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 19 years of teaching experience and has been awarded by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as a Fulbright Specialist.
During 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, when she worked as a faculty member at the University of Idaho. She has also directed the National Writing Project to support teachers in their efforts to increase their knowledge base of effective literacy instruction.
She recently completed an eleven-school literacy project focused on student agency and teacher decision-making. Her recent published work, Making Sense of Student Agency in the Early Grades, in Phi Delta Kappan (2018) greatly informed this project.
She has received a series of professional recognitions including: Literacy Research Association (2020) Research Paper Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA) (2019) Review of Research Award, AERA Classroom Observation Exemplary Paper Award (2018), Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award (2017), the University of Idaho Mid-Career President’s Faculty Award (2016), the University of Idaho Excellence Award for Scholarship (2016), the Haslett Distinguished Faculty Fellow award (2013-2014), and the Horace Mann National Teacher Education Award (2007).
She 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 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 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 Is currently under collaboration to partner across Washington State University and the University of Idaho to serve as a strong support for 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, Reading Research Quarterly, Review of Educational Research, Phi Delta Kappan, Action in Teacher Education, Literacy Research and Instruction, Language Arts Journal, Reading Psychology, 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 adaptive teaching), 2016, Theory Into Practice (2020, editor of themed issue on student agency), Peabody Journal of Education (forthcoming 2021), The New Educator, and the Alberta Journal of Educational Research. She has presented over 40 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, Action in Teacher Education, Journal of Teacher Education, Reading Research Quarterly, Reading and Writing Quarterly, and Reading Psychology.
To read examples of her research, please visit and follow her research page on Researchgate.