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Deborah Wooten

Deborah A. Wooten, PhD

Professor, Literacy Education


Dr. Deborah A. Wooten is a Professor of Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee. Before joining the university faculty in 2002, she taught elementary school for 23 years. Her résumé includes teaching experience ranging from rural schools of Mississippi and to urban classrooms of New York City. After earning her PhD at New York University, she spent 10 years in the elementary classroom researching practical new methods of using children’s literature to foster connections across curriculum boundaries while scaffolding students to think metacognitively. The results are published in her book Valued Voices: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching and Learning.


Professional Background


Wooten’s research agenda focuses on using high-quality children’s literature to teach comprehension and higher-order thinking skills as well motivating and engaging students to read and want to read. The Children’s Literature that is studied and implemented in the classroom includes authentic diverse voices and situations that need to be heard by our students. In addition, Wooten reviews numerous books each year to identify trends in Children’s Literature publications


Doctor of Philosophy, Elementary Education, New York University College of Education 

Educational Specialist, Elementary Education, William Carey College, Hattiesburg MS

Master of Arts, Elementary Education (K-8), William Carey College, Hattiesburg MS

Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education (K-8), Mississippi College, Clinton MS

Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1990-1992

Project ALERT (Acquiring Language Enhances Reading/Writing & Thinking), New York University and District 2 New York City Schools, 1989-1991

Oxford University, New York University Literacy Study Abroad Program, 1989

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Service

Wooten is currently serving as a board member for the following professional organizations: Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA), United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), and Children’s Literature/Reading SIG (CL/R). She is also the co-director for the Center of Children’s and Young Adult Literature. In addition, she is a former committee member for the Outstanding International Book Honor List and Notable Books for a Global Society Award.



Wooten, D., Liang, L., & Cullinan, B. (Eds.).  (2018). Children’s literature in the reading program: Engaging young readers in the 21st century. (5th ed). New York: NY: Guildford Press/“Cobrand” International Literacy Association.

Wooten, D. & Cullinan, B. (Eds.). (2015). Children’s literature in the reading program: Engaging young readers in the 21st century. (4th ed). Newark, DE:  International Literacy Association.

Wooten, D. (2009). Valued voices: An interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. Knoxville, TN: WandSC Publishing. (reprinted edition)

Wooten, D. & Cullinan, B. (Eds.).  (2009) Children’s literature in the reading program: An invitation to read. (3rd ed).  Newark, DE:  International Reading Association.

Cullinan, B. & Wooten, D.  (Eds.).  (2009).  Another jar of tiny stars. (2nd ed).  Honesdale, PA: National Council of Teachers of English/Boyds Mills Press.

Cullinan, B., Kunzel, B., & Wooten, D.  (Eds.). (2005). The continuum encyclopedia of young adult literature. New York, NY: The Continuum International Publishing Group.

Selected Articles Published in Peer Reviewed Journals

Schmidt, R., Wilson, F., Finan, K., Flood, N., Morton, T, Wilson, S., & Wooten, D. Oslick, M. Sakoi, J.      (Spring, 2018). 2018 Notable Books. Dragon Lode, 36(2), 19-31.

Schmidt, R., Wilson, F., Aziz, S., Finan, K., Flood, N., Morton, T., Sung, Y., Wilson, S., & Wooten, D.       (Spring, 2017). 2017 Notable Books for a Global Society Award: Empathy, caring, and          understanding from multiple perspectives. Dragon Lode, 35(2), 51-69.

Clabough, J., Wooten, D. (2016). Bias, bigotry, and bungling: Teaching about the Port Chicago 50. Social Education, 80(3). 160-165.

Clabough, J., Wooten, D. & Shelley, E. (2016). Discovering the inner strength of WW II POWs with NCSS award-winning trade books. Tennessee Association of Middle Schools Journal, 46(1), 1-16.

Wooten, D. & McCuiston, K. (2015). Children’s literature book apps: Exploring new paths for books and literacy development. Journal of Children’s Literature, 41(2), 26-30.  (acceptance rate: 12-16%)

Davis-Wiley, P. & Wooten, D. (2015). Enhancing metacognitive literacy: A research study using sticky notes in the classroom. American International Journal of Contemporary Research. 5(4), 1-9.

Broemmel, A.D., Moran, M.J., & Wooten, D. (2015).  The impact of electronic books (Moving Picture Books ®) on the vocabulary and language development of preschool-aged children in two school settings. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 17(1). Retrieved from 

Wooten, D. & Clabough, J.  (2014).  Scientists in the Field: Using nonfiction to ignite students into the wonderment of the unknown Journal of Children’s Literature, 40(2), 37-43.

Wooten, D., Clabough, J., & Turner, T. (2014). Up up and away:  Using heroes of flight with middle graders. Tennessee Reading Teacher, 40(2), 5-14.

External Grants, Funded

McGill-Franzen, A., Allington, R. L., & Wooten, D. (2005). $9,978.64
Project VolunTEERS: Technology Education Enhanced by Reading Strategies
Funded by Project ImPACT Technology Infusion Grants Project.

Deborah Wooten

Contact Information

  • A224 Jane & David Bailey Education Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-0334
  • E-mail: