Mark B. Tappan

Professor and Director

Box 4426

Phone: 207-859-4426
Fax: 207-859-4425
Mailing Address:
4426 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8844
Tappan, Mark B.


A.B. 1979 Oberlin College

M.A. 1981 The Ohio State University

Ed.D. 1987 Harvard University

Areas of Expertise

  • Boys development and education
  • Risk and resilience in childhood and adolescence
  • Moral development and moral education
  • Public education, including secondary, elementary, and early-childhood education

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
ED201 AEducation and Social Justice
ED215 AChildren and Adolescents in Schools and Society
ED343 ACollaborative Research on Trauma and Education
WG317 ABoys to Men

Current Research

1. Colby Healthy Masculinities Project

Over the past several years, supported by both a Colby Research Grant and the Spencer Foundation (Small Grant, 2016-2018) Adrienne Carmack ‘18, Chris Scammell ’18, Abby Snyder ’18, and Mattie Wyndham ’19 and I have been interviewing a diverse sample of cisgender and transgender men ages 18-22, who demonstrate resistance to norms of traditional masculinity. We have also focused on understanding how the media shapes and influences boys' lives, exploring how to support boys' academic engagement and school success, and working with boys and young men to prevent gender-based violence.

The following publications, presentations, and manuscripts report on various aspects of this project:

Scammell, C. (’18), & Tappan, M. (in preparation). EXXXcess: A qualitative study of pornography, resistance, and healthy masculinities. Article manuscript.

Tappan, M., Carmack, A. (’18), Snyder, A. (’18), & Wyndham, M. (’19). (2017, November). Developing healthy masculinities: Perspectives from cis and trans men. Presented at the Association for Moral Education Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO.

Tappan, M., & Carmack, A. (’18), Snyder, A. (’18), & Wyndham, M. (’19). (2017, June). Developing feminist masculinities: Perspectives from cis and trans men. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gender and Education Association, London, England.

Tappan, Mark (2017, May). How to create good men. Harvard EdCast.

Tappan, Mark (2017, March). Developing ethical and engaged men. Talk presented at the Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University, and the Civic and Moral Education Initiative, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Tappan, Mark (2016, October). A call to resist "toxic masculinity." Portland Press Herald.

Tappan, M., & Carmack, A. (’18). (2016, March). From boys to men: Exploring resistant masculinities during emerging adulthood. Presented at the American Men’s Studies Association Annual Meeting, Ann Arbor, MI.

2. Rural Vitality Lab and Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE)

For the past two years, I have been working with Lyn Mikel Brown (Colby), Catherine Biddle (University of Maine), Brittany Ray (Colby ’93), and several other colleagues on a research-practice partnership in Washington County, Maine. TREE is a targeted, collaborative, place-based response to the educational challenges that often face rural schools, especially those in high-poverty areas. TREE aims to foster resilience and improve the well-being of young people, their families, and communities, by addressing the predictable and recurring barriers to healthy youth development and engaged learning that exist in high poverty rural schools.

The following publications and presentations report on various aspects of this project:

Mette, I., Biddle, C., Brown, L., & Tappan, M. (2018). The TREE branches of community support: How school-community partnerships can drive rural reform efforts. Journal of Maine Education. 34, 55-67.

Brown, L.M., Tappan, M., Biddle, C., & Mette, I.M. (2017, November). From adversity to activism: Youth-fueled approaches to voice and engagement. University Council for Educational Administration Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Mette, I. Biddle, C., Mercado, A., Congdon, M., Ackerman, R., Brown, L., Maddaus, J., & Tappan, M. (2016, November). Supporting sustainable and sociocultural approaches in community learning and school reform. University Council of Educational Administration Annual Meeting, Detroit, MI.



Brown, L., Lamb, S., & Tappan, M. (2009). Packaging boyhood: Saving our sons from superheroes, slackers, and other media stereotypes. NY: St. Martin's Press.

Packer, M. & Tappan, M. (Eds.). (2001). Cultural and critical perspectives
on human development
. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Selected Articles
Tappan, M. (1989). Stories lived and stories told: The narrative structure of late adolescent moral development. Human Development, 32, 300-315.
Tappan, M., & Brown, L. (1989). Stories told and lessons learned: Toward a narrative approach to moral development and moral education. Harvard Educational Review, 59, 182-205.
Tappan, M. (1990). Hermeneutics and moral development: Interpreting narrative representations of moral experience. Developmental Review, 10, 239-265.
Tappan, M. (1991). Narrative, language, and moral experience. Journal of Moral Education, 20, 243-256.
Day, J., & Tappan, M. (1995). Identity, voice, and the psycho/dialogical: Perspectives from moral psychology. American Psychologist, 50, 47-48.
Day, J., & Tappan, M. (1996). The narrative approach to moral development: From the epistemic subject to dialogical selves. Human Development, 32, 67-82.
Tappan, M., & Brown, L. (1996). Envisioning a postmodern moral pedagogy. Journal of Moral Education, 25, 101-109.
Tappan, M. (1997). Analyzing stories of moral experience: Narrative, voice, and the dialogical self. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7, 379-386.
Tappan, M. (1997). Language, culture, and moral development: A Vygotskian perspective. Developmental Review, 17, 78-100.
Tappan, M. (1998). Interpretive psychology: Stories, circles, and understanding lived experience. Journal of Social Issues, 53, 645-656.
Tappan, M. (1998). Moral education in the zone of proximal development. Journal of Moral Education, 27, 125-145.
Tappan, M. (1998). Sociocultural psychology and caring pedagogy: Exploring Vygotsky's "hidden curriculum." Educational Psychologist, 33, 23-33.
Tappan, M. (1998). Toward a dialogic conception of human development. Narrative Inquiry, 8, 391-396.
Tappan, M. (1999). Authoring a moral self: A dialogical perspective. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 12, 117-131.
Tappan, M. (2000). Autobiography, mediated action, and the development of moral identity. Narrative Inquiry, 10, 81-109.
Tappan, M. (2000). Power, privilege, and critique in the study of moral development. Human Development, 43, 165-169.
Tappan, M. (2005). Domination, subordination, and the dialogical self: Identity development and the politics of "ideological becoming." Culture and Psychology, 11(1), 47-75.
Tappan, M. (2006). Moral functioning as mediated action. Journal of Moral Education 35(1), 1-18..
Tappan, M. (2006). Reframing internalized oppression and internalized domination: From the psychological to the sociocultural. Teachers College Record.
Selected Chapters
Tappan, M., Kohlberg, L., Schrader, D., & Higgins, A. (1987). Heteronomy and autonomy in moral development: Two types of moral judgments. In A. Colby & L. Kohlberg, The measurement of moral judgment (Vol. 1). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Brown, L., Tappan, M., Gilligan, C., Miller, B., & Argyris, D. (1989). Reading for self and moral voice: A method for interpreting narratives of real-life moral conflict and choice. In M. Packer & R. Addison (Eds.), Entering the circle: Hermeneutic investigation in psychology. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Tappan, M. (1990). The development of justice reasoning during young adulthood: A three-dimensional model. In M. Commons, C. Armon, L. Kohlberg, F. Richards, T. Grotzer, & J. Sinnott (Eds.), Adult development, Vol. 2: Models and methods in the study of adolescent and adult thought. New York: Praeger.
Tappan, M. (1991). Narrative, authorship, and the development of moral authority. In M. Tappan & M. Packer (Eds.), Narrative and storytelling: Implications for understanding moral development (New directions for child development, No. 54). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Tappan, M., & Brown, L. (1991). Stories told and lessons learned: Toward a narrative approach to moral development and moral education. In C. Witherell & N. Noddings (Eds.), Stories lives tell: Narrative and dialogue in education. New York: Teachers College Press.
Brown, L., Debold, E., Tappan, M., & Gilligan, C. (1991). Reading narratives of conflict and choice for self and moral voice: A relational method. In W. Kurtines & J. Gewirtz (Eds.), Handbook of moral behavior and development: Theory, research, and application. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Tappan, M. (1992). Texts and contexts: Language, culture, and the development of moral functioning. In L. T. Winegar & J. Valsiner (Eds.), Children�s development within social contexts: Metatheoretical, theoretical, and methodological issues. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Tappan, M., & Brown, L. (1992). Hermeneutics and developmental psychology: Toward an ethic of interpretation. In W. Kurtines, M. Azmitia, & J. Gewirtz (Eds.), The role of values in psychology and human development. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Tappan, M. (1993). Relational voices and moral development: Reflections on change. In P. Kahaney, L. Perry, & J. Janangelo (Eds.), Theoretical and critical perspectives on teacher change. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Rogers, A., Brown, L., & Tappan, M. (1994). Interpreting loss in ego development in girls: Regression or resistance? In A. Lieblich & R. Josselson (Eds.), Exploring identity and gender: The narrative study of lives (Vol. 2). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Brown, L., Tappan, M., & Gilligan, C. (1995). Listening to different voices. In W. Kurtines & J. Gewirtz (Eds.), Moral development: An introduction. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Tappan, M. (1997). Internalization and its discontents. In B. Cox & C. Lightfoot (Eds.), Sociogenetic perspectives on internalization. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Tappan, M. (1999). Moral development in a postmodern world. In R. Mosher, D. Youngman, & J. Day (Eds.), Human development across the life span: Educational and psychological applications. New York: Praeger.
Tappan, M. (2001). Interpretive psychology: Stories, circles, and understanding lived experience. In D. Tolman & M. Brydon-Miller (Eds.), From subjects to subjectivities: A handbook of interpretive and participatory research methods. New York: New York University Press.
Tappan, M. (2001). The cultural reproduction of masculinity: A critical perspective on boys' development. In M. Packer & M. Tappan (Eds.), Cultural and critical perspectives on human development. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Tappan, M., & Tappan, R. (2002). The one that got away--or did it? In T. Sarbin & R. Pellegrini (Eds.), Between fathers and sons: Critical incident narratives on the development of men's lives. London: Sage.
Tappan, M. (2006). Mediated moralities: Sociocultural approaches to moral development. In M. Killen & J. Smetana (Eds.), Handbook of moral development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Honors and Awards

Donald Harwood Faculty Award for Service Learning Excellence. Presented by Maine Campus Compact, March 2004.
Progressive Leadership Award. Presented by the Student Government Association, Colby College, May 2007.
Charles Bassett Teaching Award. Presented by the Senior Class, Colby College, May 2008.
Progressive Leadership Award. Presented by the Student Government Association, Colby College, May 2009.
Community Service Award (with Lyn Mikel Brown). Presented by the Board of Education, Waterville, ME, August 2009.
New diMensions Award (with Lyn Mikel Brown). Presented by Boys to Men, Portland, ME, September 2009.


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