


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


  • Parsons, Marilyn, Colleagues, PDS (2012). Dialogue and difference in a teacher education program: A 16-year sociocultural study of a PDS. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC.
  • Parsons, Marilyn (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, et, Parsons, Marilyn (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.
  • Parsons, Marilyn, 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.
  • Parsons, Marilyn, Wilson, M., Bernardi, J., Bowling, M., Karl, M., Lloyd, E., McCualsky, M., al, et (2007). Success stories from a failing school: Teachers living under the shadow of NCLB. Information Age: Charlotte, NC.
  • Saud, U., Johnston, M., Parsons, Marilyn (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., Parsons, Marilyn (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.
  • Johnston, M., Thomas, M., Parsons, Marilyn (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, Marilyn (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., Christenson, M, Norris, J., Parsons, Marilyn (2001). Teaching together: School/university collaboration in the social studies. National Council for the Social Studies: Washington, DC.
  • Johnston, M., Parsons, Marilyn (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., Brosnan, P., Cramer, D., Dove, T., Parsons, Marilyn (2000). Collaborative reform and other improbable dreams: Professional development schools at The Ohio State University. SUNY Press: New York.
  • Johnston, M, Parsons, Marilyn (1997). Contradictions in collaboration: New thinking on school/university partnerships. Teachers College Press: New York.