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Articles by: Joan Wink

Regalia: Woven Into Every Stitch

Regalia: Woven Into Every Stitch

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As the incomparable Amanda Gorman writes in her poem, “Memorial” (2021, “Call Us What We Carry,”):

When we tell a story

We are living


That would explain why so much great art arises from trauma, nostalgia, or testimony (p.74).

When read that, I immediately called Dawn, our daughter, who was having a particularly challenging day.  I told her to go write, and write she did! 

Hope you enjoy Dawn’s writing as much as I do. I believe that Dawn captures how such beautiful writing can come from pain.

I have written about some of my experiences which Dawn references. See below.

Critical Pedagogy 4th Ed – Pivotal Experiences



May 17, 2023Read More
Back to the Books

Back to the Books

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

I love to share the books I am reading.

South Dakota One Book

The SD Humanities Council select One Book for us all to read each year.

“The Seed Keeper” by Diane Wilson

It tells the story of how the Dakhota women saved seeds for the next season and/or generation.  It is my understanding that the Lakota women did the same thing. The subplot is very much about 1862.  Hidden between the lines is the question: Who owned the land before the homesteaders?

2023 Young Readers One Book

“The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo

Love this book and will  try to  find my old copy somewhere.

“Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus. If you or your kids are interested in STEM/STEAM (a.k.a., science), this is a must read. I highly recommend it for women and all men.


“Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt. Loved this story, which is basically about a woman growing older. However, it is the first book I have ever read where an octopus is one of the narrators. I loved the chapters when the octopus was thinking, observing, reflecting, and speaking.  As a friend told me (Thanks, Cissa) there is a dynamite sentence near the end of the book, which I would love.  And, I did!!  Actually, I whooped when I found it. It pulled the whole book together.

Of course,  I continue to read any book about women and books.

Also, I continue to read any banned  books. It always feels like it is the non-readers who try to ban books from us, readers. It is not working here.

BEST.BOOK of the year (for me)!

Blue: A History of the Color and as Deep  as the Sea and Wide as the Sky” by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond and Illustrated by Daniel Minter

I absolutely loved this gorgeous book.  If you are a teacher of any age group, you will find it filled with history, geography, science, social studies, and art. If you are not in school, it is just pure joy also.

I took a copy over to Atall, a little country school near us (50 mi. away).  And, I also took a copy for Missy Urbaniak, the teacher,  so she could read it to the kids.

I also took some chapter history books and a selection of the new Little Golden books.

Oh, how I love these kids.  Just had to grab a quick hug.











Literacy educators/teachers/librarians always talk about how kids need to see themselves in the books they read.  Me, too. This is why I dug out my Judith Viorst and Mary Pipher books. I seem to find myself on every page of these two stacks of books.



May 3, 2023Read More
SD Board of Regents

SD Board of Regents

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

My six-year term of service as a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents has ended, and the other members of the board, the central staff, and academic leaders of the six universities and two special school gave me a very special “send-off” which I will always  treasure.  During my term of service, I had the opportunity to make incredible memories and friendships which I will carry always in my heart.

The following photos capture the joy which I experienced. Thank you to Elizabeth Varin of Northern State University and Shuree Mortenson, Director of Communications, of the SD Board of Regents.

I must have been pretty happy with whatever was just said.  I love looking at the expressions on the faces of my friends, the academic folks, behind me.

Dr. Erin Fouberg, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dr. Anna Schwan, Dean of School of Business and Interim Dean of School of Education of Northern State University.

Harvey Jewett, Regent Board president from 1997 to 2017.

A  humbling moment…

These are my fellow board members.

I  gave a book as my gift to each board member.  I wrapped each Little Golden  book without  a name tag and  told them that the gifts were similar and different, and if they did not like their book, they could trade. I did notice that Judge Bastian received the book on Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Jeff Partridge received the book on Dolly Parton, so in the end it must be true that the universe takes care of all of us.

You can see that it was a moment which I will treasure forever. Thank you, friends.





April 23, 2023Read More
Post AERA Reflection

Post AERA Reflection


Hi WinkWorld Readers,

We are home from AERA in Chicago. Dawn, our daughter, did such a great reflection on it, that I am simply doing a copy/paste of her blog, DewDrops. We were so fortunate to present with Dr. Nerida Blair from Australia, who shared her Indigenous roots.

Thanks for sharing, Dawn.

I was very happy with how our ideas were received.  My topic was story, and I was able to share 3 of the 4 stories, which were live-linked in the last WinkWorld (see below). Our participants were fabulous: Very engaged and willing to share their own stories.  They came from various universities and had diverse interests.  Fascinating colleagues!  The conversations among us were very animated after our session, also.

If you have a minute, I encourage you to note the work of Dr. Ingrid Anderson from Portland State University on DewDrops.  During our session, I was so intrigued how she drew her understandings as we spoke. 

Below please enjoy Dawn’s reflection of our experience during AERA.



April 19, 2023Read More
AERA 2023, Chicago, April 13 to April 16

AERA 2023, Chicago, April 13 to April 16

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

I have completed my term of six years on the Board of Regents, and now I have one more conference to go, the American Educational Research Association with Dawn and and an a colleague from Australia, Nerida Blair.

Our time/location/ title is posted near the bottom of this WinkWorld.  However, my topic is  easy and fun for me.   I am speaking about The Power of Story. In what follows is a peak into a part of what I will share.

I have never written this before, but one of the problems with growing up mother-less is that you have no stories.  The reason that I love this photo so much is that it makes me wonder: Who put those curls in my hair?  Who  bought that dress?  Where was I going?

I am prepared with 4 short stories: The Chalk, Oh Fudge, Three Perspective, and The Blueberries. I am guessing that I will probably only get time for one or two stories, and I will decide which stories to share based the needs of the audience.  If they are serious experienced researchers, I will probably choose “The Chalk,” as it takes a funny story about a statistics class and leads to a greater discussion of the dominance of quantitative research to more acceptance of qualitative research. During my teaching and researching career, I experienced this transformation in all of the types of research.

The Chalk

I will begin with a brief mention of the significance of old-fashioned blackboards and chalk when I started teaching (Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA, Spanish 1, 2, 3, & 4) in 1966.  Often times in a presentation, I have participants, who have no experience with a blackboard. From here I jump right into the mid-1980s when I was working on  my Ph.D. at TX A&M.

The Chalk story is about a very serious gentleman professor who taught the doctoral level of statistics.  A friend had given me a heads-up and told me to sit front and center and not to take my eyes off the prof, which, of course, I did.  The prof did not allow us to use computers, nor calculators.  We did every weeks’ assignment on yellow legal pad: Pages and pages of yellow legal pad.  He reviewed every single page and returned the pages the following week with corrections.  He spent every class period working out each step of each problem on the blackboard.

As you might image, chalk dust flew in every  direction. Finally one day, when we were all bleary-eyed with statistics and chalk dust, and I am sure that I was the only student still keeping an eye on him, this highly-respected prof was writing on the chalk board and quietly popped an entire new stick of chalk into his mouth and chewed it and swallowed it. He continued to solve the problem on the board.  My friend had told me that he would do it, and he did.  To my absolute delight!   I turned around and looked all around the class, and I could not find one other student (of the 50 students) who saw him eat that chalk.  I do remember a small twinkle in his eye  as class continued.

Two Perspectives

Oh, Fudge

Three Perspectives (Dayna’s story)

The Blueberries by Jamie Vollmer

I think Vollmer’s story helps us understand why a school is not a business.

Why a School Is Not a Business


TITLE of symposium

Education Research through Indigenous Frameworks, Story, and Scholarly Personal Narrative in Pursuit of Multiple Truths


April 13, 2023, Thursday

2:50 to 4:20 CDT

Chicago Marriott Downtown

4th Floor Armitage Avenue Ballroom







April 10, 2023Read More
Books 2023, January

Books 2023, January

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

Happy New Year to us all! Let’s keep on reading this year.  In this WinkWorld, I will share a bit about some of  the books, which I have enjoyed in the last 3 months.

Atall School

Reading with these students is my joy. I learn about so many good  books from the students.  Atall, as many of you know, is a small rural K-8 school on the isolated prairies of South Dakota.

Atal School

Missy Urbaniak is the teacher and my cousin.  Here she is holding the new Donalyn Miller/Colby Sharp book about building a classroom library.

Missy Urbaniak

Books For Kiddos, Tweens, Teens, and Me

The stack of books below are some of the books discussed at Atall.

First, C.S. Lewis: This was the book which the kids found on their desks, when school began in the fall.  Missy is a fabulous Read-Aloud reader, and the kids are mesmerized when she reads.  Second, the younger students will read “The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies.  In the story one student is “word smart,” and another is “number smart,” which took several of us back to Multiple Intelligences. We had a wide-ranging conversation which involved scholars from several states.  Eventually, this discussion led me back to a former student, whom I had not heard from in years.  She now has her doctorate, and we have our first ZOOM scheduled.  All because the Atall kids will be reading this novel.  The third book in this stack below is a page-turner historical novel, “Words on Fire” by Jennifer A. Nielsen about the resistance of  the Lithuanians, when the Russian army marched into Lithuania.  A heart-breaking story of trying to save books written in Lithuanian in order to save the language, culture, and identity of being Lithuanian. I know the students will understand and respect the Ukranians more when they read this book. Fourth, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett was a new copy with new cover, which Missy gifted me. Finally, “The Christmas Pig” by J.K. Rowling entertained us all.

Books for kids, tween, teens, and me

What’s Whole about Whole Language?

Recently, I have had the joy of ZOOMING with a group of professionals connected to the University of AZ, as we re-read Ken Goodman’s ideas on whole language. 

Book Cover: What's Whole About Whole Language
Book Cover: Whole Language 21st Century

Hearing Carole Edelsky do Close Reading of the text is pure pleasure.  Carole, as many of you know, is  the author of “With Literacy and Justice for All.”

Adelberto M. Guerrero

Cuando mis Hijos sean Grandes
Surprising my favorite professor

I had the pleasure of surprising my favorite prof ever, when he was honored for his book, “Cuando Mis Hijos Sean Grandes.” This pix is dear Profe Beto and his daughter.

Mary Pipher Books

A Life in Light

If you have been following, WinkWorld, you know that I am a great fan of Pipher; I think I have read all of her books.  I made the mistake of talking about her to a group of readers, so now next week I have to share about this book.  Oh dear, I have not touched it since last November.

Mary Pipher books

Books Waiting for Me to Dive In

Demon Copperhead
The Woman in the Library

Rethinking the Education of Multilingual Learners



January 5, 2023Read More
Books: Looking Back on the Last Couple of Years

Books: Looking Back on the Last Couple of Years

Hi WinkWorld Readers,

I have been reflecting on some of my reading in the last couple of years.  I am doing this for a specific group of readers, but thought I would share with you, too.



For whatever reason, when COVID hit in the spring of 2019, I immediately started reading books about the future and the future of education.


From there I went to something I know: Women and libraries. Many of these books were about a particular woman who saved (or tried to save) a library in Europe during WWII.


When I tired of the brutality of the Nazis in those historical novels, I found William Kent Krueger, whom I had never read, and I still have not read his various series.  I heard him speak at the Tucson Festival of Books, and he explained his detailed outlines for his books in series.  He said that when it came time to actually write the books, they mostly wrote themselves, as he knew the outlines so well.  This is true for all except for Ordinary Grace  and This Tender Land, which he wrote without an outline.  He seemed very happy with his new more organic style of writing.  I loved these two novels.









After Krueger, I read  The Lincoln Highway by Towles, as it was a similar genre, young boys’ adventures and coming-of-age.
Two  great thriller novels followed with strong women heroines–just like in my WWII library books.








Somewhere during the 2 years of the pandemic, I also discovered the joy of fairy tales. Thank you, Kate DiCamillo and JK Rowling.


Lately, I have rediscovered Mary Pipher–another heroine.  I even found most of my Piphers which I had  previously read–still searching for “Reviving Olphelia.”  Pipher’s most recent is “A Life in Light,” in which she talks about the impermanence of aging.  I am feeling it.

My latest/greatest is Little and Often by Trent Preszler, who spent some of his childhood living north of Faith, South Dakota on a ranch.  It is a true story of an estranged father/son, a tough ranching life, searching for identity, a bag of tools, and carving a canoe from a tree.  These hand-made canoes now sell as works-of-art on the East coast.  Prairie People, this one is for you.

2023 – I look forward to reading all of the Banned Books, but I just could not wait any longer, so I have already started.







I see in the LA Times today that I am not the only one worried about book banning. I wish I could find our Captain Underpants books.

Here is a little piece on Captain Underpants which Dawn and I put together in the 3rd edition of Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World.

You will need to scroll down a bit to “Captain Underpants to the Rescue.”

And, as another little treasure, here is Dawn’s latest Dewdrops in which she writing about running on our ranch.

October 2

The Road Less Traveled




October 2, 2022Read More
Homework? Time to rethink your long-held assumptions and Dawn’s Dewdrops

Homework? Time to rethink your long-held assumptions and Dawn’s Dewdrops

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

New learning can sometimes be a real pain in the neck.  For example, if this is new for you, you might struggle a bit with the information or with me.  Actually, this research has been on-going for years, but old assumptions die slowly.

The following is a Letter to the Editor, which Dr. Stephen Krashen submitted.  Steve, who is highly published (books and journals) in the academic world, is now encouraging all of us to write letters to the editors–because people read these. 

In his following letter, Steve is responding to “Susan.”

To the editor:

Susan has done her homework, and tells us “Why Some Parents & Teachers Are Taking a Stand Against Homework,” based on her interviews with parents and her study of the work of scholar Alfie Kohn, who has carefully studied and summarized research showing that homework has little or no effect on learning (The Homework Myth).

What does have a positive effect on learning is self-selected pleasure reading, which includes fiction. Those who read more write better, spell better, read better, and have larger vocabularies. They also know more about a wide variety of subjects, including history and science, and have a better understanding of others and how they are thinking. As radio journalist Terry Gross puts it, “ …. when you’re learning to read fiction … You’re learning to be somebody else, learning to see the world through their eyes.”

The implications are obvious: Provide more time for pleasure reading (reduce or eliminate homework), and more investment in libraries and school librarians.


Stephen Krashen

I think the following two images capture what Kohn’s research demonstrates. 







Thanks, Steve.  Thanks also to Katie Knox, who created the images for use in my book, The Power of Story.


Dawn Wink: Dewdrops
In addition, I want to share Dawn’s, most recent blog, which is a recent photo journal of the ranch September 2022.

Of course, we have to end with this little girl reading in front of that lion which leads into the New York City Public Library.  Oh, what a magical place. Thanks again, Katie Knox.





September 17, 2022Read More
Joan’s YouTube Language Acquisition Videos

Joan’s YouTube Language Acquisition Videos

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

This post is written primarily for my YouTube viewers and for those who are using the language acquisition resources on WinkWorld.  These two groups of people are quite distinct from each other: The WinkWorld readers tend to be from the US, and the YouTube viewers tend to be from many parts of the world.

This is the final post in this series on language acquisition resources. Certainly, it is not the final post on language acquisition, but only in this series for now, as I have other ideas to write about on WinkWorld also.

•Below here, I am reposting the videos from my YouTube channel.

Spiral of Literacy: 11 minutes

Krashen’s 5 Hypotheses: or, Mamas, Meaning, and Motivation: 11 minutes

3 Perspectives on Teaching and Learning: 7 minutes

Pedagogy Timeline: 15 minutes

The Ebb and Flow of the Big Ideas of Education

Bilingual Basics: 50 seconds

Principles of Bilingual Education: 11 minutes

•Below here, I am posting a new video, which encourages my viewers on YouTube to also take advantage of my materials on and on WinkWorld.  The search bar to the left on my webpage works very well.  If you have any problems finding materials on the search bar, just try another browser window.  Or, just ask me.  As we move into the future, my goal is to post as much as possible in one place, and that one place will be

August 28, 2022Read More
The Power of Story: A Book Talk in WY by Deb Harrison

The Power of Story: A Book Talk in WY by Deb Harrison

Hello WinkWorld Readers,

If you follow WinkWorld, you know that I have been featuring blog posts on language acquisition, until I broke that pattern to share photos and memories from our Yankton College reunion and my Mobridge High School reunion. 

In this issue of WinkWorld, I share a book talk which Deb Harrison, a teacher in WY, created for her colleagues in her school district. Thank you, Deb.

The Power of Story by Joan Wink

Deb began with the following slide:

The Power of Reading by Steve Krashen

Next, Deb shared this animated review of The Power of Reading which she had created several years ago for one of my  grad classes at Black Hills State University.  At that time, she did not add the audio, but she added it here. Please note that she posted this also on YouTube.

Then, Deb and the teacher/participants at the book talk discussed the content of the chapters in The Power of Story.  Previously, Missy Urbaniak had created the following visual Table of Contents as a surprise gift for me, and Deb used these to guide the discussion.  If you click on each of the chapter images, they will become large enough for you to read.

Thank you Deb and Missy!



August 21, 2022Read More