I am the Associate Dean of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh and hold a joint appointment as a Professor in the School of Education and the English Department. Along with Stephanie Kane-Mainier, I co-direct the English Language Arts Disciplinary Literacy Project in the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the Learning Research and Development Center. As a part of this Institute project, I have worked with professional learning and curriculum development in English literacy with teachers and district leaders in the public schools of Austin, Dallas, Denver, New York City, Forth Worth, Prince George’s County, and Pittsburgh. Stephanie McConachie and I are the co-editors of Content Matters: A Disciplinary Literacy Approach to Improving Student Learning, a recent (2010) collection of reports on the IFL Disciplinary Literacy Project, as well as co-authors of chapters in the book.
I was the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Early Adolescence English Language Arts Assessment Development Lab for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that developed the first national board certification for English teachers. I was a researcher for the MacArthur Foundation funded Higher Literacies Studies, where I wrote case studies on literacy efforts in the Denver, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Ruleville and Mound Bayou school districts in the Mississippi Delta.
My first collection of poetry, Jurgis Petraskas received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Notable Book Award from the American Library Association. Since then I have published two books of poems, Red and Yellow Boat and Crazy Love. Along with David Bartholomae, I co-authored and co-editored four books: Facts, Artifacts, and Counterfacts: Theory and Method for a Reading and Writing Course, The Teaching of Writing, Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers, and History and Ethnography: Reading and Writing About Others.