Adolescent Literacy

Adolescent Literacy

Edited by Jacy Ippolito, Jennifer L. Steele, and Jennifer F. Samson
paper, 312 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0-916690-52-6
Price: $25.00

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Adolescent Literacy initially appeared as a special issue of the Harvard Educational Review. It explores key issues and debates in the adolescent literacy crisis, the popular use of cognitive strategies, and disciplinary and content-area literacy. Also examined are alternative forms of literacy, afterschool interventions, new instruction models for African American males, and the experiences of educators.


This essential book brings fresh attention to enduring topics and themes in adolescent literacy development, expanding our understanding of the importance of content-area literacy and how disciplinary ways of thinking connect to student motivation, language, race, and identity. It offers a multidimensional introduction to important issues related to improvement of literacy instruction at the school and district level. — Joshua F. Lawrence, assistant professor, University of California, Irvine

This compelling book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date view of adolescent literacy for multiple audiences: teachers, administrators and curriculum leaders, teacher educators, and researchers. It raises awareness of the importance of literacy as a foundation for learning in all content areas and as a means of ensuring that all high school graduates are college- and career-ready. It elaborates on the complex nature of adolescent literacy, which requires students to read challenging texts, to reflect with others on their meaning, and to engage in high-level reading, writing, and thinking. Adolescent Literacy provides both a solid theoretical framework of adolescent literacy and practical ideas for developing and implementing literacy programs for adolescent learners. — Rita M. Bean, professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh

The Harvard Educational Review special issue on adolescent literacy remains one of the most comprehensive treatments of the topic, and its publication as a book is a most welcome development. It offers a wide range of perspectives on a topic central to preparing young people for career, education, and citizenship in the 21st century. Part of what makes the volume so genuinely comprehensive and special is its inclusion of topics like writing and adolescent literacy in out-of-school contexts, as well as the more traditional topics of disciplinary literacy and cognitive strategies. Adolescent Literacy is an invaluable contribution to a crucially important field. — Gina Biancarosa, assistant professor, University of Oregon

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About the Author

Jacy Ippolito (EdD, Language and Literacy, Harvard University) is an assistant professor in the Adolescent Education and Leadership Department of the School of Education at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. His recent research and teaching focus on the intersection of adolescent literacy, literacy coaching, teacher leadership, and school reform. He is specifically interested in the roles that teacher leaders, principals, and literacy coaches play in helping institute and maintain instructional change at middle and high school levels. Dr. Ippolito’s work has appeared recently in Best Practices of Literacy Leaders, The Elementary School Journal, The CEDER Yearbook published by the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi’s College of Education, the Harvard Educational Review, and the Massachusetts Reading Association’s Primer.

Jennifer L. Steele (EdD, Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, Harvard University) is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation in Washington, DC, where she studies teacher quality, education reform, and data-based decision making in schools. Her recent research includes a study of charter and traditional schools’ policies and practices in post-Katrina New Orleans, a multistate study of veterans’ access to education benefits on college campuses, a project to develop educational technology usage indicators, and several studies examining the distribution of effective and academically talented teachers. Dr. Steele’s work has appeared in such publications as Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Teachers College Record, and The Future of Children.

Jennifer F. Samson (EdD, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University) is an assistant professor in the graduate program in learning disabilities at Hunter College, City University of New York. Dr. Samson studies teachers of students at risk for reading difficulties due to disability, language minority status, and low socioeconomic status. Her previous work includes a nationally representative study of disproportionality in special education, longitudinal studies of reading development, and a report on teacher quality for language minority students in the United States. Her research has been published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Teaching Exceptional Children, and Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Table of Contents

Other books in Literacy

The Most Reasonable Answer

Alina Reznitskaya and Ian A. G. Wilkinson, Foreword by Catherine E. Snow

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Investigating Disciplinary Literacy

Christina L. Dobbs, Jacy Ippolito, and Megin Charner-Laird, Foreword by Elizabeth A. City

Other books in Literacy

Adolescent Literacy in the Era of the Common Core

Edited by Jacy Ippolito, Joshua Fahey Lawrence, and Colleen Zaller