Professor Wins English Language Arts Research Award

Amanda Godley, a professor in the Pitt School of Education and the University of Pittsburgh Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, has received the 2020 ELATE Richard A. Meade Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)  for outstanding research in English and language arts teacher development.

Godley and her co-author, Jeffrey Reaser, a professor in the Department of English at North Carolina State University, received the award for their 2018 book “Critical Language Pedagogy: Interrogating Language, Power and Dialects in Teacher Education.”

The book examines how teachers develop critical perspectives on teaching about language and dialects.

“A critical perspective is important because it helps teachers and students understand that language is not neutral,” says Godley.

Her book describes the experience of more than 300 pre- and in-service K-12 literacy educators who participated in a course on issues of identity, power, and language variation in English Language Arts classrooms. The participants were mostly high school English teachers, with some elementary-level teachers. The course was offered at 11 different institutions of higher educations across the United States. The book includes curricular and instructional resources that readers can use to teach about language and dialects critically in their classrooms.

“We found that some of the teachers in the study, who were predominantly white, were open about their own white privilege and how it connects to language,” says Godley.

“These teachers would tell us that they had some of the most honest conversations about racial and socioeconomic discrimination with their students as they implemented the critical language curriculum. They learned that their students thought about these issues of language more than they realized,” says Godley.

Godley’s co-author Jeffrey Reaser is a professor in the Department of English at North Carolina State University. She expressed gratitude for the three graduate and two undergraduate students who worked on her research.

“I’m so grateful to the School of Education, as well as Pitt in general, for supporting this project, and to the Spencer Foundation for the funding to generate research and connections with teachers,” says Godley.

Godley and Reaser will be recognized for the award November 20, 2020 during the ELATE Virtual Event, which is part of the 2020 NCTE Virtual Annual Convention.

Godley will deliver a book talk on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from noon – 1:15 p.m. as part of the “Freedom to Liberation” faculty colloquium series hosted by Pitt Education’s Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading.

Learn More

Purchase Godley’s book.

The Pitt School of Education’s English Education Programs are currently accepting applications. Apply here.