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Mary Lyons


Mary Lyons

Visiting Assistant Professor of Educational Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401


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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Visiting Assistant Professor of Educational Studies

General Interests

"My career in education began with classroom teaching in public schools. Prior to earning a PhD, I taught for 11 years in early primary grades (K-3). My scholarship centers around daily life in classrooms as teachers encounter and navigate a variety of tensions. Specifically, I am interested in what teachers identify as components of healthy and productive teaching and learning environments; ways that teachers make decisions and adapt to unique school and classroom contexts; and ways in which teacher preparation programs influence and/or support novice teachers as they transition into the field. My dissertation research was an investigation of teachers' agency when carrying out a play-based kindergarten program within our current era of standards-based accountability reform."

Years at Knox: 2020 to present


Ph.D., Curriculum and Instructions, 2020, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.S., Elementary Education, 2012, Western Illinois University

B.A., Elementary Education, 2007, Monmouth College

Selected Professional Accomplishments


Travel Award, Early Education/Child Development SIG of the AERA, 2020

Spodek Dissertation Award, 2019-2020

James Steward Machin & Jean Machin Light Scholarship, 2018-2019

State Farm Companies Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, 2017-2018


Classroom negotiations: Finding time for both academically and social productive talk. (In preparation, to be submitted to Linguistics in Education).

Co-teaching in multilingual early childhood classrooms. (In preparation, to be submitted to Teaching and Teacher Education).

Finding time for play. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign News Bureau-Behind the Scenes, 2019.


Making spaces for academic and social talk in two first grades: A dual case study. American Education Research Association. 2020.

Co-teaching in multilingual early childhood classrooms. American Education Research Association. 2020.

Messages conveyed through journals for educators: A qualitative meta-analysis. Ninth Annual Graduate Student Conference, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2018.

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Printed on Friday, June 18, 2021