TLES 2022 faculty news round-up

July 18, 2022

Exciting Opportunities and New Appointments 

Dr. Jill Herman-Wilmarth

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies department at WMU (Western Michigan University) is excited to announce Dr. Jill Herman-Wilmarth has been invited to the next team of editors for the Journal of Children’s Literature (JCL) of the Children’s Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The NCTE is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. For the more than 100 years, NCTE has worked with its members to offer journals, publications, and resources; to further the voice and expertise of educators as advocates for their students at the local and federal levels; and to share lesson ideas, research, and teaching strategies. Dr. Herman-Wilmarth [SVP1] along with co-editors Drs Ryan, Young, and Jimenez, will publish the online issues of the journal during their four-year term beginning with collaboration on the Fall 2022 edition. During her tenure, Dr. Herman-Wilmarth along with fellow co-editors are looking to highlight the voices of traditionally marginalized scholars, including graduate students. The editorial appointment is an honor for Dr. Herman-Wilmarth as well as the WMU’s College of Education and Human Development and the Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies department.


Interim Chair recent publications

Dr. Susan Piazza

Dr. Susan V. Piazza, chair of Western Michigan University’s department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies has recently published Math Tasks to Promote Oral Language Development with English Learners,as part of the Kappa Delta Pi Record. The article highlights the needs of promoting equitable opportunities for English learners through task-based teaching instruction. Dr. Piazza and co-authors Virginia David, Magda Tigchelaar, and Selena Protacio explain how to promote oral language with English learners and all young learners across different content areas.  The examples provided illustrate additional language context during math instruction.  Additionally, Dr. Piazza’s commitment to promoting equitable learning for typically marginalized learners was highlighted in the publication: “Graphic Novels for Multimodal Learning: Equity for English Learners” in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan along with a CEHD (College of Education & Human Development) doctoral student Katherine Suender. Dr. Piazza has also published Family Engagement in the Middle: Reaching out to families of English Learners in the Middle School Journal.


Recent Publications and Presentations

Dr. Brianne Pitts

The Teaching, Leaning and Educational Studies Department at WMU is celebrating the accomplishments of Dr. Brianne Pitts during 2020 to present. After successfully defending her doctoral dissertation, Black History Month in Suburban Schools: An Examination of K-12 Pedagogies, Dr. Pitts began her aggressive publication schedule. She contributed to the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People as produced by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) in the years 2020 and 2021. Dr. Pitts along with co-authors D. Tulino and G. Simmons published “How can White Teachers Teach Black History? Six Things you Need to Know” (2021) in the Journal Education Week. Also, Dr. Pitts, published in 2021 “Nick Helps Lesson Plan on Black History: 13th Amendment through Nickelodeon. With five additional publications submitted, reviewed, and confirmed for publication, we will be hearing more from Dr. Brianne Pitts very soon.

Along with writing and publishing, Dr. Pitts was able to present at several refereed sessions of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) and American Educational Research Association (AERA). At the NCSS, Dr. Pitts presented on topics such as “K-5 Black History Revolution: Authentically Teaching Black History to our Youngest Scholars”, “Can you Picture that? Using Picture books in your Secondary Classroom,” “2022 NCSS Notable Trade Books; in the classroom!”, “Re-Thinking the Teaching of Black History: Working within a Black Historical Consciousness” (virtual) and “Teaching Black History through Black Historical Consciousness” (virtual). During the AERA conferences, Dr. Pitts was able to present several referred sessions including topics such as “Family Ties: Exploring Four Generations of one White Family’s Public and private Racial Consciousness,” “Excavating the Residue: White Teacher’s Miseducation, and Black History Instruction,” “Liberatory Potential in K-5 Black History Month Instruction”, and “White Teacher’s Black Historical Consciousness, K-12”. In addition to the refereed presentation, Dr. Pitts was also invited to guest lecture (virtually) at nine different institutions on diverse topics related to Teaching Black History, Racial justice and Equity, and Cultural Responsiveness, Digital Classrooms: supporting student across disciplines, and “NAMLE Presentation on Wonder Media: Ask the Questions?”.


Recent Publications

Dr. Ariel Anderson

Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies (TLES) would like to celebrate the successes of our professors. We recognize that the past couple of years have not been easy. Our professors are lifelong learners and enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience with others. Dr. Ariel Anderson has recently published Recovery through Self-Discovery As each of our professors regularly review and re-evaluate what they are teaching and how they are challenging young minds, Dr. Anderson has completed and published ED3500 Young Children, Their Families, and Their Society Summer 1, 2022 which is also available through

Dr. Dini Metro-Roland

Dr. Dini Metro-Roland in conjunction with Dr. Paul Farber, have completed Why Teaching Matters: A Philosophical Guide to the Elements of Practice which was published by Bloomsbury Academic Press and “Moral Education and Technology” section of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education as published by the Oxford University Press. When Dr. Metro-Roland is not working on these selections, he also completed “Same over time? An Historical Context” in Barbara Dennis’ Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise, and “The transformative Classroom: Philosophical Foundations & Practical Applications” in the Educational Theory. Dr. Metro-Roland has additional selections which are currently out to press and anticipate publication by 2023.