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Faculty


Dr. Karen Kleppe Graham

Dr. Karen Kleppe Graham, Assistant Professor

"I am in academia because I want to support teacher candidates and in-service teachers in becoming the best educators they can possibly be."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Language & Literacy Education — The University of Georgia, 2017
  • M.A. in Language & Literacy Education — The University of Georgia, 2011
  • B.S. in Education — Texas Tech University, 1989
  • B.A. in English — Texas Tech University, 1989

Career Highlights:

  • National Writing Project Fellow, 1992-Present
  • JoLLE (Journal of Language & Literacy Education) Executive Board
  • Arkansas Delta Writing Project Co-Director, 2017-2018
  • Arkansas Delta Writing Project Director, 2018
  • International Conference Presentations, Valencia, Spain

In which online degree programs do you teach?

MSE in Reading

Which classes do you teach online?

RDNG 6313: Current Theory & Practice in Teaching Reading

What do you want students to learn in your classes?

I want them to learn content, but more importantly I want them to discover how children learn and to also feel confident supporting their students in those ways. I want them to "trust their gut" when they fight for their students' right to learn.

I want them to learn to work together, since teachers must cooperate to be successful. Teacher friendships are the heart of any school.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in this area?

  • A love for learning
  • A determination to support children's learning
  • A curious mind
  • The love for reading and discovery

What advice would you give to those considering this program?

In undergraduate classes, we mostly learn the "what" and "how" of education. It's sufficient to know what to teach and how to do it.

In graduate classes, we learn the "why." To truly make a difference in the field, we need to know why one would teach in specific ways. Graduate classes can give you the why.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that educators face today?

  • Equity in teaching: being able to support each student in his/her learning in individual ways
  • Scripted lessons without an experienced teacher's input

Why did you start teaching?

I began teaching because I loved my content area and wanted to share it with young learners. I am in academia because I want to support teacher candidates and in-service teachers in becoming the best educators they can possibly be.

What books do you think everyone should read?

"Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire and "A Rooms of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf

Tell us something your students may not know about you.

I'm originally from Texas, but have lived in several southern states. I've been a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan since the Roger Staubach era. We have rescued 5 former racing greyhounds in the last 12 years.

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