Profile for James Carlson

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Specialty area(s)

Literacy Studies; Teacher Inquiry; Teacher Identity

Brief biography

Jim Carlson is currently teaching and supervising teacher candidates from a range of disciplines and licensure areas. He serves as the Professional Development School (PDS) liaison at Onalaska and West Salem Middle Schools.

Current courses at UWL

EDS 206: Multicultural Education

EDS 351: Language, Literacy, and Culture in the Secondary Classroom


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 his PhD at UW-Madison. As a teaching assistant at 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

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. (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., & Thomas, K. (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., Thomas, K., & Simon, Z. (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.