Wendy Gardiner

Associate Professor


  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Jolita Hylland Benson Chair in Elementary Education


  • Ed.D, Curriculum and Instruction, National Louis University
  • M.Ed, Curriculum and Instruction, National Louis University
  • B.S., Elementary Education, Ohio State University

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Equity Literacy Teacher Education
  • Diversity Responsive Children's Literature
  • Mentoring and New Teacher Induction


  • Responsive Mentoring: Supporting the Teachers all Students Deserve (Rowman and Littlefield 2020) : View Book

Selected Articles

  • Gardiner, W., Hinman, T., Tondreau, A., Degener, S., Dussling, T., Stevens, E., Wilson, N., & White, K. "When “nice” isn’t: Confronting niceness and whiteness to center equity in teacher education." Action in Teacher Education 2023: 90-106.
  • Weisling, N. & Gardiner, W. "Why mentoring for equity requires we stop being so nice." Phi Delta Kappan 2022/2023: 42-47.
  • Tondreau, A., Gardiner, W., White, K., Hinman, T., Dussling, T., Stevens, E., Degener, S., Wilson, N. "(Be)coming critical teacher educators: Collaborative self-study across contexts. Self-Study in Teacher Education." Self-Study in Teacher Education 2022: 61-79.
  • Gardiner, W. "Rehearsals in clinical placements: Scaffolding teacher candidates’ literacy instruction." The Teacher Educator 2019: 384-400.
  • Gardiner, W. & Weisling, N. "Challenges and complexities of building a mentoring practice: Insights from new mentors." International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education 2018: 329-342.
  • Gardiner, W. "Mentoring “inside” and “outside” the action of teaching: A professional framework for mentoring." The New Educator 2017: 53-71.


  • PLU Faculty Excellence in Research Award, 2023
  • CoPI on National Science Foundation (NSF), Robert Noyce Track 1 Award, 2020-2025: $1,192,573; Title: Pathways to Culturally Sustaining STEM Teaching
  • CoPI on National Science Foundation (NSF), Robert Noyce Capacity Building Award, 2018-2019: $72,858; Title: Building Capacity to Prepare STEM Majors to Become STEM Educators


Wendy Gardiner teaches literacy courses in the Education Department. Before transitioning into literacy teacher education, Dr. Gardiner was a K-3 teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Her experiences working with students and families in schools and communities impacted by systemic inequities solidified her commitment to literacy as a liberatory practice, a central means to see oneself, to see the world, to expand life opportunities, and to work towards justice. Dr. Gardiner enjoys working with pre- and in-service teachers and strives to balance practical experiences with culturally relevant/sustaining teaching with a firm understanding of literacy research.

Dr. Gardiner regularly publishes in the areas of new teacher mentoring and equity literacy teacher education. She is also the co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation, Robert F. Noyce funded grant project, Pathways to Culturally Sustaining STEM Teaching with Drs. Simic-Muller and Munro. In this grant they recruit, prepare, and support new teachers’ implementation of ambitious and equitable STEM teaching in Title 1 schools. Dr. Gardiner is also an active member in the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Literacy Research Association (LRA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).