Diane Nielsen, Ph.D.

Diane Nielsen, Ph.D.

Diane Nielsen

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.

Associate Professor,
School of Education

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

Contact Information


1122 West Campus Road
446 Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-3101


Research Interests

Literacy and Children's Literature


Geiger Gould Teaching Award, Selected by Teacher Education graduating seniors, School of Education, University of Kansas, May, 2010.

Faculty Award for Teaching, School of Education, University of Kansas – May, 2010

Honoring a Progressive Educator Award (HOPE) Finalist.  Members of the senior class of the University of Kansas elect finalists. October, 2009

Del Shenkel Teaching Excellence Award Finalist – University of Kansas, April, 2008

Gene A. Budig Teaching Professor, 1999-2000 - Presented for outstanding teaching in the School of Education at the University of Kansas, May, 1999.  

Kemper Teaching Fellowship Award - Presented for outstanding classroom teaching at the University of Kansas.  September, 1998.

Silver Anniversary Teaching Award - Presented by the Chancellor of the University of Kansas for outstanding classroom teaching of an untenured professor. May, 1994.

Distinguished Teaching Award - Granted on behalf of the student body of St. Cloud State University through the Faculty/Student Relations Program, May, 1988.

Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement - St. Cloud State University, May, 1987. Awards and Recognition for Scholarship

Journal of Reading Education Outstanding article award - May, 2000.

Kansas Reading Association Research Award -  April, 1994 and April, 2001.

National Conference on Research in English - Invited to join in August, 1993. Membership in this organization is by invitation only and based on one's research contributions to the field.

Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award of the International Reading Association -Award Finalist - International Reading Association, May, 1991.

Phi Delta Kappa  Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award  1989-91 Region IV.  March, 1991.

Graduate School Fellowship  - Awarded by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Minnesota, 1989.

Graduate School Scholarship - Awarded by the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, 1989.

Faculty Award for Service  - School of Education University of Kansas - May 2007