Main Menu Summer 2013

Mark Dressman

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.

Educational Background

  • 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

Key Professional Appointments

  • 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

Activities & Honors

  • Fulbright Senior Scholar Flex Award, Morocco, Fulbright Institute of International Education, 2014
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, College of Education, 2014
  • Visiting Professor, Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, 2014
  • Co-Editor, Research in the Teaching of English, National Council of Teachers of English, 2007-2013
  • Dean's Prize for Breakthrough Initiatives in Teaching, College of Education, 2011
  • 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

Research Statement

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.


  • 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

Select Publications

  • Dressman, M., Faust, M. Lessons from the history of poetry education in one journal, 1912-2005: Does history matter? Journal of Literacy Research.
  • Dressman, M. (2014). The paradox of poetry education. In L. Bresler, M. Fleming, & J. O’Toole (Eds.). Routledge International Handbook of Arts and Education.
  • 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. , 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.
  • 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. (2006). Teacher, teach thyself: Teacher research as gendered ethnographic practice. Ethnography, 7(3), 329-356.
  • 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.
  • 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. (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.

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