Dr. Dixie Keyes, Professor
"Passion provides the persistence you need to get through new learning experiences. Find the hook, the relevance, or the connection you need when working on various assignments so your engagement pulls you toward success in the end."
- Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction — University of Houston, 2006
- M.S.E. in Reading — University of Texas, Pan-America, 2000
- B.S.E. in English Education, University of Central Arkansas, 1993
- National Writing Project Site Director (continuing grant)
- Co-edited/authored a text on Narrative Inquiry Methodology in Teacher Education (Emerald Series on "Advances in Research in Teacher Education."
- President (two years) and now ex-oficio of our state's NCTE affiliate, the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (ACTELA)
- 2012 Recipient of Arkansas State University's Faculty Award for Professional Service
- American Educational Research Association (AERA) Narrative Research SIG Program Chairs (3 years)
In which online degree program do you teach?
Which classes do you teach online?
Adolescent Literacy and The National Writing Project Model: Processes of Writing.
Why did you start teaching?
I always loved and lived inside the stories of the authors I read in elementary and secondary school. The exceptional writing, journalism and literature teachers I had in school were the role models and encouragers I needed to know teaching is where I could develop my talent and artistry. Now, it runs through my veins and it's what I know the most about in life.
What's the best advice that you ever received?
Two things: 1. There's always a pony in a room full of poop. 2. Learn how to breathe.
What's the best advice that you could give your students?
Passion provides the persistence you need to get through new learning experiences. Find the hook, the relevance, or the connection you need when working on various assignments so your engagement pulls you toward success in the end.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
Ray Bradbury's collection of short stories.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in the area in which you teach?
- Insight into the power of reading and writing in all venues of life —that self-expression and the need for sending messages is central to others.
- Personal investment into rich reading and writing time for multiple purposes.
- Understanding multiple perspectives; willingness to examine and reflect upon diverse issues involved in literacy in communities, other cultures, and other places.
- Appreciation of inquiry and big ideas.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in the profession face today?
Everyone (outside of education) thinks they have the knowledge necessary to make decisions for those inside classrooms, and they do not. So, ensuring teachers/educators have a central voice in policy-making is a big challenge right now.
Tell us something your students may not know about you:
I was a foster child during my last two years in high school, yet I still managed to attend and finish college after spending four years in the military. School, reading, and writing have always been central in my life and have helped me not only survive difficult life situations, but thrive because of them. Education and continuous learning experiences drive me forward each and every day.
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