Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., is a professor in literacy, language, and culture and in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. 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 the 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 served 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, among other organizations.
Duke has been named one of the 50 most influential education scholars in the U.S. in EdWeek. In 2014, Duke was awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association. She has also received the Michigan Reading Association Advocacy Award, 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, now in it’s second edition; 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. Among other roles, she currently serves as
advisor to the Aspen Institute Urban Literacy Leadership Network, expert for
the NBC News Parent Toolkit, and advisor for the Public Broadcasting
Service/Corporation for Public Broadcasting Ready to Learn initiative. She has
served as author or consultant on several educational programs, including Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum;
in Action: Reading, Writing, and Researching with Informational Text; Engaging
Families in Children’s Literacy Development: A Complete Workshop Series; Buzz About IT (Informational Text); 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. Her Twitter handle is