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Janet Donnell Johnson

Henry Barnard School (HBS) 218
(401) 456-8018

Academic Background

Ph.D. Major: English Education. Minor: English. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 2005.
M.S., English Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 2000.
B.S., Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1993.
B.A., Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1991.


My commitment to social justice and student advocacy come from my experience teaching English at an alternative high school. In learning to recognize and value various youth discourses, I also saw how they were silenced by common schooling practices. My teaching, research and service are all dedicated to finding ways to work within and against the educational system to speak back to dominant discourses that disenfranchise those from marginalized populations. This is also a big part of my role as Co-Director of the URI/RIC Ph.D. Program in Education, where I work with colleagues to teach fledgling researchers to create and support positive change in diverse educational settings.

Courses Taught

SED 562 Inquiry into Classroom Practice
FNED 547 Introduction to Classroom Research
EDP 641 Field Research Seminar
EDP 680 Identities, Discourses, and Literacy Practices
EDP 680 The Analysis of Data: A Hands-On Approach (with Julie Horwitz)
EDP 699 Doctoral Thesis Supervision
SED 445 Teaching Writing in Secondary Schools
SED 421/422 Practicum in English Education
GEND 261 Girls of Fictional Futures

Research Interests

Critical qualitative research; the role of yoga in cultivating self and social awareness in schools; social justice across diverse educational contexts; teacher activism; critical literacy and pedagogy in English Education

Presentations and Publications

Burns, R. and Johnson, J. (2016). “Reconciling the personal and professional: coming out from the classroom closet.” In Miller, S.J. and Rodriguez, N. (Eds). Educators Queering Academia: Critical Memoirs. New York: Peter Lang, p. 21-28.

Johnson, J. and Richer, B. (2015). “This is against American ideals”: Rhode Island teachers respond to PARCC. Teachers College Record.

Johnson, J. (2012). “’I want to test my own unique ideas:’ Tensions in the teacher candidate-cooperating teacher relationship.” In Flessner, R., Patrizio, K., Miller, G., and Horwitz, J. (Eds.) Agency Through Teacher Education: Reflection, Community, and Learning, 131-142. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Johnson, J. (2012). “’A rainforest in front of a bulldozer:’ The literacy practices of teacher candidates committed to social justice.” English Education. January 2012, p. 147-179. Winner of CEE Janet Emig Award 2013.

Johnson, J. (2011). Special Issue Introduction. TESOL Journal. June 2011 Special Topic Issue. 121-131.

Johnson, J. (2009). Review of the book Deranging English/education:
teacher inquiry, literary studies, and hybrid visions of “English” for 21st century schools. Education Review: a Journal of Book Reviews.

Johnson, J. (2009). Teacher candidates’ critical conversations: the online forum as an alternative pedagogical space. Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge. Vol. VII: Issue 1, Winter 2009, 75-85.

Weinstein, G. and Johnson, J. (2008). Target practice: The case for a learner-centered ESL curriculum. Language Magazine, 29-33.

Bogad, L., Cook, J., Darcy, M., Johnson, J., Patterson, S., Tillotson, M. (2007). Tales from the field: Wiki, WAC, and other collegial endeavors. Across the Disciplines. Vol. 4.

Hines, M.B. and Johnson, J. (2007). Teachers and students as agents of change: Toward a taxonomy of the literacies of social justice. In Rowe, D., Jimenez, R., Compton, D., Dickinson, D., Kim, Y., Leander, K. Risko, V. (Eds.). 2007 Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference.

Grants and Awards

Janet Emig Award. Article published in English Education awarded for contributions to pushing thinking about English teacher education and informing current research. July 2013.

Nomination, Indiana University School of Education Dissertation Award. Dissertation chosen as the nominee from the Language Education Department, School of Education, Indiana University. February 2007.

Nomination, Indiana University Trustee Teaching Award 2005.

Central Falls/Rhode Island College Innovation Lab grant. March 2014.

Faculty Research Grants: July 2006, July 2010, July 2011, July 2015.

Faculty Development Grants: January 2006, July 2006, July 2008, December 2010, November 2012, February 2014.

Page last updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2010