Change your cover photo
Change your cover photo
This user account status is Approved
Professor of Elementary Education

Dr. Mary F. Heller is Director of Teacher Education, Professor & Chair of the Division of Education, University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu.  She oversees the development and implementation of UH West O‘ahu elementary, middle-level, and secondary teacher education programs that are especially dedicated to serving the underrepresented populations of Central and Leeward O‘ahu.  Prior to joining the UH West O‘ahu faculty in 2006, Dr Heller was a tenured professor at Kansas State University. Her area of expertise is the English Language Arts, K-12. While serving the public schools in Oklahoma, she taught English in grades 7-12 and was a K-12 Reading and Learning Disabilities Specialist.  Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Heller has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as conducted inservice professional development workshops on topics such as Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum; Literacy in the Content Areas; Multicultural Literature for Children and Adolescents; Emergent Literacy; Teaching Writing, K-8.  She has published widely in education journals of national repute, is author of Reading-Writing Connections: From Theory to Practice (Taylor & Francis, 3rd Edition, in progress), and serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Educational Research, a landmark international journal that has been publishing state of the art educational research since 1910.  Dr. Heller's current research interests center on children's written responses to multicultural literature that is written for and about the diverse populations of Hawai‘i.

Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Specialization: Literacy/English Language Arts, K-12
Oklahoma State University

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction/Reading, Specialization: Reading & Learning Disabilities, K-12
Oklahoma State University

B.A. English, Minor: Secondary Education 
Oklahoma State University

2006-Present. Director of Teacher Education, Professor & Chair, Education Division
University of Hawaii–West O‘ahu

1987-2006: Tenured Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu:

Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (Original Design)

  • EDEE 424 Language Arts Methods (K-3, 4-6, K-6)
  • EDEE 492 Student Teaching Seminar (K-6)
  • EDEE 325 Creative & Performing Arts (K-6)
  • EDEF 201 Introduction to Teaching as a Career (K-6)
  • EDEE 426 Blocked Literacy Practicums (K-3, 4-6, K-6)
  • EDUC 196 Hauka‘a: Becoming a Teacher (K-12)
  • EDUC 400 Alternative Pathways to Licensure (K-12)
  • EDUC 495 Action Research (K-12)

Supervision of Undergraduate Education Majors

  • EDEE 490 Student Teaching
  • EDEE 426 Elementary Block 2 Practicum (Reading/LA, K-6)
  • EDEF 200 Early Field Experience
  • EDEE 300 Service Learning
  • EDEE 466 Math/Science Practicum (4-6)

Kansas State University (Graduate Courses):

  • Individualized Reading and Writing Instruction
  • Clinical Practicum in Reading
  • Approaches to Reading Instruction
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of Reading Disabilities
  • Reading-Writing Connections (Distance Education)
  • Reading in the Content Areas
  • Teaching Writing (K-8 & K-12)
  • Tradebooks in the Elementary/Middle Schools
  • Current Issues in Elementary School Language Arts
  • Topics: Thematic Teaching
  • Topics: Portfolio Instruction
  • Kindergarten Education

Kansas State University (Undergraduate Courses)

  • Elementary/Middle School Reading Methods
  • Reading Practicum (Block B Team Leader)
  • Elementary/Middle School Language Arts Methods
  • Understanding Literacy: Integrated Reading & LA Methods (K-8)
  • Honors Seminar: Reader Response to Literature

Undergraduate Field Experience Supervision

  • Graduate Clinical Practicum in Reading
  • Undergraduate Reading Practicum (Block B)
  • Elementary & Middle School (English) Student Teachers
  • Mentor KSU Service Learning Team: Chautauqua County

Books (Refereed  Manuscripts)

Reading-Writing Connections: From Theory To Practice, Second Edition. (1995; 1999) White Plains, NY: Longman Publishing Group; Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Associates (LEA).   [Naomi Silverman, Senior Editor]

  • First Edition: 1991
  • Instructors Manual: 1995 and 1999

3rd Edition Manuscript in progress. Draft chapters available upon request.

Teaching Writings, K-8. Manuscript in progress. 

Refereed Articles

  • Heller, M. F., Wood, N. J., Norton-Meyer, L., & Shawgo, M. (March 2007). From campus to classroom and back again: Voices from the  KSU professional development school partnership—academics, clinical instructors, classroom teachers, and children. In Gail Shroyer & Sally Yahnke, Eds., Collaborative Reconstruction & Simultaneous Renewal: The Impact of the Kansas State University Professional Development School Model on Teaching and Learning, K-16. A special issue of The Journal of Educational Research, Washington DC: Heldref. Volume 100, No. 2.
  • Heller, M. F. (Dec/Jan, 2006-07). Telling stories and talking facts: First graders engagements in a nonfiction book club. The Reading Teacher.  Newark, DE: The International Reading Association.   
  • Heller, M. F. & LeFever-Davis, S. (March 2003). Trends in Teacher Certification: Partnerships in Education. The Reading Teacher, Vol. 58, 566-68.
  • Heller, M. F. (1999). Western stompin’ Barbie meets Terminator 2: Visions of childhood through the media advertising looking glass. Kansas English, 84(1), 19-28.
  • Heller, M. F. (1997). Reading and writing about the environment: Visions of the year 2000. The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 40(5), 332-341.
  • Heller, M. F., & McLellan, H. (1993). Dancing with the wind: Understanding narrative text structure through response to multicultural children's literature. Reading Psychology, 14(4), pp. 285-310.
  • Heller, M. F. (1993, January/February). Computer-assisted language experience stories. The Writing Notebook, 10(3), pp. 15-17, 32.
  • Heller, M. F. (1991). College pen pals: Models for literacy. Kansas English, 77(1), pp. 15-23.
  • Heller, M. F. (1991). The promise of whole language instruction. Kansas Journal of Reading, 7, pp. 41-48.
  • Otto, W., Hayes, B., Camperell, K., Vavrus, L., & Heller, M. (1990). On seeking certitude through certification. In Achieving Excellence in Reading: Yearbook of the American Reading Forum, X. pp. 183-192.
  • Heller, M. F.  (1989). Developing a tolerance for ambiguity reading research:policymakers, and practioners. Yearbook of the American Reading Forum, IX, pp. 155-159.
  • Pickle, J., Oliver, S., Heller, M., French, M., & Collins, A. (1989) Teacher Induction: The Kansas Plan--Kansas State Task Force on the Internship Plan. The Kansas Teacher Education Advocate.
  • Heller, M. F. (1988). Comprehending and Composing Through Language Experience. The Reading Teacher, 42(2), Newark, DE: The International Reading Association, pp. 130-135.
  • Heller, M. F. (1988). Comprehension Monitoring Strategies of College Reading Methods Students. Reading Horizons, 29(1). Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, pp. 51-61.
  • Heller, M. F. (1986). How Do You Know What You Know? Metacognitive Modeling in the Content Areas.  Journal of Reading, 29(5). Newark Del.: International Reading Association, pp. 415-422.
  • Heller, M. F. (1986). Directed Reading and Writing in the Content Areas.  Reading Psychology, 7(3). Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere Publications. pp. 173-182.
  • Heller, M. F. (1986). What I Know: Modeling Critical Thinking in the English Classroom, Highway One, 9(2). Vancouver, B.C.: Canadian Council of Teachers of English. pp. 87-90.

Creative Writing: Poetry

  • Heller, M. F. (2000). Balancing Act. Kansas English. 85(1), p.6
  • Heller, M. F. (2000). Consider This. Kansas English. 85(1). p.31

Invited Publications

  • Heller, M. F. (1995). Michael's Portfolio. In Contemporary Educational Psychology, fifth edition, by Thomas L. Good and Jere Brophy.
  • Heller, M. F. (1995, Spring). A Crow Doesn't Need A Shadow: A Book Review. The American Nature Writing Newsletter.

Research-Into-Practice: Adaptation in Web-based Publication

  • A Harlem Renaissance Retrospective. (2004) In Read, Write, Think: Web-based Lesson Plans. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. www.readwritethink/lessons/lesson view.asp?id=252. This web-based lesson plan cites my 1997 research-into-practice journal article: Reading and Writing About the Environment: Visions of the Year 2000. The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 40(5), 332-341. 


  • The Promise of Whole Language Instruction. (1991). Colorado Reading Council Journal, 2, pp. 11-15.
  • What I Know: Modeling Critical Thinking in the English Classroom. (1987).  Kansas English. Topeka, KS:  Kansas Association of Teachers of English.