Zumhagen, Patricia (pz2109)

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Zumhagen, Patricia
English Education
Arts & Humanities

334H HMann

Office Hours:
Tuesday: 3:00pm-5:00pm and Wednesday: 3:00pm-5:00pm

Biographical Information

Pat Zumhagen, a native of Lowell, Massachusetts, graduated with a BA in English Literature from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire; an MA in Philosophy of Education from OISE at the University of Toronto; and, a Ph.D, in English Education from Ohio State University. Her Doctoral research, carried out with high school students, involved the study of the representation of women and relationships in classic American literature. Among her professional interests are curriculum development, involving educational drama and the arts in the teaching of literature, and developing ways in which the curriculum design includes a focus on experiential education, as in her former life, she taught in a Dewey-based high school that focused on student empowerment, student-centered and experiential learning. At that high school, she developed a peer-baed and non-hierarchical judicial system that reflected her interested in ethics and justice. On the personal side, she enjoys photography, travel, theatre and music.

Before coming to Teachers College to teach in the Dept. of English Education, she served for fifteen years as an English teacher at the Linworth Program of Worthington High School in Worthington, OH. She also served as the Director of Experiential Education at Linworth. In that capacity and through a program called Walkabout, she placed high school seniors in semester-long internships reflecting their interests in placements in all parts of the U.S. and in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. She is still in touch with many of her former high school students and is working on the publication of a book about the Walkabout Program, the many students she placed, their mentors and the growth and educational experiences that the students had during those internships.

Pat's lifelong dream has been to live and work in New York City and it has been a dream come true to have moved here and been employed at Teachers College. Pat has two children and four grandchildren.

Educational Background

Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture: English Education, The Ohio State University

M.A. in Philosophy of Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

M.A. Communications Program (16 credits), Wayne State University

M.A. English Program (20 credits), Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

B.A. in English with Minor in Education, Rivier College, Nashua, New Hampshire

Scholarly Interests

Drama in English Education, Teacher Preparation, Professional Education of Teachers, Experiential Education, Literature and the Arts

Selected Publications

In Review

Manuscript submitted to Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (December, 2015): “Critical Engagement:  Critical Engagement: Students Imagining Their Way to Feminist Appreciation of Their Eyes Were Watching God.” In this article, I explore how a combination of analysis, discussion, feminist criticism and improvisational imagination work (writing or performing in the role of a character and painting) affect reader engagement.  As well, I examine possibilities of readers’ developing critical distance for a more aesthetic response to a text that is removed from readers’ cultural or experiential backgrounds. This article is intended to demonstrate not only how readers respond but also how teachers might facilitate more nuanced responses that bridge how readers might enter textual experiences very different from their own.

In Progress

Book Prospectus, What is Schooling Anyway? Walkabout for Transformative High School Education. Finalizing submission of the Introduction, TOC and annotated chapter outline.  Book focuses on 15 high school seniors from a small, public experiential school in Ohio, selected from over forty years of the school’s history and supervised by one of three contributing Directors of Walkabout. Program directors use students’ daily journals, students’ and advisors’ statements and mentors’ remarks (past and present) and the ways the 2-month-long non-paid internships around the country and the globe have been transformative, personally and educationally. The main focus of the book raises the question of how we should educate for success in the 21st century by positing the Dewey-based philosophy behind experiential education for high school students.  This philosophy highlights the values of the following: (1) Supplementing academic scholarship with experiences in chosen real world workplaces and service organizations; (2) Empowering students by engaging them in the ownership of their education; (3) Fostering growth through student reflection.

Book Chapters

Zumhagen, P. (2007). Performing Mango Street: “Playing” With Curriculum to Reduce Resistance to Feminism in the High School English Classroom.” in A Soter, T. Rogers &Mark Faust (Eds.) Interpretive Play: Extending into Literate Thinking using Literary Theories and Young Adult Literature. Christopher –Gordon Press.


Zumhagen, P. (2011). “Interpreting Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” Through the Visual and Performing Arts, In A. Stephen & A. Georgoulia Visual and Performing Arts. ATINER, Arbury Press.   

Zumhagen, P. August, 2007. Article: (Performing Mango Street: “Playing” With Curriculum To       Reduce Resistance to Feminism in the High School English Classroom.” Interpretive Play: Extending into Literate Thinking using Literary Theories and Young Adult Literature) Christopher –Gordon and edited by Anna Soter, Theresa Rogers and Mark Faust.

Zumhagen, P. September, 2005.  Published article: “Using Improvisational Workshop to Explore Gender Issues in ‘The Untold Lie’” in English Journal.

Zumhagen, P. March, 2005, Published article in Teaching in the City in English Journal.

Zumhagen, P. (2005). Using Improvisational workshop to explore Gender issues in ‘The Untold Lie” in English Journal, Vol. 95, No. 1

Zumhagen, Spring, 2004. Author in collaborative article with Ambika Gopalakrishnan, Angela Beumer-Johnson and Elizabeth Sweet: “Pathways into Gender: Encountering The House on Mango Street Through Educational Drama.” In Signal Journal.


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