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Get to Know the Faculty: Dr. Dixie K. Keyes


Dr. Dixie Keyes joined the faculty at A-State as a Professor of Middle Level Education in 2006. Her research focuses on teacher knowledge, the narratives involved in their curriculum-making, all embedded in issues of adolescent literacy and critical pedagogy.

Dixie K. Keyes

Dixie K. Keyes

Place of birth:
Conway, Arkansas
Why did you choose A-State?
After leaving Arkansas at 19 for college and the US Army then teaching in South Texas for 13 years, I wanted to return to my home state and my family. A position at Arkansas State opened up at the same time I graduated from the University of Houston. Great timing!
My favorite motion pictures are...
Castaway, Under the Tuscan Sun, Legends of the Fall
The last book I read for fun was...
Dinner with Buddha by Roland Merullo.
What makes a good professor?
Seeing beyond ourselves is important so we can open doors for others to walk through, like many of our mentors did for us. In other words, we are public servants, rich in expertise and practice, yet humble in spirit, I would hope.
The best advice I ever received was...
give yourself experiences.
My hobby is...
yoga, reading, writing, swimming.
My favorite meal is...
sea bass or ribeye.
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Mrs. Bobbie Coleman (deceased) from Searcy High School—she was one of those mentors in my life who opened doors for me and led me to expect the most of myself. I was foster child in high school, and my life could have been very different without people like Bobbie Coleman who believed in me.
Only my friends know I...
was a US Army paratrooper.
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
Look inward, look outward, then give back.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
Swimming or Yoga….both are important in my life and offer calming experiences to me and many others.
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
Teachers are experts in the field of education—they know how young people learn things and how to create learning environments and experiences to meet the varied needs of so many students. We should pay them what they deserve and treat them like the professionals they are in the work place so they have time to collaborate on curriculum and have a voice in school decision-making.
Before you retire I want to...
create a center for teacher development at A-State.
What music is playing in your car?
XM Satellite Radio, Channel 66-Watercolors Jazz
My favorite trip was...
San Juan, Puerto Rico
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Rod Stryker, Roland Merullo, my yoga instructor Leslie Wester, and Ellin Oliver Keene.
E-book or hardback?
Beach or mountains?
What I like about Jonesboro is...
Craighead Forest Park, and then the variety of things to do around Jonesboro—from Tyboogie’s Café in Tyronza to the Spring River in Hardy to the Hemingway Pfeiffer Home in Piggott.
My pet peeve is...
narrow-mindedness; hatred for the different.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs — I have 3.
I wish I could...
make the starting salary for teachers in Arkansas $60,000.
My favorite saying is...
At the end of the day, you are responsible for the choices you make.