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Michelle Zoss

Associate Professor    

Ph.D. in Language Education, The University of Georgia, 2007
Master of Arts in Curriculum & Teacher Education, Stanford University, 2003
Teacher Certification, K-12 Art and Secondary English, The University of Iowa, 1999
Honors Bachelor of Arts in Art and English, German minor, The University of Iowa, 1996


English Education
Integration of arts with English language arts and literacy education
Aesthetics and experience in education
Teacher education and mentoring
Arts-based approaches to the teaching of English language arts
Qualitative research methods


Michelle Zoss focuses her research and teaching on the integration of visual arts in language arts teaching. Her publications include research on teachers’ curriculum decisions for teaching secondary students to communicate via writing and drawing. She also studied pre-service teachers to examine their uses of metaphors for teaching literacy in urban schools and their understandings of aesthetic experiences. Other publications argue for the need for students to learn to write and draw as they move through the K-12 school system. In 2013, Zoss received the GSU College of Education & Human Development Outstanding Faculty Research Award at the Assistant/Associate Level.

Zoss’s interests in the connection between literacy and visual arts stems from her professional experiences as a teacher and her university education. She taught art and English in elementary and high schools in Las Vegas, Nevada where she was awarded a Southwest Region STAR Educator Award for Clark County Schools and a Journalism Adviser of the Year by Class! magazine. She earned honors bachelor’s degrees in Art and English, with a minor in German, and graduated magna cum laude from The University of Iowa. She also earned certification to teach secondary English and K-12 art at Iowa. At Stanford University she earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education. At The University of Georgia she earned a doctoral degree in Language Education and received multiple awards for travel and tuition funding, including the Graduate School Dissertation Completion Assistantship and the Carol J. Fisher Award for Excellence in Graduate Research.


Select Publications

White, A. M., & Zoss, M. (2015). “It’s a sad, sad story”: Teaching emotional connections and tone in literature. The Educational Forum, 79, 213-229. doi: 10.1080/00131725.2015.1037513

Zoss, M. (2015). Imaging and voicing the English education conversation [Cover art for Volumes 48 of English Education]. English Education, 48(1-4).

Zoss, M. (2015). Measures [Cover art for Volume 105, Issue 1 of English Journal]. English Journal, 105(1).

Holbrook, T., Pourchier, N., Zoss, M., & White, A. (2014). In search of a cheerful lament: “Bizarre partners” in an arts-based community of practice. Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art, 3, 113-123.

Zoss, M., Holbrook, T., McGrail, E., & Albers, P. (2014). Knotty articulations: Professors and preservice teachers on teaching literacy in urban schools. English Education, 47, 38-79.

Zoss, M., Holbrook, T., & Moore, C. D. (2014). Recasting writing pedagogy as an inclusive practice: Putting Universal Design to work with 21st century composition. Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, 16(1), 47-64.

Zoss, M. (2014). Meeting Elliot Eisner in his office: Notes from a photograph. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 15 (SI 1.16). Retrieved from

Zoss, M. (2013). The rise of the house of readers [Cover art for Volume 41 of The ALAN Review Journal]. The ALAN Review, 41(1-3).

Zoss, M. (2012b). Why don’t you read? [Cover art for Volume 40 of The ALAN Review Journal]. The ALAN Review, 40(1-3).

Zoss, M., & White, A. M. (2011). Finding “my kind of teaching”: How a drama project became a teacher’s expressive teaching moment. English in Education 45, 161-175. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-8845.2011.01096.x

Zoss, M. (2011). The things they read. [Cover art for Volume 39 of The ALAN Review Journal]. The ALAN Review, 39(1-3).

Select Conference Presentations

Zoss, M. (2016, Apr.). Innovation in English teaching through the use of drawing as multipurpose tool. Paper presentation at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Sowerbrower, K., & Zoss, M. (2015, July). The storied experiences of English teachers. Panel session at the quadrennial conference of The International Federation for the Teaching of English (IFTE) and the (co-convened) biannual conference of the Conference on English Education (CEE) Summer Conference, Fordham University, Bronx, New York.

Klein, S., & Zoss, M. (2014, Nov.). 2 stories, 2 teachers: Visual representations of 2 English teachers beginning their careers. Paper presentation at National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, Washington, DC.

Zoss, M., & White, A. M. (2014, Apr.). Teaching as embodied, contextualized practice: One story of a teacher in a time of cancer. Paper presentation at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Zoss, M., & Criswell, B. (2014, Apr.). Exploring the conceptual trajectory of a proposal in a chemistry class through frame analysis. Paper presentation at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.