Katrina Bartow Jacobs

Katrina Bartow Jacobs is an assistant professor of practice in Language, Literacy, and Culture within the Department of Instruction and Learning. Dr. Jacobs earned her PhD in Reading/Writing/Literacy at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She was formerly a first grade and fourth grade teacher in California.

Her research centers on the integration of sociocultural perspectives of literacy and practitioner research within teacher education programs and in early childhood educational contexts, with a particular emphasis on how these frameworks impact the ways that literacy educators define their profession and their classroom practice within urban contexts. She focuses both on the nature of children’s learning with and from texts, and on how to integrate these perspectives within teacher preparation. Within this area of research her current work focuses on the intersections of practice, theory, and policy; the ways that children take up issues of gender and identity during the reading of texts; and the ways that early career teachers develop, make sense of, and enact critical literacy pedagogies.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

Co-PI: Utilizing Video Simulations to Support Teacher Candidates' Developing Professional Practice (Dr. Michelle Sobolak, Co-PI) University of Pittsburgh School of Education: Donna and Ian Mitroff Fund (Awarded - $2,500)
PI: Using Picture Books to Promote Young Children's Understanding of Gender Diversity and Gender Equity University of Pittsburgh Research Council: Research in Diversity (Awarded - $3,000)
Co-PI: What Do We Mean When We Say 'Community'?: How Pre- and In-Service teachers talk about and engage practice around diversity, inclusion and equity (Dr. Lori Delale-O'Connor, Co-PI) University of Pittsburgh: Faculty Diversity Research Funding (Awarded - $3,900)

Recent Publications

Jacobs, K. B. (2018). "So why is it OK here?": Literacy candidates grappling with culture/culturally responsive pedagogy in urban fieldsites. Urban Education.
Jacobs, K. B., & Low, D. E. (2017). Critical Questioning in and beyond the Margins: Teacher Preparation Students' Multimodal Inquiries into Literacy Assessment. English Education, 49(3), 226.
*Hill, T.M. & Jacobs, K.B. (2020). "The Mouse Looks Like a Boy": Young Children's Talk About Gender Across Human and Nonhuman Characters in Picture Books. Early Childhood Education Journal, 48(1), pp. 93-102. [*=doctoral student]
Genest, M.T., Jacobs, K. B., Meyer, C. K., Sobolak, M. J., & Crawford, P. A. (2019). Page Turners: Books for Children (regular review of current children's literature). International Journal of the Whole Child, 4(2), 95-99.
Jacobs, K. B. & Suzik, J. (2019). "A Princess Boy-He's Still A Boy!": Using Picture Books to Open Discussions Around Gender with Young Children. Exchange Magazine, March/April 2019, pp. 47-50.
Katrina Bartow Jacobs


University of Pittsburgh
5530 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260