Margaret Vaughn is an Associate Professor of Literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Washington State University. She obtained her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on literacy studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Dr. Vaughn is a former classroom teacher with additional certification as follows: National Board Teaching Certification and Teaching English as a Second Language Certification. Currently, she has over 20 years of teaching experience.
Through Dr. Vaughn’s work, she has become heavily invested in the neighboring communities and schools, and has worked diligently to support and mentor undergraduate and graduate students. In her second year as a beginning faculty, she served as the Director of the Wright Fellows, a prestigious graduate program to support teachers in obtaining a Master’s degree while remaining in the classroom. She has also directed the National Writing Project to support teachers in their efforts to increase their knowledge base of effective literacy instruction.
Recently, Dr. Vaughn has been awarded as a Fulbright Specialist for the US. Government. In addition, currently she has just completed an eleven-school literacy project focused on student agency and teacher decision-making.
She has received a series of professional recognitions including: Literacy Research Association Best Paper Award (2020), American Educational Research Association Review of Research Award (2019), American Educational Research Association Classroom Observation Exemplary Paper Award (2018), Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award (2017), the Mid-Career President’s Faculty Award, 2016, a Distinguished Faculty Award, Haslett Distinguished Faculty Fellow award, 2013-2014 and the Horace Mann National Teacher Education Award (2007).
Dr. Vaughn was the primary investigator in supporting the Native American Nez Perce Tribe and elementary students in creating six dual language books in Nez Perce language and English. She is heavily invested in the local elementary schools and has performed and continues to engage in professional development with teachers to support meaningful literacy opportunities for all students.
Additionally, to support students, teachers, and communities, Dr. Vaughn developed the Guided Reading Library. The Guided Reading Library is a free, digital collection of published books created by practicing classroom teachers and undergraduate and graduate students at Washington State University and the University of Idaho. This library is part of a greater initiative of building literacy opportunities in the community for students, teachers, and families developed by Dr. Vaughn titled, the Literacy Outreach Learning Initiative, funded by the Eleanora, Orrin, and Jim Webb Endowed Fund for Community Engagement Faculty Award. The Guided Reading Library supports teachers, parents, and community members in reading with and to their children. The goal of this project is to support literacy across the Pacific Northwest which has a high percentage of rural and high poverty districts that lack financial resources to purchase leveled reading books. Currently, she is working with several teachers who are using the curriculum to have their elementary students publish books and submit to the Guided Reading Library.
Dr. Vaughn’s research focuses on adaptive teaching, visioning, and issues of agency. She has published research studies on these topics in leading literacy journals such as, Review of Educational Research, Phi Delta Kappan, Action in Teacher Education, Children’s Literature in Education, Literacy Research and Instruction, Language Arts Journal, Reading Psychology, Educational Review, Curriculum Studies, The Reading Teacher, and Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Other peer reviewed journals focused on national issues in education where she has published include: Theory Into Practice (editor of themed issue on student agency), 2020, Theory Into Practice (editor of themed issue on adaptive teaching), 2016, The New Educator, and the Alberta Journal of Educational Research. She has presented over 35 papers at national conferences. She has served the community in the following capacity: developed and conducted professional development with three school districts since her tenure as a literacy faculty. She actively serves national organizations in the capacity of proposal reviewers, AERA, LRA, as well as serving on the editorial staff as a reviewer for the following journals: The Reading Teacher, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of School Connections, Action in Teacher Education, Journal of Teacher Education, Reading Research Quarterly, Reading and Writing Quarterly, Reading Psychology, and Symbolic Interaction.
To read examples of her research, please visit and follow her research page on Researchgate.