Michelle M. Falter is an Associate Professor of English Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at North Carolina State University. Previously, Michelle worked as a middle and high school English teacher both in Wisconsin, and abroad in Germany and the Dominican Republic, and also as a high school instructional coach in Georgia. Michelle’s research interests include dialogical and critical feminist pedagogies, English teacher education, young adult literature, and emotion in the teaching of literature and writing in the secondary classroom. Her research talks back to paradigms that neglect both teachers and students in the conversation, that attempt to dictate curriculum and pedagogy to mean one testable thing, and expect English language arts to be the learning of discrete facts, devoid of emotion and passion or critical discussion of topics relevant to our students’ lives. Additionally, Dr. Falter is a former editor of JoLLE, the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, and has been an active member of the National Writing Project. She currently is a co-editor of Fringes: The North Carolina English Teachers’ Association Journal
Dr. Falter’s research and scholarship demonstrate a deep commitment to diversity and social justice, helping English language arts and literacy educators’ co-construct knowledge with their students using critical, feminist, and dialogical teaching practices. At the heart of her work as a scholar and teacher is advocacy and allyship for and with teachers and students. Her research draws on training in adolescent literacies, women’s studies, and qualitative methodologies. Currently, Dr. Falter’s research and scholarship are comprised of three major strands that at times overlap each other: critical approaches to teaching literature/texts (young adult and canonical), emotion and affect in teaching English Language Arts, and English teacher preparation and development.
Current Research Projects
- Explorations of Empathy in Preservice Teachers Young Adult Literature Book Club Discussions
- #ProjectLit Community Leaders multicultural awareness and uptake of social justice aims
- Using VoiceThread as a means of Documentation and Reflection on Field Experiences in Middle Grades Teacher Preparation
Past Research Projects
- Discussing Racial Injustice and Police Brutality with Pre-Service Teachers and In-Service Teachers (and their Students) through Literature
- What’s Emotion Got to Do with It?: A Portraiture Study of Four High School English Teachers’ Planning and Facilitation of Literature Units
- Using Video Analysis Sessions with Pre-Service Teachers to Improve Practice through Collaborative Reflection
- The Potential and Complexities of Dialogical Teaching in Secondary ELA/SS Standardized Classrooms.
Selected Scholarly Publications
- Falter, M. M., Alston, C. L., & Lee, C. C. (2020). Becoming anti-racist English teachers: Ways to actively move forward [White paper]. North Carolina State University.
- Lee, C. C., Falter, M. M. & Schoonover N. R. (2020). Encountering the Affective in Latino Immigrant Narratives. Reading Research Quarterly.
- Falter, M. M., & Barnes, M. E. (2020). The importance of the “comfort zone” in preservice teachers’ evaluation of video-analysis sessions as a tool for enhanced reflection. Teacher Education Quarterly, 47(2), 64-85.
- Barnes, M. E., & Falter, M. M. (2019). Posing for the camera: An analysis of pre-service teachers’ discursive practices during a video analysis session. i.e.: inquiry in education, 11(1), article 9.
- Falter, M. M.., & Bickmore, S. (Eds.).(2018). When loss gets personal: Discussing Death through Literature in the Secondary ELA Classroom. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Falter, M. M.., & Bickmore, S. (Eds.).(2018). Moving beyond personal loss to societal grieving: Discussing death’s social impact through literature in the secondary ELA classroom. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Falter, M. M., & Kerkhoff, S. N. (2018). Slowly shifting out of neutral: Using YAL to discuss PSTs’ beliefs about racial injustice and police brutality. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 17(3), 257-276.
- Falter, M. M., & Beach, C. L. (2018). Emojis 👀, #hashtags, and texting📱, oh my!: Remixing Shakespeare in the ELA classroom. In J. Dail, S. Witte, & S. Bickmore (Eds.) Young Adult Literature and the Digital World Textual Engagement Through Visual Literacy (pp. 3-16). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Falter, M. M., & Schoonover, N. (2018). Still fighting for migrant workers’ rights 75 years later: A critical approach to teaching The Grapes of Wrath through contemporary youth testimonios. In M. Macaluso (Ed.)Teaching the Canon in 21st Century Classrooms: Critical Concepts and Practices. Boston, MA: Sense Publishers.
- Beach, R., Falter, M. M., Whitley, J. (2017). Making sense of events in literature and life through collaboration. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 16(2), 207-221.
- Fecho, B., Falter, M. M., & Hong, X. (Eds.) (2016). Teaching outside the box but inside the standards: Making room for dialogue. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
- Hong, X., Falter, M. M., & Fecho, B. (2016). Embracing tension: Using Bakhtinian theory as a means for data analysis. Qualitative Research. DOI: 10.1177/1468794116653800
- Falter, M. M. (2016). Addressing assumptions about adolescents in a pre-service YAL course. The ALAN Review, 43(2), 51-61.
- ECI 307 Teaching Writing Across the Curriculum
- ECI 405 Literature for Young Adults
- ECI 430 Materials and Methods for Teaching Language Arts in the Middle Grades
- ECI 509/528 Strategies for Teaching English in Middle & Secondary Schools
- ECI 520 Teaching Composition
- ECI 523 Teacher as Researcher
- ED 795 Special Topics Course: Interviewing in Qualitative Research
- ECI 803 Advanced Seminar in Literacy Research
- ECI 820 Special Topics Course: Aesthetic and Affective Responses in the Language Arts
Honors and Awards
- DELTA Faculty Fellow – 2021-2023
- North Carolina English Teachers Association Anti-Racist Teacher of the Year Award – 2020
- The ALAN Review Nilsen-Donelson Award for the Best Article of the Year – 2016
- UGA COE Innovation 20/20: Innovation in Teaching and Technology Award – 2014
Services and Engagements
- #ProjectLit with Davis Drive Middle School, Raleigh NC
- New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute, Hope Education Center, Kitale, Kenya
- Fringes: The North Carolina English Teachers’ Association Journal
PhD Language and Literacy Education The University of Georgia 2016
MA Education Mount Mary University, WI 2007
BA English St. Norbert College, WI 2001
- Affective Education
- Culturally Relevant Pedagogies
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Language and Literacy
- New Literacies and Global Learning
- Qualitative Research
- Research Methodology
- Social Studies and Literacy Education
- Teacher Education & Professional Development
- Teacher Education/Development
- Teacher Preparation