Diane Downer Anderson
Diane Downer Anderson
Associate Professor of Education
Department of Educational Studies
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081
Research and Teaching Interests
My primary interest in teaching is to make space for undergraduates, potential researchers, and pre-service teachers, to explore education questions through inquiry. I want to invite college students into the excitement and challenges of educational studies while affirming, disputing, and complicating dogma and popular beliefs. I often tell my students at the beginning of a course that if they find the world of education to be filled with complexities or if they have more questions than answers throughout a course, then I have succeeded at teaching.
My main interest in research and writing is a socio-culturally informed perspective on literacies and learning and how these perspectives can shape classroom, home, and community practices, as well as curriculum and assessment policies. I describe my research self as a qualitative ethnographer of literacy practices. I am especially interested in researching with underserved and underrepresented persons to find the counter-narratives to popular but mis-conceived notions of how they learn and achieve. I work as well to find ways in which community service learning can serve both students and communities.
We Make Learning & Teaching at Swarthmore: Staff and students in mutual, reciprocal partnerships. An ethnographic research project in the Learning for Life Program whose goal is to find out what such a program means to participants and the institution. Further interviews commence in 2013.
Explicit codeswitching and codemeshing curriculum in an urban HS classroom. Research was conducted in 2011 and my collaborators (Scott Storm '08 and Rebekah Judson '12) and I have presented at conferences and are now writing papers for publication based on these data.
Ripples of Social Justice: Digital storytelling on and from a college campus. Hilary Hamilton '12 and I continue to speak at conferences about our campus and beyond campus digital storytelling work and are drafting a manuscript based on Hilary's senior thesis, which I co-advised.
Children's books for college students. I have drafted a manuscript about the many children's books, and their lessons, that could/should inform college students. I am exploring the possibility of a future research project in which I conduct interviews of college students to learn which, if any, books from their childhoods have had lasting influence that pertains to their college years.
Anderson, D. D., Lewis, M., Peterson, S., Grubb, G., Krone, E., Griggs, S., Singer, N., Elko, L., Fried, S., Narang, J. (2009). "Kittens! Inspired by Kittens!": Undergraduate theorists inspired by YouTube. Language Arts 88(1), 32-42.
Anderson, D. D. (2008). The elementary persuasive letter: Two cases of situated competence, strategy, and agency. Research in the Teaching of English. 42(3), 270- 314.
Anderson, D. D. (2008). Reading Salt and Pepper: Social practices, unfinished narratives, and critical interpretations. Language Arts 85(4), 275-285.
Anderson, D. D. & Gold, E. (2006). Home to School: Numeracy Practices and Mathematical Identities. Mathematical Thinking and Learning 8(3), 261-286.
Anderson, D. D. (2003). Students and staff learning and researching together on a college campus. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. Winter, 47-58.
Anderson, D. D. (2002). Casting and Recasting Gender: Children constituting social identities
through literacy practices. Research in the Teaching of English 36(3), 391 - 427.
Anderson, D.D. (1999). "WO-MAN" meets "Callie the Torturewoman": Naming and renaming across talk and text. In Wertheim, S., Bailey, A., & Corston-Oliver, M., (Eds.), Engendering Communication: Proceedings of the Fifth Berkeley Women and Language Conference. Berkeley: Berkeley Women and Language Group, 13-24.
Anderson, D. (2012). The Fifth Course: Imagine the worst thing in the world. Repeat. (Review of the book Triggered: A memoir of obsessive-compulsive disorder, by Fletcher Wortmann '09, 2012, NY, NY: St. Martin's Press. Swarthmore College Bulletin (in press).
Anderson, D.D. (1998). Reconstructing Discipline. (Review of the book: Beyond Discipline: From compliance to community, by Alfie Kohn, 1996. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.) Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 19(4).
Pinelands: Our country's first national reserve: A curriculum for grades 4-8. New Lisbon, NJ: The New Jersey Pinelands Commission. (http://www.state.nj.us/pinelands/infor/curric/pinecur/intro.htm)
- ED 14 - Introduction to Education/First Year Seminar
- ED 16 - Supervision of Student Teachers
- ED 17 - Curriculum and Methods Seminar
- ED 42 - Teaching Diverse Young Learners
- ED 45 - Literacies and Social Identities
- ED 151 - Literacy Research Honors Seminar
- WMST 091 - Women's Studies Capstone Seminar