Professor, English Education
Middle, Secondary & Mathematics Education

Office: Memorial Hall 3265A
Phone: (540) 568-4314


Dr. Melanie Shoffner is Associate Professor of English Education in the College of Education’s Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education at James Madison University.  Her research, writing and teaching focus on issues arising from, related to and influential for secondary English teacher preparation. Her current work explores the development and use of meaningful reflective practice, the role of affective and relational elements in teacher preparation, and the dispositional development through international study. She is currently directing the College of Education’s Semester in Salamanca program.

In 2016-2017, Dr. Shoffner was a Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Letters at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, teaching courses in adolescent literature, pedagogy and American culture. Prior to joining JMU, she held a joint appointment in the Departments of English and Curriculum & Instruction at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) and taught high school English Language Arts in North Carolina and Arizona.


PhD    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Education: Culture, Curriculum & Change

MAT    Duke University – English Education

AB      Duke University – English and History

Recent Publications

Shoffner, M. (2018). When the gun isn’t metaphorical: Educating teachers in the age of school shootings. In S. Bickmore, G. Rumohr-Voskuil, & S. Shaffer (Eds.), Teaching beyond fear: Arming teachers with words, stories, and power. Routledge.

Shoffner, M. (2018). The professor abroad: Crossing the pedagogical border. In Garbett, D. & Ovens, A., (Eds). Pushing boundaries and crossing borders: Self-study as a means for researching pedagogy (pp. 287-293). Herstmonceux, UK: Creative Commons.

Shoffner, M. (2018, March 15). Positioning English Language Arts teacher education. Retrieved from

Shoffner, M. (2018). Disrupting the world as we know it: Addressing racism in ELA education. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online}. Retrieved from

George, M., & Shoffner, M.  (2017).  The teacher’s conundrum: Choosing literature for adolescents in a standards-obsessed world.  In Goodwyn, A., Durrant, C., Reid, L., and Scherff, L. (Eds). International Perspectives on the Teaching of Literature in Schools: Global Principles and Practices. New York: Routledge.

de Oliveira, L.C., & Shoffner, M. (2017).  Courageous literacy: Linguistically responsive teaching with English Language Learners.  Voices from the Middle, 24(3), 44-47.

Shoffner, M. (ed.). (2016).  Exploring teachers in fiction and film: Saviors, scapegoats and schoolmarms. New York: Routledge Press.

de Oliveira, L.C., & Shoffner, M. (eds.). (2016).  ELA teachers and ELL students: Preparing English Language Arts teachers to teach English Language Learners. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


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