Hello, and welcome to my website. I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Educational Studies department at Ripon College. Previously I served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Education at the University of Evansville and am a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools, primarily at the Mission Hill School, founded by Deborah Meier.

My research analyzes teaching practices and focuses on education for democratic citizenship, equity and anti-racism, literacy development, independent reading and motivation, bilingualism, and authentic assessments. Books I have written or edited include: Democratic Education in Practice: Inside the Mission Hill School (Teachers College Press, 2012), International Struggles for Critical Democratic Education (Peter Lang, 2012), Teaching in Themes: An Approach to Schoolwide Learning, Creating Community, and Differentiating Instruction (co-edited with Deborah Meier and Katherine Clunis D'Andrea, Teachers College Press, 2015), and Beyond Testing: Seven Assessments of Students and Schools More Effective than Standardized Tests (co-authored with Deborah Meier, Teachers College Press, 2017).

In addition, I have written many peer-reviewed articles for journals such as Educational Policy, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Research in Reading, Journal of Social Studies Research, and Race Ethnicity and Education.

At Ripon and the University of Evansville I have taught various courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. They generally focus on literacy development, social studies, elementary curricula, assessment, and research methods.


Although I am a native English speaker, I have been a (nearly) life-long student of the Spanish language and the varying difficulties people experience learning multiple languages. I taught for several years in a bilingual school in Boston, sent my two children to a bilingual school in Milwaukee, and continue to conduct research about bilingual education.

I was born into and raised by a family of Dutch immigrants (I am second-generation) in Grand Rapids, MI and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College, Master of Education from Harvard University, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I wrote my dissertation under the direction of Michael W. Apple.

Please explore the resources on this website and contact me if you would like additional information about anything you find here.