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Mark Dressman

Biography

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.

Key Professional Appointments

  • Professor Emeritus, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor Emeritus, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Editorial activity, Research in the Teaching of English (Journal), 2008 - 2013
Awards, Honors, Associations

Fulbright Scholar Award, United States Department of State, 2014

Research & Service

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 Professor Emeritus of English education, working in both first and additional language contexts in the United States, Morocco, and Asia. From 2014-2016 I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Morocco, working at three universities there to improve the teaching of first-year English. I conducted the first study of IDLE (Informal Digital Learning of English) there and from that work published two books with Wiley-Blackwell, The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (2020) and English Language Learning in the Digital Age: Learner-Driven Strategies for Adolescents and Young Adults (2023). I continue to research and work internationally with scholars in Europe, Morocco, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea on a range of comparative studies in language and literacy.

Past projects have included studies of poetry education, the use of social theory in educational research, literacy policy, and literacy in school libraries.

Publications

Dressman, M. A., Lee, J. S., & Perrot, L. (2023). English Language Learning in the Digital Age: Learner-Driven Strategies for Adolescents and Young Adults. Wiley-Blackwell.

Dressman, M. (2023). Toward an anthropology of Informal Digital Learning of English (IDLE). In D. Toffoli, G. Sockett, & M. Kusyk (Eds.), Language Learning and Leisure: Informal Language Learning in the Digital Age (pp. 21-42). (Studies on Language Acquisition; Vol. 66). De Gruyter.  link >

Rao, D., Lee, C., & Dressman, M. (2023). Learning with the stars: A cross-national approach to media literacy and reality television. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 67(2), 65-73.  link >

Dressman, M., & Lee, J. S. (2021). IDLE in the Classroom: Learner-Driven Strategies for English Language Learning. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 94(4), 181-187.  link >

Dressman, M. A. (2021). On the Failure of Reason in the Face of Belief. In D. Sumara, & D. E. Alvermann (Eds.), Ideas That Changed Literacy Practices: First Person Accounts from Leading Voices Myers Education Press.

Dressman, M. (2020). Informal English Learning Among Moroccan Youth. In M. Dressman, & R. W. Sadler (Eds.), The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (pp. 303-318). Wiley-Blackwell.  link >

Dressman, M. (2020). Introduction. In M. Dressman, & R. W. Sadler (Eds.), The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (pp. 1-12). Wiley-Blackwell.  link >

Dressman, M. (2020). Multimodality and Language Learning. In M. Dressman, & R. W. Sadler (Eds.), The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (pp. 39-55). Wiley-Blackwell.  link >

Dressman, M., & Rao, D. (2020). On savvy reading. English in Education, 54(2), 161-173.  link >

Dressman, M., Journell, W., & Mann, J. (2020). Teacher Education. In M. R. M. Ward, & S. Delamont (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education (2 ed.). Edward Elgar Publishing.  link >

Dressman, M., & Sadler, R. W. (Eds.) (2020). The Handbook of Informal Language Learning. Wiley-Blackwell.  link >

Dressman, M. (2018). TRANSACTIONAL READING IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. In Theoretical Models and Processes of Literacy, Seventh Edition (pp. 480-484). Taylor and Francis.  link >

Lee, J. S., & Dressman, M. (2018). When IDLE Hands Make an English Workshop: Informal Digital Learning of English and Language Proficiency. TESOL Quarterly, 52(2), 435-445.  link >

Dressman, M. (2016). Reading as the Interpretation of Signs. Reading Research Quarterly, 51(1), 111-136.  link >

Dressman, M., & Faust, M. (2014). On the teaching of poetry in English Journal, 1912-2005: Does history matter? Journal of Literacy Research, 46(1), 39-67.  link >

Dressman, M. (2014). The paradox of poetry education. In M. Fleming, L. Bresler, & J. O'Toole (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of the Arts and Education (pp. 203-211). Taylor and Francis Inc..  link >

Dressman, M. (2013). Beyond disbelief: A confession of religion, technology and academic conceit. Ethnography, 14(2), 255-274.  link >

Dressman, M., Mccarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2013). Editors' Introduction: All in the details. Research in the Teaching of English, 47(3), 209-211.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2013). Editors' Introduction: Writing Research outside the U.S.: Our Final Introduction. Research in the Teaching of English, 47(4), 361-364.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2012). Editors' introduction: Tracking, assessment, and persistent problems of inequity. Research in the Teaching of English, 46(3), 229-231.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2012). Editors' Introduction: Challenging simplicity, embracing complexity. Research in the Teaching of English, 46(4), 337-339.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2012). Editors' Introduction: Literate practices are situated, mediated, multisemiotic, and embodied. Research in the Teaching of English, 47(1), 5-8.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2012). Editors' Introduction: Continuity and innovation in literacy research. Research in the Teaching of English, 47(2), 109-111.

Dressman, M., Journell, W., & Mann, J. (2012). Teacher education: Qualitative research approaches. In Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education (pp. 181-194). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2011). Editors' introduction: On the complexities of writing and writing research. Research in the Teaching of English, 46(1), 5-7.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2011). Editors' introduction: 100 Years of Research. Research in the Teaching of English, 46(2), 133-140.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2011). Editors' Introduction: Semiotics in new hard times. Research in the Teaching of English, 45(3), 221-223.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2011). Editors' Introduction: Generalizability or a thousand points of light? The promises and dilemmas of qualitative literacy research. Research in the Teaching of English, 45(4), 349-352.

Dressman, M. A., & McCarthey, S. J. (2011). Toward a Pragmatics of Epistemology, Methodology, and Social Theory. In N. K. Duke, & M. H. Mallette (Eds.), Literacy Research Methodologies (2 ed.). Guilford Press.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2010). Editor's introduction: Researching across the current. Research in the Teaching of English, 44(4), 365-367.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2010). Editors' Introduction: Countering theoretical and curricular narratives. Research in the Teaching of English, 44(3), 253-254.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2010). Editors' Introduction: Representations of diverse populations. Research in the Teaching of English, 45(1), 5-6.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2009). Editors' introduction: Rethinking teacher quality and classroom instruction. Research in the Teaching of English, 43(3), 245-246.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2009). Editors' introduction: Voice, space, and activity in english teaching and learning. Research in the Teaching of English, 44(1), 5-7.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2009). Editors' introduction: Adolescents' literacy and the promises of digital technology. Research in the Teaching of English, 43(4), 345-347.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2009). Editors' Introduction: Literate practies: Theory, method, and disciplinary boundary work. Research in the Teaching of English, 44(2), 133-135.

Dressman, M., McCarthey, S., & Prior, P. (2008). Editors' Introduction: On research in the teaching of English. Research in the Teaching of English, 43(1), 5-11.

Dressman, M. A., McCarthey, S. J., & Prior, P. A. (2008). Editors' Introduction: Tales of transformation. Research in the Teaching of English, 43(2), 109-111.

Dressman, M. (2008). Using Social Theory in Educational Research: A Practical Guide. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.  link >

Dressman, M., & Wilder, P. (2008). Wireless technology and the prospect of alternative education reform. In J. Albright, & A. Luke (Eds.), Pierre Bourdieu and Literacy Education (pp. 113-135). Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.  link >

Dressman, M. A. (2007). Theoretically framed: Argument and desire in the production of general knowledge about literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(3), 332-363.  link >

Dressman, M., & Tettegah, S. (2006). Ordered by Desire: School Libraries in Past and Present Times. In C. Kapitzke, & B. C. Bruce (Eds.), Libr@ries: Changing Information Space and Practice (pp. 37-56). Routledge.  link >

Dressman, M. (2006). Teacher, teach thyself: Teacher research as ethnographic practice. Ethnography, 7(3), 329-356.  link >

Dressman, M., Wilder, P., & Connor, J. 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(1), 8-61.

Dressman, M. (2004). Dewey and Bakhtin in Dialogue: From Rosenblatt to a Pedagogy of Literature as Social, Aesthetic Practice. In A. F. Ball, & S. W. Freedman (Eds.), Bakhtinian Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Learning (pp. 34-52). Cambridge University Press.  link >

Dressman, M., & Webster, J. P. (2001). Retracing Rosenblatt: A textual archaeology. Research in the Teaching of English, 36(1), 110-145.

McCarthey, S. J., Dressman, M., Smolkin, L., McGill-Franzen, A., & Harris, V. J. (2000). How will diversity affect literacy in the next millennium? Reading Research Quarterly, 35(4), 548-552.  link >

Dressman, M. (1999). Essay review: The white man’s burden at le fin de siecle. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 31(5), 587-600.  link >

Dressman, M. A. (1999). On the use and misuse of research evidence: Decoding two states' reading initiatives. Reading Research Quarterly, 34(3), 258-285.  link >

Dressman, M., McCarty, L., & Benson, J. (1998). <Whole Language> as signifier: Considering the semantic field of school literacy. Journal of Literacy Research, 30(1), 9-52.  link >

Dressman, M. (1998). Toward a literature of difference. Equity and Excellence in Education, 31(3), 18-24.  link >

Dressman, M. (1997). Congruence, resistance, liminality: Reading and ideology in three school libraries. Curriculum Inquiry, 27(3), 267-315.  link >

Dressman, M. (1997). Literacy in the library: negotiating the spaces between order and desire. (Critical studies in education and culture series). Bergin & Garvey.

Dressman, M. (1997). Preference as Performance: Doing Social Class and Gender in Three School Libraries. Journal of Literacy Research, 29(3), 319-361.  link >

Dressman, M. (1995). Under the umbrella: Resisting the reign of rationalized educational reform. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 27(3), 231-244.  link >

Hoffman, J. V., McCarthey, S. J., Abbott, J., Christian, C., Corman, L., Curry, C., Dressman, M., Elliott, B., Matherne, D., & Stahle, D. (1994). So What's New in the New Basals? A Focus on First Grade. Journal of Literacy Research, 26(1), 47-73.  link >

Dressman, M. (1993). Lionizing Lone Wolves: The Cultural Romantics of Literacy Workshops. Curriculum Inquiry, 23(3), 245-263.  link >

Teaching

I have taught a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. At the undergraduate level, I have taught 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 have organized and led to Spain, Morocco, and the Navajo Nation. I was also principal author of the I-STECS grant, which provided funding for the development of the first undergraduate secondary education program in Computer Science.

From 2019 to 2021 I was Chair and Professor of English at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In 2023, I was a Visiting Professor at Universite Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III, in France, and currently am a Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak, India, where I am redesigning two core courses in English.

Courses

CI 501: Curriculum Development for the 21st Century (CI 501) Examines a variety of definitions of curriculum development, from past to present. Course activities use theories and research to frame discussions of substantive issues in the field: how learning is influenced by the stated goals of education; the cultural background of diverse learners; structure of the school setting; competencies of teachers; means of student assessment; and approaches to incorporating technology and 21st Century skills into classrooms.