Jodene Morrell


Jodene Morrell, Ph.D. is a Teaching Professor and Associate Director of the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education. She is also a faculty a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Educational Initiatives.

Prior to coming to Notre Dame Jodene worked as a Senior Research Associate and Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where she taught courses and advised students in the Literacy Specialist Masters. Subsequent to her Ph.D. she was an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Integrative Studies at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. 

Jodene’s research focuses on critical literacy pedagogies in K-8 classrooms, the role of multicultural and diverse children’s literature for making literacy engaging and accessible for all students, and teachers as scholars and researchers. Jodene began her career as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher in linguistically, culturally, and ethnically diverse public schools in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA and was a literacy specialist in a middle school in Lansing, Michigan before earning a doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy with an emphasis in Literacy at Michigan State University.

She has published in venues such as Language Arts, the Reading Teacher, California English, Dragon Lode, the New England Reading Association Journal, The New Educator, and The Encyclopedia of Critical English Education about multicultural literature, English education, literacy pedagogy, and cultural practices of literacy. She is currently co-author of a book in progress entitled “Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature for Children: On Joy, Voice, Relevance, and Revolutionary Love.”

Carole Sandner Hall
Center for Literacy Education Faculty and Team
IEI Fellows

Ph.D., Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, Michigan State University

B.A., Psychology and Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara



Morrell, J (2018) "First Opinion: Stepping through Genres and Into a Dialogue on Liberty and Freedom." First Opinions, Second Reactions, 11(2). Available at:
Morrell, J. & Morrell, E. (2013). Linking the word to the world: Connecting children’s literature to the lives of 21st Century Youth. Dragon Lode.
Morrell, J. & Bennett-Armistead, S. (2013). Preparing Preservice Teachers for Productive and Positive Parent Relationships with Family Literacy Nights. New England Reading Association Journal, 48(2), 10-20.
Morrell, E. & Morrell, J. (2012). Multicultural readings of multicultural literature and the promotion of social awareness in ELA classrooms. New England Reading Association Journal, 47(2), 10 – 16.
Morrell, J. (2012). The Young Writers Group: Increasing struggling elementary students’ literacy achievement through dialogue and technology. In S. Ulanoff & J. Fingon (Eds.) Learning from culturally and linguistically diverse students. New York: Teachers College Press.
Morrell, J. (2011). Honoring identities and learning in a diverse urban elementary classroom. In S. Florio-Ruane, L. Pardo & K. Hightower (Eds.) Standing for literacy: Teaching in the context of change (pp 41 – 57). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Brown, M., Morrell, J. & Rowlands, K. D. (2011). Never more crucial: Transforming young writers’ attitudes toward writing and becoming writers. California English, 17(2), 15 - 17.
Morrell, J. (2010). Teacher preparation and diversity: When American preservice teachers aren’t White and middle class. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 12 (1), 1 - 17.
Pardo, L. & Kersten, J. (2008) Challenges to children’s literature. Language Arts, 85(3), 242 – 246.
Kersten, J. & Pardo, L. (2007). Finessing and hybridizing: innovative literacy practices in Reading First classrooms. Reading Teacher, 61(2), 146-154.
Kersten, J., Apol, L., & Pataray-Ching, J. (2007). Professional resources: Exploring the role of children’s literature in the 21 st century classroom. Language Arts, 84(3), 286 - 292.
Kersten, J. (2006). Hybridization, resistance, and compliance: Negotiating policies to support literacy achievement. The New Educator, 2(2), 1 – 20.
Kersten, J. (2006). Literacy and choice: Urban elementary students’ perceptions of links between home, school and community literacy practices. In V. Purcell-Gates (Ed.) Cultural practices of literacy: Case studies of language, literacy, social practice, and power (pp. 133 - 154). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Kersten, J. (2006). Why’s everyone White? Moving toward critical pedagogy in an elementary classroom. Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research, 2, 31-38.
Kersten, J. (2005). Hybridity, collaboration, and resistance: Literacy pedagogy in an urban elementary classroom. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, E. Lansing.
Other publications

Kersten, J. (2009). Living Triumphantly. In Voices of Multiple Sclerosis: The Healing Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort and Strength (p. 5 - 16). Brooklyn, NY: LaChance Publishing LLC

Jodene Morrell