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Dr. Martin J. Wasserberg

Associate Professor

Elementary Education Extension Program Coordinator

Assistant Chair

Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education

Education Building 270
(910) 962-2917 Phone
(910) 962-2917 Fax

Courses Taught

Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Florida International University
M.S., Urban Education, Florida International University
B.A., Elementary Education with Honors, Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Courses Taught

Graduate Level
LIC 519 - Advanced Teaching of Diverse Learners
LIC 500 - Advanced Study of Theory and Pedagogy in Elementary Education
EDN 508 - Advanced Diverse Learners
EDN 524 - Action Research for Elementary Educators
EDN 595 - Special Topics: Media Representations of Teachers and Schools
LIC 560 - MAT Internship K-6

Undergraduate Level
EDN 330 - Teaching Diverse Learners (K-6)
EDN 300 - Elementary School Programs and Practices
EDN 334 - Elementary Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction
EDN 411 - Internship K-6

Professional Service

American Educational Research Association
Eastern Educational Research Association
North Carolina Association for Research in Education
UNCW Student Matters Committee
UNCW Athletic Council
UNCW Campus Conduct Board
Watson College of Education Diversity Committee

Research Interests

Racial and Gender Stereotyping
Elementary Student Voice
Equity and Social Justice
Elementary Education
Student-Teacher Relationships

Recent Publications

Wasserberg, M. J. (2018). "We're just scanning through to find the answers:" African American elementary student voice in a test-centered school environment. Elementary School Journal, 119(2).

Rottmann, A. & Wasserberg, M. J. (2018). "We're going to get worse so what's the point of working?" Florida high school students speak on school grading. Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal, 3(2), 60-72.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2017). Stereotype threat effects on African American and Latino elementary school students tested together. Journal for Multicultural Education, 11(1), 51-60.

Wasseberg, M. J. (2017). High-achieving African American elementary students' perspectives on standardized testing and stereotypes. Journal of Negro Education, 86(1), 40-51.

Wasserberg, M. J. and Rottmann, A. (2016). Urban high school students' perspectives on test-centered curriculum. American Secondary Education Journal, 44(3), 56-71.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2014). Stereotype threat effects in an urban elementary school. Journal of Experimental Education.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2014). No voices left behind. In J. L. DeVitis & K. Teitelbaum (Eds.), The Struggle for Democratic Schooling. New York: Peter Lang.

Walker, B. & Wasserberg, M. J. (2013). The incredible work of the elementary school (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2012). "She has a caterpillar with her and loved all kinds of slimy things normal girls would not touch." Combating gender bias with nontraditional literature in an urban elementary classroom. Networks: An On-line Journal for Teacher Research, 14(1), 1-9. 

Walker, B. & Wasserberg, M. J. (2011). The incredible work of the elementary school. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. 

Rodriguez, L. F., & Wasserberg, M. J. (2010). From the classroom to the country: Engaging marginalized youth in research for educational rights. Journal of Urban Education: Focus on Enrichment, 7(1), 103-107. 

Recent Presentations

Wasserberg, M. J. (2017). Perspectives on teacher quality and testing from African American and Latina/o elementary school students. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2017). We just sit there and my butt gets numb!" Elementary student voices in the era of high stakes testing. Paper presented at the Conference on Academic Research in Education, Las Vegas, NV.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2016). Listening to the voices of marginalized elementary students. (“Teaching the teachers”). Paper presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Hilton Head Island, SC.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2015). Domain identification as a moderator of stereotype threat effects on African American children. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2014). Standardized testing and stereotypes: Listening to urban elementary school students.  Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2014). Resisting the marginalization of test-practice pedagogy with elementary student voice. Paper presented at the National Youth at Risk Conference, Savannah, GA.

Current Research Projects

 Student Voice -


Stereotype Threat in Elementary Schools -


Project Y.E.S. (Youth Engagement for Success):

This participatory action research initiative has several goals, and is first and foremost committed to exploring creative ways of boosting student engagement in “struggling” schools. Most recently, the specific objectives of the project have included the following:

(a) Including student perspectives (particularly the voices of traditionally marginalized students) in the research-based definition of “teacher quality.”
(b) Helping to facilitate collaboration between the Watson School of Education and “struggling” elementary schools.
(c) Facilitating a dialogue between pre-service teachers and the students they will soon be teaching (particularly students from traditionally marginalized groups).

I collaborated with groups of elementary school students (4th graders, 5th graders, and kindergarteners) on a biweekly basis. These meetings began as dialogues centered around the question: “What makes a great teacher?” As a result of these dialogues, students have put together presentations that they presented to my EDN 300 students:
2012 - View here.
2011 - View here.

Additional Information