Classroom Caffeine

Classroom Caffeine

Education research has a problem. The work of brilliant education researchers often doesn’t reach the practice of brilliant teachers. But the questions and challenges from teachers’ practice sometimes don’t become the work of education researchers. Classroom Caffeine is here to help. In each episode, listeners hear from a leading education researcher or practitioner who shares what they want others to know about their work. Each conversation offers new insights into teaching and learning.


December 6, 2022 40 min

Dr. Sarah J. McCarthey is known for her work in the areas of writing and writing instruction within the context of education policy and global education. Sarah’s work has been funded by the National Writing Project, the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has won multiple awards for her teachin...

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Dr. Mandie Bevels Dunn is known for her work in the area of teacher wellness. In particular, she studies how teachers who were grieving a death managed their emotions in the context of teaching in English language arts classrooms. In studying teachers’ grief-related emotions, she focuses on how power dynamics between teachers and students influence what teachers disclose or hide about loss experiences when they talk, read, or write...

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November 8, 2022 48 min

In this episode, Dr. Marcus Croom talks to us about relationships between racialization and literacies, an ecology of mastery, and having real talk around race and education. Marcus is known for his work utilizing research and experiences to help individuals and groups develop racial literacies in order to advance the justice, antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of schools, universities, businesses, organizations, ...

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October 24, 2022 26 min

In this episode, Dr. Susan Bennett talks to us about building relationships, social justice, equity, and multicultural education. Susan is known for her work in multicultural children’s literature, arts and creative literacies, and culturally-responsive literacy practices. Her research and teaching are driven by issues of social justice. Notably, Dr. Bennett has worked with incarcerated youth to improve literacy rates and mental he...

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October 10, 2022 25 min

In this episode, Michelle Townley talks to us about community, relationships, school culture, and the spirit of collective efficacy. Michelle is known for her work in schools, supporting teachers and school leaders, coordinating curriculum, and supporting school operations. Mrs. Townley has worked in public education for nearly 25 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and Principal, an...

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September 26, 2022 31 min

In this episode, Dr. AnnMarie Alberton Gunn talks to us about supporting kids and families, multiple pathways to finding reading success, and the need for diverse books in our classrooms and our worlds. AnnMarie is known for her work in multicultural education, multicultural literacies, and culturally-sustaining teaching pedagogies. She studies multicultural literature in teacher education, investigates the culturally-sustaining pe...

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September 12, 2022 30 min

Dr. Victoria Damjanovic talks to us about inquiry-based learning, childism, and the agency of young children. Tori is known for her work in the areas of early childhood development, teacher content and pedagogical knowledge, and equity in early childhood education. Dr. Damjanovic is an Assistant Professor in early childhood education and early childhood special education in the department of Teaching and Learning and Educational Sp...

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August 29, 2022 3 min

There are some exciting projects going on behind the scenes at Classroom Caffeine. In order to make the most of this work, we need your input. 

We are looking to improve the content of our show notes, create playlists for learning about specific topics and ideas, enhance our episode tags on the website, and, as always, recruit guests YOU want to learn from. 

In particular, we are interested to know: 

  • What are your most challenging pro...
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    August 15, 2022 36 min

    Dr. Mark Dressman is known for his work in the improvement of educational theory, research, and practice, specifically in Secondary English and in Native Nations and international settings. His research projects have engaged multimodal texts including print, image, and sound as he works to help improve educational websites and multimedia. He has also engaged with poetry, social theory, literacy policy, literacy in school libraries,...

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    August 1, 2022 53 min

    Dr. Graham is known for his work in writing development and writing instruction for both writers developing typically and writers with special needs. Steve has authored or co-authored over 300 journal articles, over 100 book chapters, 5 books, edited nearly 20 books or book series, and has contributed to reports for the International Literacy Association, the What Works Clearinghouse, and the Alliance for Excellence in Education. I...

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    July 18, 2022 46 min

    Dr. Barbara Comber is known for her work in the areas of creative teaching pedagogy, critical literacy, poverty, and social justice. In particular, she studies the kinds of teaching practices that make a difference to young people's literacy learning trajectories and what gets in the way. Barbara has collaborated on and conducted a number of competitively funded research projects concerned with literacy development, teaching an...

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    July 4, 2022 29 min

    Dr. Nell K. Duke talks to us about equity, research, and equitable, research-based resources for schools and teachers. Nell is known for her work in the areas of early literacy development, particularly the development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. Dr. Duke has received numerous awards for her work inc...

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    Classroom Caffeine is taking a short summer break. We invite you to catch up on any episodes you may not have heard yet or listen again to your favorite episodes. You can explore episode topics through our tags on our website. You have likely heard me say that you can also reach the Classroom Caffeine team through our website at, but we have just launched a new way for you to communicate with us. You can l...

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    Jennifer Serravallo talks to us about individualizing learning through the strategies and structures in a teacher’s toolbox. Jen is known for her work in the areas of reading and writing strategies, individualized literacy support for students, and teacher professional development in literacy. Jen is a New York Times Bestselling author of teacher professional resources including The Reading Strategies Book. You can connect with Jen...

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    Margaret Robertson talks to us about teachers as learners and the power of language. She also shares a message for decision makers in education. Maggie is a kindergarten teacher at a small elementary school in central Florida. She has 8 years experience teaching kindergarten. Ms. Robertson is known for her focus on Conscious Discipline and social-emotional teaching. Maggie has been recognized by her peers and her mentors as an outs...

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    In this episode, Classroom Caffeine host and producer, Lindsay Persohn, discusses the history, the present, and the future of the show. Please feel free to provide feedback or input about Classroom Caffeine at 

    Connect with Classroom Caffeine at or on Facebook or Twitter. (Instagram and TikTok coming soon!)

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    April 25, 2022 46 min

    Dr. James Paul Gee talks to us about the economic signaling of schools, our social geographies, affinity spaces, and failure as opportunity. Jim is known for his work in New Literacies, applied linguistics, and sociocultural learning. Dr. Gee has authored or co authored over 200 journal articles and book chapters. He has authored, co authored, or edited over 20 books. Most recently, he wrote What is a human?: Language, mind, and cu...

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    April 11, 2022 35 min

    Dr. Stephanie Toliver talks to us about speculative fiction, storytelling, and asking different questions to help us envision a different kind of future in schools. Stephanie is known for her work in Black storytelling and children’s literature, particularly science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres by Black authors. Dr. Toliver has published numerous academic articles and she is the author of Recovering Black Storytelling in Qua...

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    March 28, 2022 43 min

    Dr. Antonio López talks to us about ecomedia literacies, the materiality of information, and starting the conversation to name the world and our impacts on it. Antonio is known for his work bridging ecojustice and media literacy. As a producer of dozens of youth media projects, he has collaborated with the MacArthur Foundation, National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, Praxis Project, and National Rural Health Organization...

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    March 14, 2022 28 min

    Dr. Beth Holland talks to us about experiential learning, empowering students, and creating equitable learning opportunities. Beth is known for her work in educational leadership and digital equity. She has over 20 years of experience working as an educator and researcher examining challenges of equity and communication within K-12 public school systems. Beth is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA), a national nonprofit work...

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