Paul Thomas taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. He is a column editor for English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English) and series editor for Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres (Sense Publishers), in which he authored the first volume—Challenging Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels (2010). He has served on major committees with NCTE, and has been named Council Historian (2013-2015), and formerly served as co-editor for The South Carolina English Teacher for SCCTE. Recent books include Ignoring Poverty in the U.S.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Education (Information Age Publishing, 2012) and Parental Choice?: A Critical Reconsideration of Choice and the Debate about Choice (Information Age Publishing, 2010).

He has also published books on Barbara Kingsolver, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, and Ralph Ellison. His scholarly work includes dozens of works in major journals—English Journal, English Education, Souls,Notes on American Literature, Journal of Educational Controversy, Journal of Teaching Writing, and others. His commentaries have been included in Room for Debate (The New York Times), The Answer Sheet (Washington Post), The Guardian (UK), truthout, Education Week, The Daily Censored, OpEdNews, The State (Columbia, S.C.), The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.), The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) and The Greenville News (Greenville, S.C.). His work can be followed at @plthomasEdD on twitter.

Name Title Description


Masters Seminar in Education

Course integrates knowledge and underlying concepts from the core courses in the master?s program with the student?s concentration. Participants will demonstrate ability to synthesize previous coursework and to understand the holistic nature of an advanced degree in education. Emphasis is on oral and written communication, as well as use of information technology.


Literacy Research & Practice

Critical reading and discussion of theories, models, and current research designed to improve language arts instruction and develop understanding of reading and writing as processes. Topics include: the politics of literacy, balanced literacy, content area literacy, writing instruction, bilingual education, response to literature, adolescent literacy, assessment, and multi-literacies.


Adolescent Literature Survey

This course is a review of literary theory and research and survey of middle and high school level literacy programs and pedagogical practices related to the teaching of poetry, short stories, traditional literature, nonfiction, and novels written for the adolescent. Selections also include multicultural exposure for students through a variety of genres.


Scholarly Reading and Writing

With demands higher than ever for K-12 educators to be scholars and leaders, course offers workshop opportunities for literacy educators to expand and refine their literacy skills as consumers of educational research and as writers of scholarly works. Participants will read and analyze a wide range of scholarly works, both qualitative and quantitative, while also drafting their own original scholarly writings to submit for publication.


Education Laboratory I

For students and prospective teachers exploring education as a career possibility. Observations in different school settings for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the school and with the classroom.


Perspectives on American Educ

Introduction to teachers and teaching, the American school in an increasingly diverse society, and the historical, sociological and philosophical foundations of education.


Depiction of Schools on Film

Investigation of documentary films as social and political texts in order to identify historical and contemporary views on schools and the purpose(s) of education.


Scholarly Read Writ Education

For students interested in education as well as understanding how to read, interpret, and present research, this course invites students to investigate educational research and how that research is typically explained in the popular media.


Curr & Methods Tchng Grds 9-12

Various ways of organizing the curriculum in the secondary school, a comparison of traditional and nontraditional teaching methods, principles of learning, classroom organization, planning units and formal and informal evaluation.


Fndtions Literacy Instruction

Provides an overview of literacy education, focusing on the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and social foundations of literacy processes and instruction, evidence-based trends, and assessment. May only be enrolled as a part of the Senior Block.


Literature for Young Adults

Content of the literature program in the secondary school and methods of teaching poetry, short stories, traditional literature and young adult novels.


Teaching English Grades 9-12

Explores two of the major components in the secondary school English curriculum: language and composition. Emphasis placed on teaching the writing process. Examines strategies needed to learn from text materials included in the English classroom.


Crtcl Issues in Secondary Ed

Designed for senior level secondary and PK-12 language teacher candidates enrolled in the Senior Block. Provides candidates with opportunities to examine significant issues in secondary schools including: classroom management techniques and educational technology.


Practicum: Secondary Teaching

Provides candidates with opportunities to apply theory and evidence-based practice in the classroom under the supervision of Furman faculty and mentorship of a master teacher.


Baldwin and #BlackLivesMatter

This seminar primarily focuses on providing students rich content that spurs original essays, content drawn from the non-fiction and public talks/debates of James Baldwin and the #BlackLivesMatter movement spurred in social media. Students will investigate issues in the context of race and reconsider their own perspectives on race and privilege in order to write disciplinary essays.


Public Intellectual 3.0

Academics as public intellectuals have faced historical challenges to commitments to creating a public presence. The New Media (blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook) now add additional challenges as well as opportunities for the Public Intellectual 3.0.

  • NCTE 2013 George Orwell Award
  • NCTE Historian, January 2013-December 2015
Ed. D.
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina-Spartanburg
A. A.
Spartanburg Methodist College

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