Marlene Meisels, PhD

Associate Professor of Curriculum, Language and Literacy

Associate Professor of Teacher Education

College of Graduate and Innovative Programs

Dr. Meisels teaches graduate courses in literacy, with a special interest in whole school improvement at Concordia University Chicago. She previously served as Senior Advisor in Literacy and Leadership Development for a nationally recognized school improvement organization. While there Dr, Meisels worked with Chicago schools using literacy as a catalyst for whole school change, building school-based problem-solving teams with local school councils, teachers and principals.

She has conducted program evaluation for non-profit literacy-based organizations, helping assess the impact of instructional practices and curriculum on students, and translates research on effective schools to a wide audience. The Ohio Department of Education adopted an effective schools resource guide, which she co-authored. She previously served as managing editorof The High School Journal and on the editorial board of The Reading Teacher.


  • PhD, Literacy. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • MEd, English Language Learners. University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago.
  • BA, Philosophy. University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago.  

Academic and Professional Highlights


  • “Promising Literacy Practices. Investigating Teacher Rationales for Comprehension Strategy Instruction.” Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers; Omaha, Neb., 2010.
  • “Untangling the Web: An Analysis of Comprehension Objectives in Masters of Reading Practicum Lesson Plans Revisited.” Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers; Charlotte, N.C., 2009. 
  • “Early Childhood Literacy Development: Using Informal Learning Environments to Build Reading Skills.” Community Partnership Program; Chicago Public Schools, 2005. 
  • “Teen Power: An Energetic Education Resource for Zoos and Aquariums.” American Zoological and Aquarium Association; New Orleans, La., 2004. 
  • "Teaching All Kids to Meet Learning Standards: Essential Guidelines for Developing Reading Skills and Modifying Lessons for Students in Special Education.” Parents Association for Children with Hemiplegia and/or Stroke, and Advocates Behind Legal Education Northwest; Chicago, 2003. 
  • “What are the Sources of Students’ Reading Comprehension Errors and What, for Pete’s Sake, Do We Do about Them?” Links-to-Literacy, Chicago, 2002. 
  • “What’s the Problem? Overcoming Obstacles to Comprehension.” Annual Citywide Reading Conference, Chicago Annenberg Challenge Network for Leadership Development; Chicago, 1999.
  • “Chicago's 111 Improving Elementary Schools: What Makes These Schools Stand Out?” Rethinking Retention to Help All Students Succeed Conference; Chicago, 1998.
  • “Learning to Love Reading.” Annual Citywide Reading Conference, Chicago Annenberg Challenge Network for Leadership Development; Chicago, 1997.
  •  “Epistemological Foundations of a Post-Structuralist Writing Course.” International Reading Association; San Antonio, Texas, 1994.
  •  “Concepts and Resources for Working with Culturally Different Children.” New Hanover High School; North Carolina, 1994.
  •  “Diagnostic and Other Testing: What to Select and How.” North Carolina Association of Developmental Studies Eastern Regional Conference; Raleigh, N.C., 1993.
  •  “Is Technology Value-Free?” Greater Midwest Consortium on Developmental Education, Chicago, 1992. 


  • “Dangerous Harmonies: The Memoir of Harold Coletta.” Edited by Meisels, BookSurge Publishers, 2005.
  • “Is Writing Really Good for you? A Short Exploration into the Connections Between Writing and Learning.” The English Record, Spring 2002.
  • “All Our Kids can Learn to Read. Building a School Community that Reads.” 2002.
  • “Schooling in America: Cases, Studies and Comment.” Edited by Meisels, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 2000.
  • “Rethinking Retention to Help all Students Succeed, a Resource Guide: 8 Strategies that Educate our Children Effectively Without Social Promotion or Retention.” Designs for Change, 1998.
  • “Sympathy for the Fleas.” Utne Reader, 1996.
  • “On Walking Tightropes and Juggling: Teachers Talk about a New State Reading Test.” In A.L. Heining-Boynton and G.T. Garvey (Eds.), International Conference on Standards and Assessment: Report, 1995.
  • “Some Reflections on the Use of Computer Technology: A Position for Developmental Educators.” Research & Teaching in Developmental Education, 11, 101-109, 1994.
  • “Piaget.” Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, Tucson, Ariz.,1993.
  • “Issues in Facilitating Learning: New Directions for Changing Times.” MCLCA White Papers, 2, 1-30, Chicago, 1989. 
  • “Read and Respond.” (M. Meisels et al. Editorial Advisory Board.) Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company