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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Cassie Brownell

Cassie Brownell
Assistant Professor


Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Academic History

Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction & Teacher Education, Michigan State University
Specialization in Language and Literacy
Certificates in Qualitative Research and Urban Education

M.Ed. in Elementary Education (K-6), University of Notre Dame
Certificate in Mild to Moderate Disabilities

B.A. in Social Welfare and Justice, Marquette University
Minor in Justice and Peace Studies

Teaching Overview


2019 -- CTL 3035: Critical Literacy in Action
2019 -- CTL 5308: Exploring Children's and Youth's Digital Literacies in a Networked World
2019-2020 -- CTL 3028: Literacy in Elementary Education
2018-2020 -- CTL 7000: Curriculum and Teaching in Literacy (Primary-Junior)


2017 -- TE 846: Accommodating Differences in Literacy Learners (Online)
2017 -- TE 803: Professional Roles & Teaching Practice II [Social Studies] (Hybrid-Chicago)
2016 -- TE 291a: Special Topics in Urban Education
2014-2015 -- TE 405: Teaching of Language & Literacy to Diverse Learners - Elementary
2013-2016 -- TE 802: Reflection & Inquiry in Teaching Practice I [ELA;
(2013-2014: Face-to-face in Detroit & 2015-2016: Hybrid-Chicago)
2013-2014 -- TE 250: Human Diversity, Power, and Opportunity in Social Institutions


2013 -- EDU 60182: The Teaching of Reading
2012-2013 -- EDU 60312: Exceptionalities in Childhood
2012-2013 -- EDU 60234: Exceptionality in Early Adolescence
2012-2013 -- EDU 60336: Exceptionality in Adolescence

Representative Publications


Brownell, C. J. (2019). Sound the alarm!: Disrupting sonic resonances of an elementary English language arts classroom, Curriculum Inquiry. doi: 10.1080/03626784.2019.1671137

Wessel-Powell, C., Buchholz, B.A., & Brownell, C.J. (2019). Polic(y)ing time and curriculum: How teachers critically negotiate restrictive policies, English Teaching: Practice & Critique. doi: 10.1108/ETPC-12-2018-0116

Brownell, C. J. (2018). (Re)Imagining children’s writing: Creative language play(giarism) in the elementary English language arts classroom, Language Arts. 65(4), 218-228.

Brownell, C. J. (2018). Starting where you are, revisiting what you know: A letter to a first-year teacher addressing the hidden curriculum, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. 16(2), 252-267. doi: 10.1080/15505170.2017.1398697

Brownell, C.J., Sheridan, D.M., & Scales, C.A. (2018). (Re)Mediating unheard resonances: Tracing the rhythms of aurality in communities, Educational Studies. doi: 10.1080/00131946.2018.1476355

Brownell, C. J. (2017). Mandated curricula as figured world: A case-study of identity, power, and writing in elementary English language arts, English Teaching: Practice & Critique. 16(2), 252-267. doi: 10.1108/ETPC-10-2016-0131

Brownell, C.J. (2017). Language identity in the elementary English language arts classroom. The Reading Teacher, 71(2), 225–228. doi: 10.1002/trtr.1591

Brownell, C. J. & Wargo, J. M. (2017). (Re)Educating the senses to community literacies: Prospective teachers using sound to listen for difference. In Mahiri, J. (Ed.), Special Issue: Cyber-lives: Digital Media and Multicultural Education, Multicultural Education Review. doi: 10.1080/2005615X.2017.1346559

Marshall, S. & Brownell, C. J. (2015). Looking back to look ahead: How federal legislation has impacted state testing. Michigan Reading Journal, 47(2), 56-57.


Brownell, C. J. (2017). How urban education choice campaigns in Detroit masqueraded as equity and social justice and worsened the status quo. In G.Q. Conchas, M. Gottfied, B.M. Hinga, & Oseguera, L. (Eds.), Policy goes to school: Case studies on the possibilities and limitations of educational innovations. Routledge.

Brownell, C. J. & Coles, J. A. (2016). "Coloring" within the lines: Implications for practicing color blindness (pp. 260-279). In J. Diem (Ed.), The social & cultural foundations of education: A reader. San Diego, CA: Cognella Academic Publishing. 


Brownell, C.J. (2018, December). First opinion: Community through strife and the storm: How Marvelous Cornelius made magic in the Big Easy, First Opinions, Second Reactions, 11(3), 9.

Brownell, C.J. (2018, July). From sheltering to social change: Critical conversations in childhood, Literacy Today, 14-15.


Research Grants and Contracts


Making citizens in an urban primary classroom: Exploring young children's critical maker literacies
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant [$52,140]

Cultivating a compositional fluency in elementary English language arts
Funded in part by: ILA Helen M. Robinson Grant [$1,200], MSU Graduate School & MSU College of Education [$4,800] In collaboration with: MakEY Project

#hearmyhome: (Re)Learning to listen to community literacies
Funded in part by: NCTE-CEE Research Initiative Grant [$2,500]
Co-PI: Jon M. Wargo (Boston College)

(Re)Mediating unheard resonances: Tracing the rhythms of aurality in communities
Funded in part by: MSU Residential College in the Arts & Humanities & MSU Graduate School [$16,000]
Co-PIs: David M. Sheridan and Christopher A. Scales (Michigan State University)

Investigating intermediate elementary students' story, sociality, and play
as multimodal composing
Funded in part by: MSU Graduate School & MSU College of Education (Summer Research Renewable Fellowship) [$12,000], MSU Department of Teacher Education [$1,800]

Prospective teachers' responses to diversity, difference, and literacy in
an elementary instructional methods class
Funded in part by: MSU Graduate School & MSU College of Education
(Summer Research Development Fellowship) [$6,000]


2019 -- SSHRC Insight Development Grant (IDG)
2018 -- SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG) - Exchange Grant
2018 -- Curriculum Inquiry Writing Fellowship
2018 -- Literacy Research Association, International ICG Travel Grant
2017-2018 -- International Literacy Association, Helen M. Robinson Dissertation Grant
2016-2018 -- American Educational Research Association-Division G, Student Travel Award
2017 -- Computers and Writing Conference, Graduate Student Travel Grant
2014 -- National Association of Multicultural Education, Rose Duhon-Sells Scholarship

2018 -- MSU Graduate School, Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2018 -- MSU Graduate School, Research/Travel Fellowship
2018 -- MSU College of Education, Research/Travel Fellowship
2016-2018 -- Marianne Amarel Fellowship for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
2017-2018 -- MSU Residential College in the Arts & Humanities, Senior Teaching & Learning Fellow
2017 -- MSU Graduate School, Inside Teaching-Innovation HUB Graduate Fellowship
2017 -- MSU College of Education, Research Fellowship
2017 -- MSU Council of Graduate Students, Professional Development Award
2016, 2017 -- MSU College of Education, Janice Marston Memorial Scholarship
2014-2017 -- MSU College of Education, Urban Education Retention Fellowship
2015 -- MSU Council of Graduate Students, Conference Grant
2015 -- MSU College of Education, Teacher Education Endowed Fellowship
2015 -- MSU College of Education, Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding
2015 -- MSU College of Education, Urban Education Leadership Fellowship

2015 -- MSU Dept. of Teacher Education, Recruitment Assistance Fellowship
2014 -- MSU Dept. of Teacher Education, Leadership & Outreach Fellowship
2013-2018 -- MSU Dept. of Teacher Education, Travel Grants

Honours and Awards

2019 -- AERA Division K, Early Career Preconference
2019 -- Curriculum Inquiry Writing Fellowship, Faculty Mentor
2019 -- Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Certificate in Effective University Teaching Practice
2018 -- AERA Language & Social Processes SIG, Emerging Scholar Award
2018 -- AERA Writing & Literacies SIG, Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award
2017 -- MSU Graduate School, Council of Graduate Students Disciplinary Leadership Award
2008-2010 -- AmeriCorps National Service Program, Educational Grant Recipient
2007-2008 -- Marquette University Board of Trustees, Student Affairs Committee Representative
2005, 2008 -- Marquette University Outstanding Student Leadership Award Recipient

Professional Activities

2019-2020 -- Language Arts, Editorial Review Board Member
2019-2020 -- Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada, Preconference Chair
2017-2019 -- Michigan Reading Journal, Editorial Review Board Member
2017-2018 -- Literacy Research Association, Ad-Hoc Communications Committee
2016-2019 -- AERA-Language and Social Processes, Mentoring Program Committee
2016-2018 -- AERA-Division G, Student Executive Committee
2016 -- NCTE-Assembly of Research, Graduate Student Committee
2015-2017 -- LRA-Doc Students Innovative Community Group, Technology Committee
2015-2017 -- NAME Standing Committee, Communications & Outreach Committee
2014-2018 -- AERA-Division G, Campus Liaison
2014-2015 -- LRA-Doc Students Innovative Community Group, Treasurer

American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE)
Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)
International Literacy Association (ILA)
Literacy Research Association (LRA)
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Research (RECE)

Other Information

Brownell, C. J. (2019, May). Exploring early digital literacy practices and creativity in early childhood classrooms. Paper presented at Makerspaces for Young Learners: Exploring Digital Technology through STEAM Education, a SSHRC Connections Conference, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

Brownell, C.J. (2019, March). Tracing intertextual connections in multimodal composing: A case study of a young child's filmmaking in the early childhood classroom. Invited keynote for the MakEY Project, a Horizon 2020 European Funding for Research & Innovation (RISE) recipient. Sheffield, UK.