Diane Corcoran Nielsen, PhD

Associate Professor
Primary office:
785-864-9664
446 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Diane Corcoran Nielsen, associate professor, joined the KU faculty in fall of 1990. Nielsen earned her BA in Elementary and Special Education at the University of Iowa, MS in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading Education at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction: Literacy Education at the University of Minnesota.

Her expertise in working with teachers and schools, research and publications have focused on issues related to the literacy development and instruction of young children (preschool-primary grades) typically developing as well as students with special needs, particularly children with hearing-impairments. She has also developed reading assessments. Nielsen has authored and led several literacy-related projects including a USDE funded Early Childhood Professional Development project, which focused on supporting urban preschool teachers in creating language and literacy-rich classrooms. In addition, she is currently a Co-PI on two Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded research projects focused on the literacy development and instruction of young children.

Nielsen has published research in Reading Psychology, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, American Annals of the Deaf, Teaching and Teacher Education, Action in Teacher Education, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, and Journal of Education among others and has presented at conferences of the International Reading Association, Literacy Research Association, Society for the Scientific Studies of Reading, and the American Educational Research Association.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction: Literacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1990
  • M.S., Curriculum & Instruction: Reading, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, 1983
  • B.A., Elementary & Special Education, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1972

Specializations

Literacy and Children's Literature

An update on C&T faculty-conducted research: Last May, Dr. Barbara Bradley was awarded a $135,000 grant from the National Endowment for Financial Education to study young children's development of financial and college-bound identities. The project is collaborative with researchers from the School of Social Welfare, the Departments of Sociology and Linguistics, & the School of Education. Her study is part of a larger project providing savings accounts and financial education to kindergartners in the LPS and following the children and their family members for several years to look at outcomes related to financial and college-bound identity formation in 2 experimental groups and one control group.
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Why KU
  • Associate professor Diane Nielsen involved in $120 million project to overhaul how reading is taught to children by 2015
  • School of Education is 10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • 3.35: average GPA of students admitted to teacher education program
  • All teacher education programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • All teacher education programs accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education
  • Alumni have been named Kansas Teacher of the Year
  • Alumni have received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Horizon Award