Dr. Karen Eppley

Dr. Karen Eppley
Phone: 8148633496
Office Address:
255 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Associate Professor


Curriculum and Instruction


Center on Rural Education and Communities (CREC)


Curriculum and Instruction: English Language Arts Education
Curriculum and Instruction: Language, Culture and Society


Dr. Eppley is a former 5th grade teacher. Her research interest is at the intersection of literacy education and rural education. Her work explores ideas around rural literacies, textual representations of rurality, rural education as a matter of social justice, and policy analysis. She regularly presents at conferences such as National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the Literacy Research Association (LRA). She is the chair of the American Educational Research Association Rural Special Interest Group (SIG) and edits the Journal of Research in Rural Education. Her work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, and the Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy.

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels

Early Childhood

Curriculum Areas

Language, Culture, and Society Ed
Language/Literacy Ed

Education Levels

Early Childhood

Education Types

Public Ed
Rural Ed

Educational Studies

Critical & Feminist Theory
Cultural Studies
Educational Theory

Individual Difference


Leadership Preparation

Teacher Prep


Equity and Diversity

Methodological Research

Discourse Analysis
Qualitative Research

Social Issues

Charter Schools
Education Policy
Social Issues

Teacher Preparation

In-service Teachers
Pre-service Teachers

Representative Publications

Eppley, K., Azano, A., Brenner, D. & Shannon, P. (2018). What counts as evidence in rural schools? Evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence for diverse settings. The Rural Educator, 39(2), 33-37. 

Eppley, K. & Dudley-Marling, C. (2018). Does Direct Instruction Work: A Critical Assessment of Direct Instruction Research and its Theoretical Perspective. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 15(1), 1-20. 

Eppley, K. (2017). Rural girlhoods in picture books: Visual constructions of social practices. In A. Mandrona & C. Mitchell (Eds.), Visual Encounters in the Study of Rural Childhoods (pp. 92-106). New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. 

Eppley, K. & Shannon, P. (2017). Practice based evidence: Intelligent action inquiry for complex problems. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice,66, 1-17. 

Eppley, K. & Shannon,P. (2016). Literacy Education for the Lumps and Divots of Smart Cities and Rural Places. In S.Williams & A.Grooms (Eds.), Educational opportunity in rural contexts: The politics of place (pp. 59-73). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.

Howley, A., Eppley, K., & Howley, M. (2016). From ingenious to ignorant, from idyllic to backwards: Representations of rural life in six US textbooks over half a century. In J.Williams & W. Bokhorst-Heng (Eds.),(Re)Constructing memory: Textbooks, identity, nation, and state (pp. 93-120). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: SensePublishing.

Eppley, K. (2015). Seven traps of the Common Core State Standards. Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, 59(2), 2017-216.

Eppley,K.(2015). ‘Hey, I saw your grandparents at Walmart': Teacher preparation for rural schools and communities.The Teacher Educator, 50(1),67-86.