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David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English - Previous Revision

Established in 1963 as the Distinguished Research Award and renamed in 1966 to honor the Council’s late President David H. Russell, the NCTE Russell Research Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English honors an outstanding work of scholarship or research in language, literature, rhetoric, or pedagogy and learning, published during the previous five years.

Any work or works of scholarship or research in language, literature, rhetoric, or pedagogy and learning published during the past five years (i.e., between January 2008 and December 2012) are eligible. Works nominated for the David H. Russell Award should be exemplary instances of the genre, address broad research questions, contain material that is accessibly reported, and reflect a project that stands the test of time. Normally, anthologies are not considered. Reports of doctoral studies, while not precluded from consideration for the Russell Award, are typically considered as part of NCTE's separate "Promising Researcher" program. Works nominated for the award must be available in the English language.

To nominate a study for consideration, please include:

  • your name, phone, e-mail, author, title, publisher, date of publication, and one paragraph indicating your reasons for nominating the work
  • four copies of the publication for distribution to the Selection Committee, or give full bibliographic information so that the Selection Committee will encounter no difficulty in locating the publication you nominate.

Email nomination material to OR

Send nominations and materials to:

David H. Russell Award
National Council of Teachers of English
1111 W. Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL  61801-1096

Nominations of publications (and actual publications) to be considered should be postmarked no later than March 1.

NOTE:  Books sent without supporting documents will not be considered. 


Past Russell Award Winners

2012 Judith A. Langer: Envisioning Knowledge: Building Literacy in the Academic Literacies

2011 Neal Lerner: The Idea of a Writing Laboratory

2010 Marc Lamont Hill: Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life

2009 Gerald Campano: Immigrant Students and Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Remembering

2008 Leila Christenbury: Retracing the Journey: Teaching and Learning in an American High School

2007 Sharon Crowley: Toward a Civil Discourse: Rhetoric and Fundamentalism

2006 Catherine Prendergast: Literacy and Racial Justice: The Politics of Learning after Brown v. Board of Education

2005  No award given this year

2004 Gerald Graff: Clueless in Academe

2003 Michael W. Smith and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm: Reading Don't Fix No Chevys: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men

2002 Anne J. Herrington and Marcia Curtis: Persons in Process: Four Stories of Writing and Personal Development in College

2001 Geneva Smitherman: Talkin That Talk: African American Language and Culture

2000 Thomas Newkirk: The Performance of Self in Student Writing

1999 Vivian Gussin Paley: The Girl with the Brown Crayon: How Children Use Stories to Shape Their Lives

1998 Arthur N. Applebee: Curriculum as Conversation: Transforming Traditions of Teaching and Learning

1997 George Hillocks, Jr.: Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice (1995) (A synthesis of theory and practice for the reflective teaching of writing)

1996 Brian Street: Social Literacies: Critical Approaches to Literacy Development, Ethnography, and Education (1995) (An exploration of multiple literacies in cross-cultural contexts)

1995 Victor Villanueva, Jr.: Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color (1994) (An account and a study of race, class, literacy, and literacy instruction)

1994 Anne Haas Dyson: Social Worlds of Children Learning to Write in an Urban Primary School (1993) (A study of the social lives and literacy learning of urban school children)

1993 Deborah Brandt: Literacy as Involvement: The Acts of Writers, Readers, and Texts (1990) (A redefinition of literacy and literacy development through a process perspective)

1992 James Moffett: Storm in the Mountains: A Case Study of Censorship, Conflict, and Consciousness (1998) (A case study of censorship, conflict and consciousness)

1991 John S. Mayher: Uncommon Sense: Theoretical Practice in Language Education (1990) (A synthesis of various perspectives of the use and power of language in classrooms)

1990 Nancie Atwell: In the Middle: Writing, Reading, and Learning with Adolescents (1998) (Classroom-based research into effective middle school language arts teaching)

1989 Mike Rose: Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America's Under-prepared (1989) (A study of under preparation in American education)

1988 Robert Scholes: Textual Power: Literary, Theory and the Teaching of English (1985) (An analysis of literary criticism as it relates to the teaching of English)

1987 Jerome C. Harste, Carolyn Burke, and Virginia Woodward: Language Stories and Literacy Lessons (1984) (A study of preschool children's literacy learning)

1986 Frederic G. Cassidy: Dictionary of American Regional English (1985)(Development of the multi-volume Dictionary of American Regional English)

1985 Shirley Brice Heath: Ways with Words: Language, Life, and Work in Communities and Classrooms (1983) (A study of language patterns in Appalachian towns)

1984 Frank Smith: Writing and the Writer (1982) (A synthesis of information on philosophy of language, modern reading and interpretation theory, and cognitive development)

1983 Margaret Donaldson: Children's Minds (1979) (New insights into the stages of children's intellectual development)

1982 Donald Graves: Balance the Basics: Let Them Write (1978) (Studies of writing development in children)

1981 Michael A.K. Halliday: Language as a Social Semiotic (1978) (Study of language development in its social settings)

1980 Louise Rosenblatt: The Reader, The Text, The Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work (1978) (Theoretical depiction of the response to literature)

1979 Marie M. Clay: Reading: The Patterning of Complex Behavior, What Did I write? And other titles (1973) (Studies of children's writing)

1978 Mina Shaughnessy: Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing (1977) (Error analysis in the writing of college students)

1977 James Britton: Language and Learning (1970) (Studies on the development of writing abilities)

1976 No award given this year

1975 Kenneth S. Goodman: (Studies in reading miscue analysis)

1974 Roger Brown: A First Language: The Early Stages (1973) (A study of early acquisition of language)

1973 Harold B. Allen: Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest (1973) (A study of dialect patterns in the upper Midwest)

1972 No award given this year

1971 Carol Chomsky: The Acquisition of Syntax in Children 5 to 10 (Studies on acquisition of syntax in children from 5 to 10)

1970 Albert H. Marckwardt (Extensive research in English linguistics, characterized by concern for implications and applications to the process of teaching)

1969 Raven I. McDavid (Research in Regional and social dialects)

1968 William Labov (A study of dialects and social stratification)

1967 Walter Loban (Twelve-year longitudinal study of children's language)

1966 Wayne C. Booth (A study of the nature of fiction)

1965 Ruth G. Strickland (Studies of children's oral language)

1964 Kellogg W. Hunt (Studies of the writing of children)


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