Katrina Bartow Jacobs
Associate Professor

Assistant Professor of Practice
Academic Department Teaching, Learning, and Leading

Dr. Katrina Bartow Jacobs is an assistant professor of practice of Language, Literacy, and Culture within the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading. 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.

Dr. Jacobs earned her M.Ed and Ph.D. 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.

Instructional Interests

  • Department of Teaching, Learning, & Leading
  • Secondary and Elementary English/Language Arts Methods
  • Literacy Assessment

Scholarly Interests

  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • Narrative Analysis
  • Critical Storytelling
  • Literacy Teacher Education

Selected Grants

  • Co-PI: Using Simulations to Support Teacher Candidates’ Developing Professional Practice. (Dr. Michelle Sobolak, Co-PI) University of Pittsburgh: Central Research Development Fund (Awarded - $3,500)

  • 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)

Featured Publications

*indicates work with doctoral student

  • *Hill, T. (2019) & Jacobs, K. B. “The mouse looks like a boy”: Young children’s talk about gender across human and non-human characters in picture books. Early Childhood Education Journal 48(1), 93-102.

  • Jacobs, K. B. (2019). “I believe in home language, but the tests don’t”: Literacy Teachers’ Perceptions of Tensions and Possibilities Addressing Linguistic Diversity in Assessments. Teachers College Record, 121(7).

  • 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, 47-50.

  • Jacobs, K. B. (2018). “So why is it OK here?”: Literacy candidates grappling with culture/culturally responsive pedagogy in urban fieldsites. Urban Education, online first.

  • Jacobs, K. B. & Low, D. E. (2018). Literature circle roles for engaging graphic novels and comics in Language Arts classrooms. Language Arts, 95(5) 322-331.

Awards and Honors

  • 2016 Presented the Outstanding Service Award for Urban Education Board Member

  • 2014 Ralph C. Preston Award for Scholarship and Teaching Contributing to Social Justice and Educational Equity, Reading/Writing/Literacy, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

  • Chair, Literature Special Interest Group within AERA

  • Advisory Board member and facilitator, PittEnrich tutoring program (with Pitt Homewood Community Engagement Center)

  • Editorial Board Member, English Teaching: Practice and Critique

  • Editorial Board Member, Urban Education
Katrina Bartow Jacobs


University of Pittsburgh
5158 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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