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Learning From Exemplary Teachers of Literacy


Duke, Nell, K., Gina N. Cervetti, and Crystal N. Wise. “Learning From Exemplary Teachers of Literacy.” The Reading Teacher, vol. 71, no. 4, 2017, pp. 395-400.

(This article is freely available through this link)


The purpose of this article is to examine three research studies on exemplary literacy education. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this examination includes the fact that practices listed are not strictly instructional practices that take place in the classroom. Aside from practices such as altering grouping structures based on reading activities, using whole-class mini-lessons, conferencing, making cross-cultural connections through literature, books shares, and many more, practices related to building classroom community, making home to school connections, and other ways to enact a “border-crossing curriculum” are as prominent.

The specific studies about exemplary literacy teaching are briefly described (how many teachers, context, grades/ages), and then the literacy practices are unpacked. Each reflects the importance of effective literacy engagement, cross-cultural connections, and transparency in teaching skills and strategies.

Classroom Application

While the article is brief, educators may find the list at the end valuable. Based on the studies of exemplary literacy educators, as well as several other studies from a previously published article, the authors created a table of “Practices of Exemplary Teachers of Literacy.” The practices are individually listed and explained, encompassing the same spirit of teaching, learning, and building classroom community espoused in the article’s entirety.