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James Carlson

Associate Professor
Educational Studies
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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James Carlson

Associate Professor

Educational Studies

Specialty area(s)

Social Foundations of Education; Multicultural Education; Culturally Relevant Pedagogy; Literacy Studies

Brief biography

Jim Carlson is currently preparing teacher candidates from a range of disciplines and licensure areas while teaching foundational courses at UWL, including "Schools, Society, and Teachers" and "Multicultural Education". 

Current courses at UWL

EDS 203: Schools, Society, and Teachers

EDS 206: Multicultural Education

FYS 100: John Prine Seminar


University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, English Education (6-12)

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, ME-PD 

University of Wisconsin - Madison, PhD (major: Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy Studies; minor: Composition and Rhetoric)


Teaching history

Jim Carlson began teaching English in a secondary school starting in the fall of 2001. As a high school teacher, he taught courses in Journalism, Creative Writing, and American Literature. After 7 years in the classroom, Jim pursued and earned PhD at UW-Madison. As a teaching assistant at the UW, Jim had opportunities to work with pre-service elementary/middle/secondary teachers teaching courses in literacy and diversity. 

Professional history

2001-2007 - Bangor High School, English Teacher

2003-2008 - UW-La Crosse ME-PD Facilitator

2008-2013 - Teaching Assistant, UW-Madison

2013-2019 - Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

2019-Present - Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Research and publishing

Jim Carlson & Veronica Eilers (undergraduate). (2021). Book Review of Classroom Talk for Social Change: Critical Conversations in English Language Arts by Amy Vetter, Kahdeidra Monét Martin, and Melissa Schieble. Wisconsin English Journal, 63.1, 94-105. 

Carlson, James R. (2019) "“How am I going to handle the situation?” The Role(s) of Reflective Practice and Critical Friend Groups in Secondary Teacher Education," International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Vol. 13: No. 1, Article 12. Available at:

Carlson, J. R., Mootz, E., & Guenther, E (undergraduate). (2018). Hmong History & Culture, Windows & Mirrors, and Verse: Insights from Middle-Level Teachers on Teaching Gathering Firelies by Mai Chao. Wisconsin State Reading Association Journal, 55 (2), 3-14. 

Carlson, J.R., Mootz, E. (undergraduate), & Thomas, K (undergraduate). (2017). Are my songs literature? Lessons learned from teaching a non-traditional text. Wisconsin English Journal, 59 (1-2). 

Gerber, T., Carlson, J., Kalmon, E. (undergraduate), Rosienski, J. (undergraduate), Sprain, T., & Davidson, M. (2016). What do the “Kits” Say: How Middle School Students in Two Partnership Schools Evaluated High Quality STEM Trade Books. PDS Partners, 12(1).

Carlson, J., Carlson, G. (undergraduate), Thomas, K. (undergraduate), & Simon, Z (undergrdudate). (2016). Gathering Fireflies by Mai Chao Duddeck: A Book Review. Wisconsin English Journal, 58(2), 193-196.

Carlson, J. (2015). Disciplinary Literacy from the Perspective of One Beginning Social Studies Teacher Candidate. Literacy Research and Instruction, 54(3), 185. DOI:10.1080/19388071.2015.1022284

Carlson, J. (2014). “When you carry all of your baggage with you … you’re carrying all of your baggage with you”: Identifying and interrupting equity traps in white pre-service teachers’ narratives. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 4(1), 35-59.

Gomez, M. L., Carlson, J. R., Foubert, J., & Powell, S. N. (2014). “It’s not them; it’s me”: Competing discourses in one aspiring teacher’s discourse. Teaching Education, DOI: 10.1080/10476210.2014.889673

Carlson, J. (2012). Encounters with counterstories: Reading the past critically with non-fiction books for young adults. Wisconsin English Journal, 54(1), 52-65.

Carlson, J. R. (2010). Songs That Teach: Using Song-Poems to Teach Critically. The English Journal99(4), 65–71.



James Carlson, Educational Studies and Shuma Iwai, Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, presented "Embodying a Pro-Asian American Lens in the Classroom: Working Towards Justice and Liberty for All While Combating Anti-Asian Hate and Discrimination " at Wisconsin-National Association of Multicultural Educaation on Saturday, April 27 in La Crosse, WI. In a presentation at the Wisconsin-NAME conference in La Crosse, WI, Iwai and Carlson shared details related to the recent passage of the 2023 Wisconsin Act 266, which mandates the inclusion of Hmong and Asian American histories, cultures, and contributions in schools. In addition to exploring historical and recent anti-Asian bias and discrimination, curricular resources for meeting the intent of the mandate and embodying a pro-Asian lens in the curriculum were shared.

Submitted on: April 27


James Carlson and J.C. Wagner-Romero, both Educational Studies, presented "Moving Multicultural Education “Forward”: Revitalizing the Wisconsin State Chapter of NAME" at The National Association for Multicultural Education Annual Conference on Nov. 18 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Submitted on: Nov. 22, 2023


James Carlson, Educational Studies, elected Founding Secretary of Wisconsin Chapter of National Association for Multicultural Education.

Submitted on: Oct. 5, 2022


James Carlson, Educational Studies, presented "“On the Hills Where the Angels Sing”: The Life, Times, and Legacy of John Prine (a sing-and-play-along) " at Western Wisconsin Education Conference on Feb. 12 online. In this presentation, participants learned about the life, poetry, and songs of John Prine, the Honorary Poet Laureate of Illinois. Classic Prine songs, including “Paradise” and ”Unwed Fathers", were explored for classroom and life applications. Participants were encouraged to sing and play along.

Submitted on: Feb. 13, 2021


Mindy Schoengarth, BIO: Biology Ed BS; and James Carlson and Yuko Iwai, both Educational Studies; presented "Field Experiences, Virtual teaching, & Facilitating Critical Conversations: Learning to Navigate with New Tools" at Western Wisconsin Education Conference on Feb. 12 online. Educators attending this session were introduced to practices for making meaning during critical conversations along with an overview of critical talk moves for fostering critical conversations that can be used in any subject area and at any grade level.

Submitted on: Feb. 13, 2021