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2015 NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator - Previous Revision

JoBeth Allen is the recipient of the 2012 NCTE Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts Award.  This award recognizes a distinguished national or international educator who has made major contributions to the field of language arts in elementary education.
Join the Elementary Section Steering Committee as they celebrate JoBeth's contributions to the English language arts at the Elementary Section Get-Together during the NCTE Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.


JoBeth Allen taught in the primary grades, including Head Start and Follow Through classrooms, before becoming a teacher educator in the language education department at the University of Georgia. Her interests include exploring the intersection of progressive education and democratic pedagogy, and the implications for students who struggle as readers and writers. She has had the opportunity to work in schools which focus on connecting with, learning from, and building on the strengths of families. She researches, teaches, and writes about issues of equity in literacy education with deep knowledge and conviction as well as stands up and takes action to make a difference.

JoBeth has a long history of mentoring teachers, researchers, and writers with her involvement in the NCTE Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color (CNV) program, and the National Writing Project.

She has influenced literacy classroom practice and research with her contributions as a member of the NCTE Standing Committee on Research, National Reading Research Center, and as a reviewer for the journal, Research in the Teaching of English.  In 1994 she was the recipient of NCTE’s Promising Researcher Award

She has written numerous publications, and presented at various conferences over the years. Her books, book chapters, and journal articles focusing on issues of social justice, embracing family and community knowledge have influenced, engaged, and informed literacy educators across the country.

Learn more about JoBeth by reading “An Interview with JoBeth Allen: Literacy in the Welcoming Classroom” in Education News.

Selected Publications

Allen, J. (2010). Literacy in welcoming schools.  National Writing Project and Teachers College Press.

Allen, J. (2007). Creating welcoming schools.  New York City: Teachers College Press.

Allen, J. (Ed.) (1999). Class actions: Teaching for social justice in elementary and middle school.   New York City: Teachers College Press.

Bisplinghoff, B. & Allen, J. (Eds.) (1998). Engaging teachers: Creating teaching and researching relationships.  Portsmouth, NY: Heinemann.

Kings Bridge Road Research Team (Allen, J., Cary, M., Delgado, L., coordinators) (1995). Blue highways: Researching literacy reform in teacher research communities.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Shockley, B., Michalove, B., Allen, J. (1995). Engaging families: Connecting home and school literacy communities.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Allen, J., Michalove, B., Shockley, B. (1993). Engaging children: Community and chaos in the lives of young literacy learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
(Reviewed in Harvard Educational Review, Language Arts, NERA Review, New England Reading Association Journal, Reading Today, Kansas Education Alumni, and Georgia Alumni Record)

Allen, J., & Mason, J. (Eds.) (1989). Risk makers, risk takers, and risk breakers: Reducing the risks for young literacy learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Allen, J. & Goetz, J. (Eds.) (1989). Teaching and Learning Qualitative Research.  Athens, GA: College of Education.

Goetz, J., & Allen, J. (Eds.) (1988). Qualitative Research in Education: Substance, Methods, Experience. Athens, GA: College of Education.


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