Michiko Hikida

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Assistant Professor of Elementary Language Arts, The Ohio State University


Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2015


As a classroom teacher, equity and inclusion for all students were central to my philosophy and practice. As a literacy researcher and teacher educator, those things still drive me, and I strive to make classrooms more humane and loving spaces.

Why UT?/Why Language and Literacy Studies?

I think we choose our doctoral programs with limited insight and a lot of faith. Looking back, I am better able to articulate the things I appreciated about LLS. My undergrad and master’s were both in special education, and my tenure as a teacher was in general education. As I prepared to go back to school for my doctoral studies, I searched for a program whose philosophies around teaching and learning aligned with how I understood what was happening in my classroom. I spoke with several people, and on the very wise advice of my master’s advisor, Dr. Worthy, and Dr. Elliott, I found my home in LLS. I found a place to explore theories and practices around teaching, teacher education, and classroom-based research guided by scholars who challenged and supported my growth. Throughout my studies I had opportunities deepened my understanding and commitment to working for justice and equity, while apprenticing in the rigors of educational research.

Life After UT

Life was a whirlwind of activity after graduating! I packed up my dog and off we went for our adventures in Ohio. I’ve been busy learning a new city, teaching literacy methods to preservice teachers, writing, writing, writing, and beginning to build relationships in the educational community in Columbus. I also have come to relish conferences like never before! It’s so much fun to get to reconnect with my longhorn community.

Advice for Current Students

Build relationships and community. Find people who have just accomplished what you’re trying to do and ask them how they did it. That could be asking for mentor texts, or organizational advice, or just some shoring up from time to time. We don’t get through this alone; it is only by lifting each other up that this is possible. Stay open and curious—Those are the qualities that bring us to this advanced study and they are the qualities that sustain us through. And maybe start a yoga and meditation practice. 😉