Professor of Education
Elementary Education


B.A., English/Elem. Educ., Western Michigan University, 1977
M.S.W., Social Work, Western Michigan University, 1983
Ph.D., Curriculum, Teaching & Educational Policy, Michigan State University, 1996


Educ. 280/281 - Literacy I: Reading & Language Arts from Pre-School to Grade 3
Educ. 282/283 – Literacy II: Reading and the Language Arts, Grade 4 – 8 (June Term – Liverpool, UK)
IDS 452 - Senior Seminar: Education & Christian Ways of Knowing


Donk, T. (In Process)The Writing Process: A Workshop Approach for Elementary Pre-service Teachers

Donk, T. (2011). Teacher collaboration: Opening and closing the classroom door. In Standing for Powerful Literacy: Teaching in the Context of Change. Ed: Pardo, L.S., Highfield, K., Florio-Ruane, S., Hampton Press.

Dell’Olio, J. & Donk, T. (2007). Models of Teaching: Connecting Student Learning with Standards. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Donk, T. (2004). TE reform: Learning to teach writing – Can theory, research and teaching models really influence practice? In: (Ed) R. J. Mezeske. Reforming teacher education in the liberal arts setting.

Donk, T. (1996). Limitations of theory in guiding on-line decision-making in process writing contexts: The case of Emily. Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University.

Donk, T. (1994). Writing skills: Are they part of the process? Michigan Reading Journal, (27) 3, 13-17.

Donk, T. & Reagan-Donk, T.E. (1992). Literacy Through Teamwork. Holland, MI: Love, Inc./World Vision.


06/11/08 Trends in Early Childhood Education in the United States, Technos College – International CelebrationTokyo, Japan

03/10/08 Talk to Me! Conversations with Student Writers, Inter-Institutional Teacher Education Council of West Michigan, Calvin College

05/1/05 – 05/05/05 - But When I Was in First Grade: Excavating and Enriching Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs About Literacy Learning and Teaching
International Reading Association, 50th Anniversary Convention San Antonio, Texas

07/15/03 - 07/18/03 - Teaching As We Were Taught to Teach: Enhancing the Apprenticeship of Observation in Literacy Teaching and Learning The Tenth International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning London, England

07/04/01 – 07/08/01 - The Writing Workshop: Revisiting Teacher Decision-Making in the Writing Conference The Eighth International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning Spetses, Greece

03/19/01 - Standards Based Authentic Assessment: Seeing is Believing Co-presenters: Leslie Wessman & Linda Jordan Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts


2014, Frost Center, Student-Faculty Research Grant

2013, GLCA Global Alliance Fellowship

2013, Frost Center Student-Faculty Research Grant

2012, GLCA New Directions Initiative Grant

2005, Frost Center Fellowship, Frost Center Student-Faculty Grant

2004, Frost Center Fellowship, Frost Center Student-Faculty Grant

2003, Brookstra Faculty Development Fund,

2001, Albertus Pieters Fund, The Strosacker Foundation

2000, Matthew J. and Anne C. Wilson Foundation Faculty Development Fund


1997, First Year Faculty Development Grant, Cole Faculty Development Grant

1997, Academic Excellence Award, College of Education, Michigan State University

1986, Excellence in Education Award, West Ottawa Public Schools


Issues of Literacy
Teacher Cognition
Literature-based reading instruction
The process approach to writing instruction & teacher decision-making
Digital Writing in the elementary school setting


Before coming to Hope I was a teacher in the West Ottawa Public Schools for several years. I have taught at the middle school level, as well as first, fourth, and fifth grades. I also directed a program called "Literacy Through Teamwork: Home, School and Preschool Child." This program was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the program was to assist parents of Head Start students as they encouraged their children's emergent literacy efforts. I continue to have an interest in the emergence of children's reading and writing, however I am currently and more specifically exploring the role of digital technology in the writing of elementary school children.

My nonprofessional interests center around my family. My wife, Theresa Reagan, was a first grade teacher. Theresa is now the principal at Georgetown Elementary School in Hudsonville. We have two children. My daughter Kelsey is a senior at Kalamazoo College. My son Keenan is a first year student here at Hope College. I also enjoy reading, traveling, long distance biking, and working in our yard.