Megan L. Birch

Associate Professor of English Education; Director of Educator Preparation

BS, The Pennsylvania State University; MEd, University of Maryland; PhD, Michigan State University

A teacher and teacher educator, Megan Birch works to understand and expand anti-oppressive and emancipatory pedagogical practices.  Her academic interests include curriculum, critical approaches to multicultural education, secondary English-language arts education, and teacher education.  In particular, she is interested in how the discourses, social visions, and narratives teachers and students use to think about identities and difference impact students, schools, and society.

Most of the courses Dr. Birch teaches support either the English teacher certification program or Plymouth State’s general education program. In her classes, one of her goals is to use critical thinking and critical perspectives to engage students in thinking about their thinking. She aims to create spaces that are both safe and discomforting in order to, in the words of one student, “mak[e] people think more about what they already ‘know.’”

Dr. Birch coordinates the undergraduate program in English education, and she participates in the National Writing Project in New Hampshire. She is also the Chair of the Women’s Studies Council, and, in Fall 2012, she will begin serving on the National Council of Teachers of English Committee Against Racism and Bias English Teaching.

Prior to coming to Plymouth, she taught middle and high school English in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland.

Scholarly Work

Petersen, M & Birch, M. (2013, April).  Deep inquiry. Important questions.Workshop to be presented at the National Writing Project’s  2013 Urban Sites Network Conference, Birmingham, AL.
Birch, M. (2012, December). It’s not about the book: Teaching literature for understanding. Workshop presented at the Taste of the Writing Project Conference, Concord, NH.
Birch, M & Petersen, M. (2012, November). Teaching re-search: Using multiple perspectives to assist students to relook, reconsider, and revise thinking as inquiry. Workshop presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Petersen, M. and Birch, M. (forthcoming). The disruptive/transformative potential of the Common Core Standards. National Writing Project.
Birch, M. and Petersen, M. (forthcoming). Thinking critically and creatively about the Common Core. The NH Journal of Education.   

Courses Taught


Teaching Literature to Secondary Students
Student Teaching
FYS: What is Race and How Does it Matter?
The F-Word: Feminism in the U.S.
The Outsider


Teaching Literature for Cultural Understanding
Teaching Literature to Secondary Students