Esther Cappon Gray

Photo of Esther Cappon Gray
Esther Cappon Gray
Associate Professor Emerita
(269) 387-2589
(269) 387-2562
613 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5331
Mailing address: 
Department of English
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331 USA
  • Ph.D., Language Education, Indiana University, 1999
  • M.S., Family and Child Development, Kansas State, 1979
  • B.A., Sociology, Kansas State University, 1970
Teaching interests: 
  • Writing: elementary school through grade 8
  • Literacy as inter-connected reading-writing development including experiences re-reading, rehearsing and performing expressive language for successful reading and writing proficiency.
  • The role of discussion as an inviting, satisfying experience of purposeful speaking and listening: sharing personal connections, reflection and analysis after reading fiction and non-fiction texts including peer writing in progress
Research interests: 
  • Origins of the Orff-Schulwek music education approach
  • Student-selected research grades K-8
  • Improvised educational process drama (Dorothy Heathcote approach)

Dr. Esther Gray is an associate professor of English at Western Michigan University.

Her research examines ways that meaning-making and learning are affected by motivation, self-efficacy, prior knowledge, social interactions, ownership and semiotic literacies.  Gray has investigated the use of visual literacy, music, poetry, educational drama and student-initiated inquiry to promote learning and critical reflection with school age children.