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Marilyn Draheim

From the heartland of Minnesota, where writer Garrison Keillor created Lake Wobegon, I was educated in a small town's school system in which devoted teachers lived and breathed their commitment to the town.

In return, teachers were revered professionals in the community.

The small classes, traditional curriculum, and extra-curricular activities that I adored-concert choir, madrigals, concert and marching band, forensics, Future Teachers of America-helped shape my love for learning in many areas, but particularly in literature, literary criticism, music, theatre, art, and world history.

Reading became my means for opening the treasures of human achievement, and my parents' interest in the arts, history, and hard work supported me from elementary school through the completion of a  doctoral degree.

My thoughts about education are eclectic, and, over the past twenty years, I have investigated and thought about the writings of Lev Vygotsky and other social and cultural theorists for their ideas about how the knowledge we learn is woven in our culture, language, and social interactions and how our knowledge is gained through reading, experience, reflection, trial and error, our interests, vicarious  learning, and the convivial nature of interaction with others.



PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Language and Literacy Development


EdS, University of Iowa
Higher Education, Community College Emphasis


MA, University of Iowa


BA, Luther College

Research Interests

  • Reading comprehension
  • Developmental writing, especially error analysis and the development of the adult "basic" writer
  • Text analysis
  • Subject matter knowledge and its relationship to teaching efficacy
  • Professional standards and expectations for the development of teachers
  • The uses of technology and applications to improve and enhance teaching and learning