Biography
"In a troubled world of poverty and violence, of racism and sometimes breathtaking indifference, we cannot pave children's way. But, as teachers, we can help.... If our classrooms are not places for a diversity of social action and a wealth of cultural materials, we risk sending messages of alienation, messages that say that educated people are not rooted in their own histories, in strong relationships with people that matter" (Dyson, Negotiating a Permeable Curriculum, 2016,p. 65)

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 most recent publications are both Spencer-funded: ReWRITING the basics: Literacy learning in children’s cultures (2013) and, published in 2016, Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on children composing their lives.

Expand
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

Graduate Faculty Graduate School, University of Georgia, 1984 - 1985

Visiting Assistant Professor Division of Language, Literacy, & Culture, University of California, Berkeley, 1984 - 1985

Assistant Professor Department of Language Education, University of Georgia, 1981 - 1985

Expand
Education

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

Expand
Awards, Honors, Associations

David Russell Award for Distinghished Research National Council of Teachers of English, 2015 - 2015

Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts (with C. Genishi, Teachers College) National Council of Teachers of English, 2015 - 2015

John R. Hayes Award for Excellence in Educational Research Written Communication (journal), 2014 - 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 - 2012

Fellow of the American Educational Research Association American Educational Research Association, 2012 - 2012

Fellow of the American Educational Research Association American Educational Research Association, 2012 - present

John R. Hayes Award for Excellence in Writing Research Written Communication (journal), 2009 - 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 - 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 - 2006

Janet Emig Award National Council of Teachers of English, 2002 - 2002

Purves Award National Council of Teachers of English, 1999 - 1999

Distinguished Teaching Award University of California-Berkeley, 1998 - 1998

Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award Choice, 1995 - 1995

David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English National Council of Teachers of English, 1994 - 1994

Research & Service

My major research interests are related to the social and cultural processes of schooling and literacy, including:
+ethnographies of childhoods 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.
More particularly, my 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, my current project is based on a longitudinal, ethnographic study of a minoritized child’s transition from a preschool of primarily children of color through a majority white school. The central theme is the child’s negotiating of a sense of belonging, given his identity as “different.” The project demonstrates the intersection of race, class, and both claimed and ascribed academic identity in peer culture, which itself shapes opportunities to be “smart.” It also highlights the contradictory role of written language in children’s journey through school: it functions both as a means of labeling children and as a tool for expression and communication.

Expand
Publications

Dyson, A. (2018). A sense of belonging: Inclusion, equity, and the transition to school. Research in the Teaching of English/National Council of Teachers of English, 52 (3), 45 ms. pages.  link >

Dyson, A. (2016). Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on composing unique lives". This is technically an edited collection, but, in actuality, it is a singular book, designed so that each chapter builds on the next and all chapters reference the 8 case studies upon which the projec London/NYC, United Kingdom/United States: Routledge.

Dyson, A. (2018). From superman play to singing the blues: On the trail of child writing and popular culture. Language Arts/National Council of Teachers of English, 96 (1), 37-46.  link >

Dyson, A. (2016). Chapter 6: Making Space for Missing Childhoods: Implications for Theory, Policy, and Pedagogy. Child cultures, schooling, and literacy: Global perspectives on composing unique lives ( pp. 20). London/New York, U.K./U.S.A: Routledge.

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.  link >

Dyson, A. (2017). Empathy, diversity, and being "mean to all people": The democratic work of the public's schools in hard times. D Taylor (Ed.), "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." ( pp. 99-107). NY, NY, USA: Garn Press.

Dyson, A. (2016). Children's writing. The Sage Encyclopedia of Contemporary ECE ( pp. 11). Los Angeles, CA, USA: Sage.

Dyson, A. (2013). ReWRITING the basics: Literacy learning in children's cultures ( pp. 206). New York, USA: Teachers College Press.

Dyson, A. (2012). Relations between oral language and literacy. The encyclopedia of applied linguistics Indianapolis, IN: Wiley-Blackwell.

Dyson, A. (2009). Writing in childhood worlds. Handbook of writing development ( pp. 232-245). London: Sage.

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.

Genishi, C., & Dyson, A. (2009). Children, language, & literacy: Diverse learners in diverse times New York: Teachers College Press.

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 Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.

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) New York: Teachers College Press.

Dyson, A. (2004). Diversity as a “handful”: Toward retheorizing the basics. Research in the Teaching of English, 39 209-213.

Dyson, A. The place of childhoods in school writing programs: A matter of ethics. The Sage handbook of early childhood literacy, second edition London: SAGE.

Dyson, A. (2016). Negotiating a permeable curriculum: On the interplay of children's and teacher's worlds This is a book, the first, in a Women's Scholar series, edited by B. Kabuto NY, NY, USA: Garn Press.  link >

Expand
Presentations

Ethics of Schooling Children: The Case of Childhoods in School Writing Programs (2015). University of Wits: Johannesburg, S.A.

Writing as a Textual Playground: Symbolic Play and Children's Learning (2015). Reading Association of South Africa and University of Wits: Johannesburg, S.A.

The relational world of childhoods and the construction of misbehaving child writers: When children’s language becomes the enemy (2012).: Las Vegas.

Ethics of writing in childhoods (2012). Stanford University: Stanford.

The place of childhoods in school writing programs (2012). the Chancellor’s Academy, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.

The ethics of child writing (2012).: Champaign, IL.

Writing basics and the marginalization of childhoods: Miss Bindergarten has her say (2011). National Council of Teachers of English annual convention: Chicago, IL.

School children, diversity, and written language: Recognizing resources (2011). University of Orebro: Orebro, Sweden.

The place of childhoods in school writing programs: A matter of ethics (2011).: Orebro, Sweden.

Social talk and imaginative play: Curricular basics for young children's language and literacy (2011).: New Orleans.

Expand
Grants

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

Expand
Service

Editorial Board Member Language & Literacy Series, Teachers College Press, 1989 - present

Editorial Board Member Written Communication, 1987 - present

Teaching

Dyson, whose courses are consistently rated as excellent, teaches courses in three major areas. First, she teaches qualitative methodology, focusing on ethnographic studies in educational settings. Among her courses are both an introductory level methods course and an advanced issues course for students working on proposals and dissertations. The methods course fills up within a matter of hours. Second, she teaches courses on language and literacy, stressing both their sociocultural diversity and the issues regarding their politicization in the schools. She also teaches a course on young children’s initiation into school literacy, stressing children’s socialization into literacy practices, both official and unofficial (or peer governed) and schools’ institutional processes that privilege certain learners, thereby constructing “success” and “failure.” Finally, she offers a class on popular culture and contemporary childhoods, considering the dynamic relationship between childhoods and consumer culture. In addition to her formal teaching, she consults with a large number of graduate students on their research.

Expand
Courses

Ethnographic Methods in Educ (EPOL 585) This course focuses on goals, nature, and methodological means of ethnographic research in educational settings broadly defined. Such research aims to describe and, moreover, to understand the ways of living of teachers, students, administrators, parents, and other participants in relevant social spaces. The class will be grounded in the disciplinary perspectives of cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural studies. We will have an ongoing discussion of how one conducts ethnographic research, and all members of the class will conduct their own mini-study. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

Ethnographic Research in Educ (EPOL 585) This course focuses on goals, nature, and methodological means of ethnographic research in educational settings broadly defined. Such research aims to describe and, moreover, to understand the ways of living of teachers, students, administrators, parents, and other participants in relevant social spaces. The class will be grounded in the disciplinary perspectives of cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural studies. We will have an ongoing discussion of how one conducts ethnographic research, and all members of the class will conduct their own mini-study. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

Adv Qualitative Research (EPS 590) Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. May be repeated.

Contemp Childhoods&Pop Culture (EPS 590) Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. May be repeated.

Lang, Id & Poli of Schooling (EPS 590) Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. May be repeated.

Writ in Contemporary Childhood (EPS 590) Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. May be repeated.

Dyson, Anne Haas

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership

Contact

Office

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

Update Your Profile

Refreshing data...please wait