Dr. Dyan Watson is the social studies coordinator for the secondary program in teacher education. Watson began her professional career as a GED instructor for young mothers in Portland and then taught social studies at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon. There she developed and taught the first African American history course, and helped create and implement a school-within-a-school program for freshmen and sophomores.
Watson primarily teaches methods classes for preservice social studies teachers and research methods classes for doctoral students. She is also an editor for Rethinking Schools .
I believe in teaching that is grounded in an understanding of and respect for students’ cultural backgrounds and cultural resources. As such, my classroom is a place where both the students and the teacher learn and teach. Together, we push each other to critically assess learning and the world.
Areas of Expertise
Qualitative research methods, race and teaching, equity and social justice, teacher research.
Dr. Watson’s primary research focus is exploring how teachers semantically encode race, and the intersections of race and teaching.
- Christensen, L. and Watson, D. Eds. (2015). Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.
- Watson, D. (2013). Bury the N-Word? Teaching students to think and write about controversial topics. Oregon Journal of the Social Sciences 1(2), 74-79.
- Christensen, L., Hansen, M., Peterson, R., Schlessman, E., and Watson, D. (Eds) (2012). Rethinking Elementary Education. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.
- Benjamin Franklin Gold winner in the Education category of the Independent Book Publishers Association
- Watson, R. & Watson, D., (2012). I Am Not: Dismantling Borders Through Poetry.Oregon English Journal 34(1), 36-39.
- Watson, D. (2012). Message from a black mom to her son. Rethinking Schools 26 (3), 16-18.
- Watson, D. (2011). What do you mean when you say urban? Rethinking Schools 26 (1), 48-50.
- Watson, D. (2011). “Urban, but not too urban”: Unpacking teachers’ desires to teach urban students. Journal of Teacher Education 62(1).
- Watson, D., Charner-Laird, M., Kirkpatrick, C. L., Szczesiul, S. A., & Gordon, P. (2006). Effective teaching/Effective urban teaching: Grappling with definitions, grappling with difference. Journal of Teacher Education 57(4), 395-409.
ED.D. Harvard University, M.A.T., B.A. Willamette University
From the Newsroom
Assistant Professor of Education Dyan Watson is passionate about fully preparing teachers to enter the classroom
Just before the Trayvon Martin shooting, Professor Dyan Watson wrote eloquently about the fears and hopes she has for her young black son, Caleb, many of which mirror the issues that have been raised in the national conversation about Martin’s death. Watson’s article, published in March in Rethinking Schools magazine, has generated buzz online, being featured on the Washington Post’s education blog, Answer Sheet, and on CommonDreams.org and Alternet.
Professors Linda Christensen and Dyan Watson are co-editors of Rethinking Elementary Education, which was given top honors in the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Awards.