University of Iowa

Sarah Vander Zanden

Role: Institute of Higher Education

Dr. Sarah Vander Zanden is an assistant professor of literacy education at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her doctorate from Indiana University, where she focused on anti-deficit discourse and literacy as a multimodal practice. Vander Zanden is the current director of the UNI Reading Clinic and program coordinator for the UNI Literacy Education Division. She is a former elementary inclusion classroom teacher and has experience in urban and suburban settings.

Vander Zanden’s research is focused on literacy as a social practice and the tools available to consume and produce meaningful texts with children. As a practitioner inquirer and teacher educator, her research interests are also directly woven into issues involved in literacy teacher education. She is the former co-editor of the podcast “Voice of Literacy” and has written articles published in academic journals such as Language Arts, Pedagogies: An International Journal, and Theory into Practice. Vander Zanden recently completed a summer project working with undergraduate researchers in Iowa public schools supported by the UNI Center for Educational Transformation.