Dr. Karen Eppley

Dr. Karen Eppley
Phone: 8148633496
Office Address:
156 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's research interest is at the intersection of literacy education and rural education. Her work explores ideas around contextually relevant teacher preparation, placed literacies, textual representations of rurality, and rural education as a matter of social justice. She regularly presents this research at conferences such as National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Rural Education Association (NREA). Her work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Research in Rural Education, Pedagogies, and Theory and Research in Social Education. Karen's current research includes a critical literature review of Direct Instruction and a project that considers the application of close reading strategies to exemplary picture books set in rural places.

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. ‘Hey, I saw your grandparents at Walmart': Teacher preparation for rural schools and communities. In press, The Teacher Educator.

Eppley, K. & Shannon, P. Literacy Education for the Lumps and Divots of Smart Cities and Rural Places. In press, S. Williams & A. Grooms (Eds.), The Politics of Educational Opportunity in Rural Contexts.

Freie, C. & Eppley, K. (2014). Putting Foucault to work: Understanding power in a rural school. Peabody Journal of Education, 89(5), 652-669.

Howley, A., Howley, M. & Eppley, K. (2013). How agricultural science trumps rural community in the discourse of U.S. History textbooks. Theory and Research in Social Education, 41(2), 187-218.

Eppley, K. (2013). My roots dip deep: Literacy practices as a mirror for traditional, modern, and postmodern ruralities. In M. Corbett & W. Green (Eds.), Rural Education and literacies research: Transnational issue and perspectives (pp. 75-92). New York: Palgrave MacMillian.