Jaye Johnson Thiel

Jaye Johnson Thiel

  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Department: Human Development and Family Studies
  • College: Human Environmental Sciences


Jaye Johnson Thiel is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Studies in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Growing up as a woman from a Southern working-class family, she is deeply committed to justice-oriented approaches to childhood studies. As part of this commitment, her scholarship explores the intellectual lives of children and adults to 1) work against deficit discourses about young people and their families living in the South, 2) theorize place-based and arts-based practices for community research in Southern communities, and 3) explore the production of childhood through the playful and artistic explorations of young people growing up in the Southeastern United States. Overall, her research rethinks how scholars and communities might work together to develop practices and policies that expand our understandings of the constructions of childhood in the Deep South. Jaye has published many articles and chapters in her field, including coediting the book: Posthumanism and Literacy Education: Knowing/Being/Doing Literacies.

Jaye received her PhD at the University of Georgia. Before receiving her PhD, she was an educator (PK-grade 5) and before that she proudly worked in the service industry, including taking orders for bus parts, sweeping hair, and serving food at a local restaurant.