Nell K. Duke


Nell K. Duke, School of Education

Nell 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. Duke received her doctoral degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She currently serves as a member of the International Reading Association Literacy Research Panel. She is the recipient of the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association and the American Educational Research Association Early Career Award, as well as awards from the National Reading Conference, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the International Reading Association. She currently serves as coprincipal investigator on projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

She serves as a consultant for a number of education and policy organizations. She has also served as author and consultant on a number of educational programs, including Information in Action, Buzz About ITiOpeners, National Geographic Science K-2, and the DLM Express, and speaks widely on literacy education. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the US. 

Duke teaches courses in the following program(s):
Literacy, Language, and Culture
Combined Program in Education and Psychology
Elementary Teacher Education


Selected Publications

Gerde, H. K., Duke, N. K., Moses, A. M., Spybrook, J., & Shedd, M. K. (2014). How much for whom? Lessons from an efficacy study of modest professional development for child care providers. Early Education and Development, 25, 421-441.

Witmer, S. E., Duke, N. K., Billman, A. K., & Betts, J. (2014). Using assessment to improve early elementary students’ knowledge and skills for comprehending informational text. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 30, 223-253.

Roberts, K. L., Jordan, G. E., & Duke, N. K. (2014). Engaging families in children’s literacy development: A complete workshop series [DVD and book]. New York: Scholastic.

Bennett-Armistead, V. S., Duke, N. K., & Moses, A. M. (2014). Beyond bedtime stories: A parent’s guide to promoting reading, writing, and other literacy skills from birth to 5 (2nd ed.). New York: Scholastic.

Duke, N. K. (2014). Inside information: Developing powerful readers and writers of informational text through project-based instruction. New York: Scholastic.

Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Akers, A. T. T. (2013). 10 things every literacy educator and school librarian should know about research. Teacher Librarian, 40(4), 8 – 22.

Taylor, B. M., & Duke, N. K. (Eds.) (2013). Handbook of effective literacy instruction: Research-based practice K - 8. New York: Guilford.

Duke, N. K., Halladay, J. L., & Roberts, K. L. (2013). Reading standards for informational text. In L. M. Morrow, T. Shanahan, & K. K. Wixson (Eds.), Teaching with the Common Core Standards for English language Arts, PreK-2 (pp. 46-66). New York: Guilford Press.

Mallette, M. H., Duke, N. K., Strachan, S. L., Waldron, C. H., & Watanabe, L. M., (2013). A quest for synergy in literacy research methodology. To appear in Alvermann, D.E., Unrau, N.J., & Ruddell, R.B. (Eds.). Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Duke, N. K., & Block, M. K. (2012). Improving reading in the primary grades. In I. Sawhill, R. Murnane, & C. Snow, (Issue Eds.), Future of Children, 22(2), 55 – 72.

Halvorsen, A., Duke, N. K., Brugar, K. A., Block, M. K., Strachan, S. L., Berka, M. B., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Narrowing the achievement gap in second-grade social studies and content area literacy: The promise of a project-based approach. Theory and Research in Social Education, 40, 198-229.

Duke, N. K., Caughlan, S., Juzwik, M. M., & Martin, N. M. (2012). Reading and writing genre with purpose in K – 8 classrooms. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Duke, N. K., Moses, A. M., Billman, A. K., Zhang, S., & Bennett-Armistead, V. S. (2012).  The ABCs of emergent literacy [DVD and book]. New York: Scholastic.

Duke, N. K., & Mallette, M. H. (Eds.) (2011). Literacy research methodologies (2nd ed.).New York: Guilford Press.

Duke, N. K., & Carlisle, J. F. (2011). The development of comprehension. In M. L. Kamil, P. D. Pearson, E. B. Moje, and P. Afflerbach (Eds.), Handbook of Reading Research, Vol. IV (pp. 199-228). London: Routledge.

Zhang, S., & Duke, N. K. (2011). The impact of instruction in the WWWDOT Framework on students' disposition and ability to evaluate web sites as sources of information. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 132-154.

Duke, N. K., & Roberts, K. M. (2010). The genre-specific nature of reading comprehension. In D. Wyse, R. Andrews, & J. Hoffman (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching (pp. 74-86). London: Routledge.




9/1/2012 - 8/31/2015 Scaling Up a Promising Approach to Narrowing the SES Achievement Gap in Primary-Grade Social Studies and Content Literacy
Granting Agency: Spencer Foundation

8/1/2014 - 8/15/2015 Supplement to Increase the Sample Size of Project PLACE
Granting Agency: George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF)

9/1/2012 - 8/31/2013 Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science and Literacy
Granting Agency: University of Denver; The National Science Foundation (NSF)


Room 4109

Curriculum Vitae

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