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Faculty Profile - IL-Hee Kim

IL-Hee Kim, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education

On Faculty since 2014
630.752.7489



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Dr. Kim joins the Wheaton College community with rich experiences in research and teaching. For more than a decade, he has studied the development of critical thinking skills among K-12 students. He noticed that many students lack critical thinking skills and discovered that a well-structured discussion method can foster students' development of critical thinking skills. His research has been published in prestigious scholarly journals, such as Journal of the Learning Sciences and Discourse Processes. In terms of teaching, Dr. Kim has previously taught educational psychology and literacy methods courses to pre-service teachers and helped them to successfully prepare for their future teaching.

His teaching extends beyond the college classroom to the nearby community through his role as Director of the Appleseed Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project (NWP). He often shares his knowledge with teachers and principals in the community through various professional development workshops and conferences. Dr. Kim's primary goal as a professor is to be a good model for students, especially for education students preparing to be teachers, so they can be models for their own students. Through his research and teaching, he has found the importance of modeling and the social impact of observational learning.

He believes that, like Jesus, one person can affect a multitude of people in the world and contribute to realizing the Kingdom of God on this earth. To be a good Christian model himself, Dr. Kim starts each day with reading the Bible and reflecting on His teaching. In his daily life, he strives to live as a faithful follower and witness of Christ Jesus. Dr. Kim and his wife serve in an Evangelical church and reach out beyond the local community whenever they can. In their spare time, they enjoy taking a walk and exercising in the gym.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
PhD, Educational Psychology, 2008

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
MA, Teaching English as a Second Language, 2001

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea
Licensed Teacher of English in Middle and High School

Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
MA, English Language and Linguistics, 1997

Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
BA, English Language and Literature, 1994

  • Discourse and Text Analysis
  • Cognitive Processes During Argumentative Discussions
  • Research Methodologies
  • Psychology of Human Learning
  • Learning and Development
  • Statistics in Education
  • Development of Critical Thinking Skills
  • Literacy Education in Culturally-Diverse Contexts
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Korean-American Educational Researchers Association
  • National Writing Project
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Literacy Research Association

Metadiscourse use in American and South Korean children’s persuasive essays
Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Portland, OR, March 2017

Effects of argumentative discussions and cultural differences in the use of metadiscourse
Paper presented at the annual conference of the Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA, December 2015

Influence of cultural norms and argumentative discussions on children’s use of metadiscourse
Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, April 2013

Is knowing enough? The impact of community volunteerism on early literacy development
Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada, April 2012

Metadiscourse in children’s persuasive essays
Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Boston, MA, March 2012

Effects of online literature discussions on children's writing
Paper presented at the annual conference of the Literacy Research Association, Jacksonville, FL, November 2011

  • Learning and Development
  • Psychology of Human Learning
  • Statistics in Education
  • Research Methodologies
  • Development of critical thinking skills
  • Cognitive processes during argumentative discussions
  • Literacy education in culturally-diverse contexts
  • Discourse and text analysis

Metadiscourse in persuasive essays by elementary students in South Korea and the US, Journal of Language and Cultural Education
Kim, I.-H., 2017

Less is more: Teachers’ influence during peer collaboration, Journal of Educational Psychology
Lin, T.-J., Jadallah, M., Anderson, R., Baker, A. Nguyen-Jahiel, K., Kim, I.-H., Kuo, L.-J., Miller, B., Dong, T., & Wu, X., 2015

Social influences on children's development of relational thinking during small-group discussions, Contemporary Educational Psychology
Lin, T.-J., Anderson, R., Jadallah, M., Nguyen-Jahiel, K., Kim, I.-H., Kuo, L.-J., Miller, B., Logis, H., Dong, T., Wu, X., & Li, Y., 2015

Development of reasoning skills through participation in collaborative synchronous online discussions, Interactive Learning Environment
Kim, I.-H., 2014

Developing critical thinking skills in a new age of president Obama, The hope for audacity: Recapturing optimism and civility in education
Kim, I.-H., 2012

Book Review for Handbook of Research on Literacy and Diversity, by L. M.Morrow, R. Rueda, and D. Lapp (Eds.), Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: Studies of Migration, Integration, Equity, and Cultural Survival
Kim, I.-H., 2012

Children’s use of analogy during Collaborative Reasoning, Child Development
Lin, T.-J., Anderson, R. C., Hummel, J., Jadallah, M., Miller, B., Nguyen-Jahiel., K., Morris, J., Kuo, L.-J., Kim, I.-H., Wu, X., & Dong, T., 2012

Influence of cultural norms and collaborative discussions on children’s reflective essays, Discourse Processes
Kim, I.-H., Anderson, R. C., Miller, B., Jeong, J., & Swim, T., 2011