Theresa E. McCormick, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus Curriculum & Instruction Iowa State University

Theresa E. McCormick, Ed.D. | Professor Emeritus – Curriculum & Instruction, Iowa State University

theresa mccormickPassionate about art, writing and education Dr. McCormick built the foundation of her career by completing several degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in art education at Oklahoma State University, a Master of Arts in art and an Ed.D in curriculum and instruction/multicultural education from West Virginia University, Morgantown. Her extensive work history includes 20 years as a professor of education at Iowa State University, and 11 years teaching art and multicultural education in the West Virginia public schools. Through the years, she was fortunate to learn from many wonderful teachers and female colleagues of color, who mentored her to be an effective art and multicultural educator.

While teaching, Dr. McCormick was simultaneously creating and exhibiting her artwork, which includes watercolors, oils, acrylics, fabric art, and serigraphs. Her artwork has been displayed in national and regional shows and at university galleries in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Arizona. Presently, she exhibits her work in the greater Seattle area.

Currently writing creative nonfiction, Dr. McCormick has published a memoir, “A Far Cry From Here–Growing Up and Out of Fundamentalism.” It begins with the early days of her Texas Panhandle roots and transitions into stories of passage, which illustrate her search for an authentic spiritual identity free of fundamentalism and her growth into a feminist activist womanhood. Readers get an insider’s view of her family’s hardscrabble life and the conflicts surrounding her. Emerging from this background, she carved out her own way of life and religious beliefs. Overlapping threads about whiteness, racism, sexism, and the power of fundamentalism to yield a sense of security, yet confine growth, weave throughout the memoir. The final stories about reconciliation and reunion reveal her efforts, successful in the end, to overcome her family’s alienation to her new way of life as a professor, writer, and artist and to reunite with them.

Much of Dr. McCormick’s academic writing reflects a long-time concern about social inequalities and discrimination based on a person’s race, sex, social class, religion, ability, or sexual orientation. In her article, “Reflections on Becoming a Multicultural Feminist Teacher Education,” published in “Women’s Studies Quarterly” (2000), she examines her racist, sexist upbringing and describes the rough road of awakening to her white privilege and how she became a feminist anti-racist educator. Another is a chapter, “Strong Women Teachers: Their Struggles, and Strategies for Gender Equity,” (2007) in an edited book, “Gender in the Classroom,” edited by D. Sadker and E. Silber. In this chapter, she looks at the extensive history of sex discrimination in the field of teaching and the inspiring stories of strong female teachers who overcame those odds. 

Author of 28 refereed journal articles and chapters in edited books on issues of race, class, and gender, she also authored, “Creating the Nonsexist Classroom–A Multicultural Approach” (1994, Teachers College Press), a book that received endorsement by the United States Department of Education Gender Equity Expert Panel in 1997. Nel Noddings, Stanford University Professor, said: “Theresa McCormick has written a book that should be used widely in teacher education. In {the book}, she explores the rich possibilities of a gender-sensitive curriculum. . . . Although the text concentrates on gender issues, it embeds these issues in a multicultural context. McCormick does not make the mistake of supposing that questions of gender are uncomplicated by race, ethnicity, and class.”

Dr. McCormick is a co-author with Dr. Lenola Allen-Sommerville of “Multicultural Education–Awareness & Activities” (2000, Kendall/Hunt) and “Multicultural Education–Awareness, Strategies, & Activities” (1998, Mendota). “Multicultural Education–Awareness and Activities” is a valuable book for use in multicultural learning and teaching, multicultural consultation and collaboration, and multicultural counseling. Selected areas of multicultural education are covered: legal bases and rationale for multicultural education, experiential components, curriculum planning, concept integration, teaching and learning, research, multicultural readings, and multicultural resources.” (Introduction)

When she was a teacher in West Virginia, Dr. McCormick researched, developed, and edited a number of oral history children’s books created from the stories that she and a team collected from interviews with elderly blacks who were grandparents of the children where she worked in the Head Start, Follow Through, and Project Developmental Continuity programs. The oral history books, “The Hollands of Green Street, and Monongalia Blacks Speak of Yesterday and Today,” as well as “Mountain Music–A Book of Shaped-Note Music and Related Activities” were used in the day-to-day reading, language arts, and music curricula.

Dr. McCormick was president of the Research on Women and Education, Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association from whom she received the Willystine Goodsell Award in 2006 for her outstanding scholarship, activism and community building efforts that advance women, girls and education. She was a member and served on the editorial board of the Women’s Studies Association Journal; is a member and former board member of the United Nations Association of Greater Seattle; and a member of the Northwest Watercolor Society. Dr. McCormick is a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and a member of the National Women’s History Museum. She participates in the Shipping Group, a group of Seattle writers who have a Facebook page. Dr. McCormick is an active member of the West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice, and the Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation and coordinates their adult education program. She enjoys spending time with her family, attending the theater, gardening, walking, and traveling. Dr. McCormick was recently honored at the Tucson Festival of Books on March 12 and 13, 2016 in Arizona.

Dr. McCormick is currently writing a book titled “I Was There When….” The book is a mix of history, starting from when she was born and her memoir.

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