George Lucas Educational Foundation

Nell K. Duke

Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., is a professor in literacy, language, and culture and the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan and a member of the International Literacy Association Literacy Research Panel. Duke received her Bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Duke's work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She has recently served or is currently serving as Co-Principal Investigator of projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

In 2014, Duke was awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association. She has also received the American Educational Research Association Early Career Award, the Literacy Research Association Early Career Achievement Award, the International Reading Association Dina Feitelson Research Award, the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award, and the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Duke is author and co-author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-based Instruction. She is co-author of the books Reading and Writing Informational Text in the Primary Grades: Research-Based Practices; Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children from Birth to Five; Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent's Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills From Birth to 5; and Reading and Writing Genre with Purpose in K-8 Classrooms. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Effective Literacy Instruction: Research-based Practice K to 8 and Literacy Research Methodologies. She is also editor of The Research-Informed Classroom book series and co-editor of the Not This, But That book series.

Duke has taught preservice, inservice and doctoral courses in literacy education, speaks and consults widely on literacy education, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. She has served as author or consultant on a several educational programs, including the Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum, Information in Action, Buzz About IT, iOpeners, National Geographic Science K-2, and the DLM Early Childhood Express. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the U.S.

Areas of Interest: 
literacy, informational text, comprehension, writing, preschool, elementary school, PBL

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