Dawnene Hassett

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Main Office

Curriculum & Instruction
School of Education
210 Teacher Education Building
225 North Mills Street
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.4600
Fax: 608/263.9992

Email: curric@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Professor Dawnene Hassett

Profile Photo

Professor Dawnene Hassett

Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

456E Teacher Education Building  binoculars icon
225 N Mills St
Madison, WI 53706-1707
Office: 608/263-4666

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Professor Dawnene D. Hassett researches early literacy education involving visual literacy and complex interactive texts. She also administers the certification programs that lead to the Wisconsin State Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist licenses. She was an elementary school teacher and a reading specialist (PK-12) for 13 years. She received her PhD in 1999 in Curriculum Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Teaching Interests

Professor Hassett teaches courses on literacy and language development, literacy assessment and intervention, and multimodal visual literacies. She passionately supports teachers and their educational pursuits both in and out of the classroom.

Scheduled Teaching

  • Spring 2019 - Seminar in Literacy: Literacy & Language Development
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 604, Minimum Credit Hours: 3
  • Summer 2019 - Wisconsin Literacy Research Symposium
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 976, Minimum Credit Hours: 2, Maximum Credit Hours: 3
  • Fall 2018 - Literature & Literacy
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 632, Minimum Credit Hours: 3
  • Fall 2018 - The Teaching of Reading
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 368, Section: 3, Minimum Credit Hours: 3

Program and Curriculum Development

  • Hassett, D.D.
    Title: Wisconsin State Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist License Programs
    Date(s): 2000
    Type: Certification Development
    New or Revised: New
    Effort: For more information about the Wisconsin State Reading Teacher and Reading License Programs at U.W.-Madison, please click the link below and/or email Professor Dawnene Hassett at ddhassett@wisc.edu
    Visit website.
    Download file.

Research Interests

Professor Hassett researches visual literacy and complex interactive texts for young children. Her scholarship follows two interrelated lines of study, both of which require ongoing collaboration with classroom teachers, literacy specialists, and principals. First, she studies the limits of contemporary literacy pedagogy using poststructural analyses of power, knowledge, and discourse. Then, she works to push the limits of contemporary literacy pedagogy using social semiotics and sociocultural theories to analyze the relationships among print literacy, visual literacies, and multimodal literacies in the classroom.

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 9/30/2015 - "Teaching About Reading: Digital Interactions (tardis)," Awarded By: University of Sydney, Dawnene D. Hassett, Co-Principal; Allison Simpson, Co-Principal.
    Abstract: The importance of children's literature to learning and teaching is currently being reconsidered in education systems round the world. The forthcoming National Curriculum in Australia and Common Core Standards in the US have increased the need for research into teachers' use of literary texts in the face of pressure from standardized testing. This project will be associated with four pre-service teacher education programs in universities connected with major children's literature centres or staffed by recognized children's literature experts. The sites chosen for the study are the University of Madison, US, Brock University, Canada, the University of Cambridge, UK and the University of Sydney. Key academics in each university and their associated children's literature centres responsible for designing and teaching units of study in higher education will be invited to take part in interviews or written questionnaires. The interviews will be video recorded. Pre-service teacher education students from the target universities will be invited to take part in an online survey. They will also be invited to submit to the researcher digital stories about their experience of teaching with children's literature in professional placements. Course description documents from the target universities where children's literature is taught at undergraduate pre-service level including unit of study outlines and online information will be collected with permission of each of the institutions. The research addresses the following questions: How are preservice teachers being prepared to teach in a social and political contexts that recommend critical thinking at the same time as they control funding through standardized test results? How are future directions in learning with digital technologies accounted for in the teaching of children's literature? What are the commonalities and differences amongst education systems that are used to benchmark each other when correlations between policy, theory and practice are investigated?
  • 2008-2009 - Amount: $35,402.00, "Digital Literacies And Elementary Writing Instruction," Awarded By: Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Competitive Grants Program, .
  • 2007-2008 - Amount: $50,329.00, "New Literacies In The Elementary Classroom," Awarded By: Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Competitive Grants Program, Dawnene D. Hassett.
  • "Vidyamap: Leveraging Cross-Disciplinary Themes For Deep Learning Of Science," Dawnene D. Hassett, Supporting; Sadhana Puntambekar, Principal.
    Abstract: Publishers will create apps that support their paper textbooks – or they will port their paper textbooks over to a PDF [and have] an eTextbook…[But] we are using new [mobile] technology to implement old pedagogy…we are not exploiting the affordances of the new technology” (Soloway, March 2012). The above quote addresses the specific issue or problem we wish to address in this Goal 2, Development and Innovation project: the need to develop digital text resources that are grounded in research in cognitive and learning sciences and novel pedagogical practices. Two key aspects of this issue will drive our development efforts. First, we address the need for leveraging the advances made in mobile technologies, most notably in tablets (e.g., iPads and several Android-based tablets), to develop digital text resources for use in science classrooms. Second, we address the need for presenting science content in a way that allows students to understand the connections between science ideas, by taking advantage of the affordances of technology. As digital materials become more ubiquitous and are adopted across school systems, textbooks are giving way to digital versions at a speed not seen before (Lewin, 2009). While publishers tout the cost benefit and the interactive nature of digital texts, a problem with digital textbooks currently available is that they are merely clones of their print counterparts, with some added capabilities of 3D animations, sleek graphics, and the ability to highlight and annotate passages. Current digital versions do not tap into decades of research on visualizations, knowledge representation, and learning from texts. Further, they do not take full advantage of built in accessibility, graphic, haptic, and analytic features that enable visualization of content in innovative ways, and provide feedback based on an analysis of usage data. The added multimedia capabilities might make textbooks interactive and fun to use, but they are not transformative in any sense, and do not harness the power of technology in ways that can enhance learning. The need for high quality, research-based digital content comes at a time when there is a call from education researchers to improve science learning in the US, especially in the middle grades. Research in science learning has emphasized that students should be learning science as a connected body of knowledge rather than a set of discrete facts (e.g., Hmelo-Silver et al., 2007; Kozma, 2000; Ruiz Primo & Shavelson, 1996). But this is lacking in many curriculum materials used in schools (e.g., Jacobson & Wilensky, 2006), often resulting in students’ ideas being fragmented across science topics. The recently released NRC document, Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2011), has discussed this issue in some detail. The report urges a rethinking of science curricula in terms of core ideas and crosscutting themes and proposes, “an important role of science education is not to teach “all the facts” but rather to prepare students with sufficient core knowledge” (NRC, 2011, 2-6). The main goal of our proposed project is therefore to develop VidyaMap (Vidya means knowledge in Sanskrit), an etextbook centered around crosscutting themes in science, which are displayed using visualizations and zooming techniques, so that students can see and understand connections between scientific phenomena. We will accomplish this goal by: (i) drawing upon research in cognitive and learning sciences for organizing, representing, and visualizing science content; (ii) making the representation visible to help students gain a robust understanding of science; (iii) using technologies learning analytics to analyze usage, which can provide feedback to students and teachers while also significantly enhancing the design of the software on an ongoing basis; and (iv) supporting the social construction of knowledge around the text resource, through shared construction of concept maps.


  • Hassett, D.D., Williams, S., Enger, S., Cronin, M., & Porco, J.B. (in press). Notes for living on planet Earth: Science, self, and society in second grade. Children and mother Nature: Stories for a glocalized environmental pedagogy. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Hassett, D.D., & Wood, C.L. (2017). Imagination, creativity, and design. In F. Serafini & E. Gee (Eds.), Remixing multiliteracies: Theory and practice from New London to new times, (pp. pp. 175-186). New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Lee, S., & Hassett, D.D. (2017). The multiple modes of ideological becoming: An analysis of kindergarteners' appropriation of authoritative voices in the classroom. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. 25(3), 462-475.
  • Hassett, D.D., & Grant, C.A. (2016). Monocultural literacy: The power of print, pedagogy, and epistemological blindness. In P. R. Schmidt (Eds.), Reconceptualizing literacy in the new age of multiculturalism and pluralism, (pp. 65-88). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
  • Hassett, D.D. (2016). Visual language, visual literacy: Education à la modes. In B. Pini & J. Moss (Eds.), Visual research methods in educational research: Critical Perspectives, (pp. 133-149). New York: Palgrave.
  • Hassett, D.D. (2011). Proper English in popular culture: Language, dialect, and urban youth. Wisconsin English Journal. 53(2), 13-20.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2011). The revolutions are being televised…and blogged and tweeted. Wisconsin English Journal. 53(1), 6-14.
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  • Hassett, D.D., & Schieble, M.B. (2010). Finding space and time for the visual in K-12 literacy instruction. In M. Capello & B. Moss (Eds.), Contemporary readings in literacy education, (pp. 325-331). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2010). New literacies and the classics: Power, identity, and self-representation. Wisconsin English Journal. 52(1), 6-13.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2010). New literacies in the elementary classroom: The instructional dynamics of visual-texts. In K. Hall, U. Goswami, C. Harrison, S. Ellis, & J. Solier (Eds.), Interdisciplinary perspectives on learning to read: Culture, cognition and pedagogy, (pp. 87-100). New York: Routledge.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2010). Technologies and truth games: Research as dynamic method. Language Arts. 87(6), 457-464.
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  • Gomez, M.L., Schieblle, M.B., Curwood, J.S., & Hassett, D.D. (2010). Technology, learning, and instruction: Distributed cognition in the secondary English program. Literacy. 44(1), 20-27.
  • Hassett, D.D., & Rosemeyer, C.A. (2010). The new adventures of old literature: Modern classics and inquiry circles. Wisconsin English Journal. 52(2), 10-18.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2009). Children's literature and early literacy success: Using the Charlotte Zolotow award collection in early childhood teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. 30(4), 1-22.
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  • Hassett, D.D., & Curwood, J.S. (2009). Theories and practices of multimodal education: The instructional dynamics of picture books and primary classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 63(4), 270-282.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2008). Teacher flexibility and judgment: A multidynamic theory for early childhood literacy instruction. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 8(3), 297~330.
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  • Hassett, D.D., & Schieble, M.B. (2007). Finding space for the visual in K-12 literacy instruction. English Journal. 97(1), 62-68.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2006). Signs of the times: The governance of alphabetic pint over "appropriate" and "natural" reading development. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 6(1), 77-103.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2006). Technological difficulties: A theoretical frame for understanding the nonrelativistic permanence of traditional print literacy in elementary education. Journal of Curriculum Studies. 38(2), 135-159.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2005). Reading hypertextually: Children's literature and comprehension instruction. New Horizons. XI(2).
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Hassett, D.D. (2004). Comprehension instruction for socioculturally diverse classrooms: A review of what we know. The Reading Teacher. 57(7), 2-12.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2004). Technologies of the self in classrooms designed as "learning environments": (Im)possible ways of being in early literacy instruction. In B M Baker & K Heyning (Eds.), Dangerous coagulations? The uses of Foucault in the study of education, (pp. 359-382). New York: Peter Lang.
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  • Hassett, D.D. (2001). Reading and writing hypertextually: Children's literature, technology, and early writing instruction. Language Arts. 78(3), 207-216.
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  • Hassett, D.D., & Stoetzel, L. Professional play: The collaborative innovations of teachers. Manuscript submitted for publication.


  • See CV: Link on "Bio" tab.

Departmental Service

  • Personnel Committee
    Dates of Membership: Aug. 2011 - July 2014

  • Coordinating Council of Professionals in Education (CCPE)
    Dates of Membership: Aug. 2011 - May 2014

  • Clinical Associates
    Dates of Membership: Aug. 2011 - Dec. 2013
    Accomplishments: A committee of cooperating teachers who inform the UW.
  • Co-Chair. Period of Service: Aug. 2012 - Dec. 2013
  • Committee Member. Period of Service: Aug. 2011 - July 2012

  • Elementary Education Committee
    Dates of Membership: July 2011 - Dec. 2013
  • Committee Chair. Period of Service: July 2011 - Dec. 2013

  • Personnel Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2007 - 2009
  • Committee Member. Period of Service: 2007 - 2009

  • Student Awards Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2005 - 2006
  • Committee Chair. Period of Service: 2005 - 2006

  • Elementary Education Admissions Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2004 - Pres.

  • Graduate Programs Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2003 - 2011

  • Wisconsin State Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist Licenses
    Dates of Membership: 2000 - Pres.
  • Program Administrator.

  • Elementary Education Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2000 - Pres.

School Service

  • Programs Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2011 - Pres.

  • Cooperative Children's Book Center Advisory Board
    Dates of Membership: 2005 - Pres.

Public Service

    Dates of Membership: 2011 - 2015
    Accomplishments: Literacy Consultant to GALXYZ as they develop their science games and materials for children.
  • Consultant.

  • World Book Encyclopedia
    Dates of Membership: 2011 - 2013
    Accomplishments: Literacy Consultant to World Book as they develop their online materials for children and parents.
  • Consultant.

  • LMNOpedia
    Dates of Membership: Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011
    Accomplishments: Consultant for LMNOpedia on technology research for their products.
  • Consultant.

  • International Journal of Applied Semiotics
    Dates of Membership: 2010 - Pres.
  • Reviewer, Journal Article.

  • Velocity Learning Systems
    Dates of Membership: 2010 - 2013
    Accomplishments: Consultant on adapting their career programs for elementary school.
  • Interaction with Industry.

  • Journal of Curriculum Studies
    Dates of Membership: 2009 - Pres.
  • Reviewer, Journal Article.

  • Journal of Early Childhood Literacy
    Dates of Membership: 2008 - Pres.
  • Editorial Review Board Member.

  • 27th Annual Wisconsin Reading Research Symposium
    Dates of Membership: 2007 - 2008
    Accomplishments: 2008 One Size Fits No One: The Social, Cultural and Political Contexts of Literacy Education.
  • Organizer. Period of Service: 2007 - 2008

  • Wisconsin Professors of Reading
    Dates of Membership: 2000 - Pres.

  • Foucault and Education SIG of AERA
    Dates of Membership: 2000 - 2003
  • Committee Chair. Period of Service: 2000 - 2003

  • American Educational Research Association
    Dates of Membership: 1998 - Pres.
  • Reviewer of Conference Proposals.

  • The UW-Madison School of Education, The Wisconsin Education Association Council, and the Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Workshop Organizer.

  • Glendale Friendly Observer

Public Service

  • World Book Early World of Learning
    Dates of Membership: 2012 - Pres.

  • Professional Development work with CESA 5 – Database of Research-Based Assessment & Intervention Methods
    Dates of Membership: March 2011 - Aug. 2013

  • Governor’s Read to Lead Task Force
    Dates of Membership: 2011 - 2012

  • Career Path Summit
    Dates of Membership: Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011

  • Wisconsin Professors of Reading
    Dates of Membership: 2000 - Pres.

  • Wisconsin State Reading Association
    Dates of Membership: 2000 - Pres.


  • International Literacy Association (ILA)
    Scope of Organization: International, Member Since: January 1986
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association (WRSA)
    Scope of Organization: State, Member Since: 1984
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
    Scope of Organization: National
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
    Scope of Organization: School of Education
  • Literacy Research Association (LRA)
    Scope of Organization: International
  • Madison Area Reading Council (MARC)
    Scope of Organization: Local
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
    Scope of Organization: National
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