Faculty Profile EMPHASIS AREA: LLC. Educational equity; English language arts education; Gay and lesbian issues in education; Minority/Underrepresented Students; Multicultural literature and literacy; Secondary Education; Teacher education research and policy

Steven Athanases
Professor

Steven Athanases is a Professor in the School of Education at UC Davis. He researches issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and educational equity in teaching, adolescent learning, and teacher education, with a focus on literacy and English language arts. As a high school English teacher in the Chicago area, he received several awards for outstanding teaching of English, with a focus on writing, and drew on his disciplinary roots in Performance Studies and Communications to stage annual performance showcases of original student compositions.

Recent blog post at the Equity Alliance blog, entitled “Teachers Striving with Urban Youth to Challenge and Nurture the Intellect Within“: http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/teachers-striving-with-urban-youth-to-challenge-and-nurture-the-intellect-within/#more-1903

Though he misses teaching adolescents, Athanases enjoys teaching all levels at the university, as well. While completing his doctorate at Stanford, he worked on the Teacher Assessment Project directed by Lee Shulman, focused on developing alternative teacher assessments including teaching portfolios. These performance-based assessments became templates for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, for which Steven served as consultant for two years. Also during his PhD studies, Steven supervised student teachers of English language arts in high schools and middle schools. He also worked in the Oakland Unified School District as a Coordinator of Public Programs in English with ACCESS, a partnership between Oakland Unified and UC-Berkeley designed to better prepare underrepresented youth of color for admission to the University of California. Steven’s dissertation research focused on the teaching of culturally diverse literature to culturally and linguistically diverse youth.

After completing his PhD, Steven continued to partner with teachers in Oakland, funded by a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the McDonnell Foundation Program in Cognitive Studies for Educational Practice, and also funded later by a Spencer Foundation postdoc from the National Academy of Education. 

With support from a Mellon Foundation grant, Steven served for several years as Project Director of the Evaluating Communities of Learners Project at Stanford (Ed Haertel, PI), in collaboration with Vanderbilt University faculty and researchers and middle school teachers in Nashville Metro Schools. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1999.

Athanases’ research has been honored with fellowships and awards of excellence from the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Association of Teacher Educators, the McDonnell Foundation Program in Cognitive Studies for Educational Practice, and the Davis Humanities Institute. His recent funded research has explored two areas: (a) the potential for classroom-based teacher inquiry to strengthen prospective teachers’ knowledge and practice for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners (funded, in part, by the Spencer Foundation); and (b) promising practices in preparing lower-income, urban Latina/o students for admission to and success in college (funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and the Flora Family Foundation, in partnership with UCSC). He serves on the editorial board of the Educational Researcher and was recognized by the American Educational Research Association in 2012 and 2013 as an Outstanding Reviewer of journal manuscripts.

Office hours: Fall 2016, by appointment through email; Winter 2017, TU 3-4 and by appointment through email

Despite research and documented exemplary practices in the values of diversifying texts, instruction, and assessments to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse youth in K-12 schools, current policies, tests, and resources often do the opposite–narrowing, limiting, and constraining what teachers and students can do. Within this context, we need to hold on to what we know of best practice and continue to examine ways to meet the learning needs of all youth.

Research Interests

Educational equity; Literacy and English language arts education; Diversity issues in teaching and across the teacher learning continuum from teacher education to teacher induction and teacher development; Diverse students’ responses to multicultural literature; Secondary Education, teacher inquiry, LGBTQ issues in education

Education

  • Ph.D., Language, Literacy & Culture; Curriculum & Teacher Education – Stanford University
  • M.A., Performance Studies/Communication Studies – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • B.A., Speech and English Education; Illinois Secondary Teaching Credential, English and Speech – University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Video Clips from Media Sites

MENTOR MODULES: Athanases as expert in national online course for developing mentors of new teachers

MentorModules is a free online multimedia course and resource for developing mentor teachers and instructional coaches in PreK-12 schools. This is a project initiated by Georgia State University with funding from a U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership grant. Steven Athanases served as an expert for the online course.

Mentor Module on Building trust: Trust and relationship-building. Go to this link, then click on “Building Knowledge,” then click on Experts and scroll down to a 4 and a half minute video on how mentors can work with new teachers to build trust and help new teachers grow: http://mentormodules.com/lesson/trust-and-relationship-building/#experts

Mentor Module on Building trust: Coaching language and techniques. Go to this link, then click on “Building Knowledge,” then click on Experts and scroll down to a short video on language and techniques for mentoring new teachers, with attention to ways mentors can resolve differing perspectives surrounding the effectiveness of a lesson. http://mentormodules.com/lesson/coaching-language-and-techniques/#experts

Mentor Module on Responding to Diverse Learners: Culture and Language. Go to this link, then click on “Building Knowledge,” then click on Experts and scroll down to a video on ways mentors can foster new teachers’ attention to culture and language in teaching. Steve shares the importance of new teachers exploring their own cultural and linguistic experiences as well as questions they should ask themselves related to culturally and linguistically diverse students. Next, you’ll hear his advice to mentors on ways to help new teachers manage diversity during their first year of teaching. http://mentormodules.com/lesson/culture-and-language/#experts 

Mentor Module on Assessment. Go to this link, then click on “Building Knowledge,” then click on Experts and scroll down to a five minute video on mentoring new teachers to assess student learning: http://mentormodules.com/lesson/assessment-of-students/#experts

The Voice, from Teachers College Record website, discussing published article on how teacher inquiry can promote new teachers’ attention to culturally and linguistically diverse learners. https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/10330

Select Publications

  • Athanases, S. Z. (in press, 2016). A curricular conversation in teacher education: In the domain of dialogic teaching. In R. K. Durst, G. E. Newell,  & J. D. Marshall (in press). English language arts research and teaching: Revisiting and extending Arthur Applebee’s contributions. Routledge.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Sanchez, S., & Bronte, C. M. (in press, 2016). Teacher advocacy. In TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. Wiley.
  • Banes, L. C., Martinez, D. C., Athanases, S. Z., & Wong, J. W. (2016). Self-reflexive inquiry into language use and beliefs: Toward more expansive language ideologies. International Multilingual Research Journal, 10(3), 168-187.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Achinstein, B., Curry, M. W., & Ogawa, R. T. (2016). The promise and limitations of a college-going culture: Toward cultures of engaged learning for low-SES Latina/o youth. Teachers College Record, 118, 60 pages. 
  • Bennett, L. H., Athanases, S. Z., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2016). “Like a ball and glove”: Teachers’ reports of the learning that happens through inquiry. Action in Teacher Education, 38(1), 49-69.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Wong, J. W., & Banes, L. C. (2015). Self-reflexive inquiry in teacher education for diversity: Tapping and leveraging resources for language teachers’ career trajectories. In P. Haworth & C. Craig (Eds.), The career trajectories of English language teachers. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2015). Adaptive teaching for English language arts: Following the pathway of classroom data in preservice teacher inquiry. Journal of Literacy Research, 47(1), 83-114. Preprint: http://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/adaptive_teaching_for_english_pre-production.pdf
  • Athanases, S. Z., Banes, L. C., & Wong, J. W. (2015). Diverse language profiles: Leveraging resources of potential bilingual teachers of color. Bilingual Research Journal, 38(1) (65-87). Download: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IeqE48BqdQMQ5sDgSbqM/full
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2015). Teachers striving with urban youth to challenge and nurture the intellect within. Equity Alliance. (published online).
  • Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2014). Scaffolding versus routine support for Latina/o youth in an urban school: Tensions in building toward disciplinary literacy. Journal of Literacy Research, 46(2), 263-299. Download:
  • Achinstein, B., Curry, M. W., Ogawa, R. T., & Athanases, S. Z. (2014). Organizing high schools for Latina/o youth success: Boundary crossing to access and build community wealth. Urban Education. doi: 10.1177/0042085914550413. Link:
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2014). Mentoring and mediating the interface of multiple knowledges in learning to teach challenging content. In C. J. Craig & L. Orland-Barak (Eds.). International teacher education: Promising pedagogies, Vol. I (pp. 403-426). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2014). Mentoring new teachers: Focus on diverse learners, challenging content, and larger contexts of teaching. In G. Kelchtermans, J. Ormaza, D. Iturralde, & S. Janssen (Eds.), Education quality as a generator for change. Quito, Ecuador: Ministry of Education – VVOB.  (In Spanish): Mentoría para los nuevos docentes: Atención centrada en estudiantes de inglés como segundo idioma y de características diversas, contenido desafiante y contextos más amplios de la enseñanza. In Formación de docentes: generadora de cambio para una educación de calidad. 
  • Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (2013). Learning about English learners’ content understandings through teacher inquiry: Focus on writing. The New Educator, 9(4), 304-327.  Preprint: http://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/inquiry_els_writing_new_educator_0.pdf
  • Achinstein, B., Athanases, S. Z., Curry, M. W., Ogawa, R. T., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2013). These doors are open: Community wealth and health as resources in strengthening education for lower-income Latina/o youth. Leadership (May/June, 2013), 30-34. Link: http://www.acsa.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/Media/LeadershipMagazine/2013-Archives/MayJune-2013.aspx
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Educators’ conceptions of academic literacy and language. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.), Academic language in second language learning (pp. 125-146). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2013). Questioning and inquiry in mentoring new teachers of English: A focus on learners. English Journal, 102(3), 40-4840-48 (Themed Issue: Mentoring and Teacher Development).
  • Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Responsive teacher inquiry and learning to teach writing to adolescent English learners. In L. C. de Oliveira & Tony Silva (Eds.), L2 writing in secondary classrooms: Student experiences, academic issues, and teacher education (pp. 149-165). NY: Routledge.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Fostering data literacy through preservice teacher inquiry in English language arts. The Teacher Educator, 48(1), 8-28. Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08878730.2012.740151#.UjBEyxaaE5s.  Preprint: http://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/teacher_inquiry_and_data_literacy.pdf
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2012). Maintaining high challenge and high support for California’s diverse learners. Leadership (Themed Issue: Learning and the Classroom, Sept/Oct), 18-22, 36. Link: http://www.acsa.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/Media/LeadershipMagazine/2012-Archives/SeptemberOctober-2012.aspx
  • Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (2012). Learning to attend to culturally and linguistically diverse learners through teacher inquiry in teacher education. Teachers College Record, 114(7), 50 pages. Videoclip summary: https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/10330.  Preprint version: http://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/teacher_inquiry_and_diverse_learners.pdf
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2011). Research as praxis: Documenting the dialectical relationship between theory and practice. In D. Lapp & D. Fisher (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts, 3rd Ed (pp. 358 -363). Sponsored by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. Erlbaum/Taylor Francis.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2011). Toward program-wide coherence in preparing teachers to teach and advocate for English language learners. In T. Lucas (Ed.), Teacher preparation for linguistically diverse classrooms (pp. 195-215). NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
  • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2010). New teacher induction and mentoring for educational change. In A. Hargreaves, A. Lieberman, M. Fullan, & D. Hopkins (Eds.), International Handbook on Educational Change, 2nd edition (pp. 573-594). NY: Springer.
  • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2010). Mentoring for equity: Focusing new teachers on English language learners. In J. Wang, S. J. Odell, & R. T. Clift (Eds.), Past, present, and future research on teacher induction: An anthology for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners (pp. 187-204). Commission on Teacher Induction and Mentoring, Association of Teacher Educators. NY: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2008). Advocacy for equity in classrooms and beyond: New teachers’ challenges and responses. Teachers College Record, 110(1), 64-104.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Abrams, J., Jack, G., Johnson, V., Kwock, S., McCurdy, J., Riley, S., & Totaro, S. (2008). Curriculum for mentor development: Problems and promise in the work of new teacher induction leaders. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(6), 743-770.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Comar, T. A. (2008). The performance of homophobia in early adolescents’ everyday speech. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Youth: An International Quarterly Devoted to Research, Policy & Practice, 5(2), 9-32.  Preprint: 
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2008). Theatre and theory partnered through ethnographic study. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching literacy through the visual and communicative arts, Volume II(119-128).
  • Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2007). Conviction, confrontation, and risk in new teachers’ advocating for equity. Teaching Education, 18(2), 123-136.
  • de Oliveira, L. C., & Athanases, S. Z. (2007). Graduates’ reports of advocating for English language learners. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(3), 202-215.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2006). Deepening teacher knowledge of multicultural literature through a university-schools partnership. Multicultural Education, 13(4), 17-23. 
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Martin, K. J. (2006). Learning to advocate for educational equity in a teacher credential program. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 22(6).
  • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (Eds.). (2006). Mentors in the making: Developing new leaders for new teachers. NY: Teachers College Press.
    • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. A new vision for mentoring new teachers. 
    • Athanases, S. Z., & Achinstein, B. Mentors’ knowledge of formative assessment: Guiding new teachers to look closely at individual students. (Chapter 1)
    • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. Mentors’ knowledge of equity and diversity: Maintaining a bifocal perspective on new teachers and their students. (Chapter 2)
    • Athanases, S. Z., with Abrams, J., Jack, G., Johnson, V., Kwock, S., McCurdy, J., Riley, S., & Totaro, S. Adopt, adapt, invent: Induction leaders designing curriculum. (Chapter 5)
    • Athanases, S. Z., Nichols, L., Metzinger, L., & Beauchamp, R. Mentors as induction leaders: Solving organizational challenges to develop effective mentor programs. (Chapter 10)
    • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. Toward a knowledge base for effective mentoring: Conclusions and future directions for theory and practice.
  • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2005). Focusing new teachers on diversity and equity: Toward a knowledge base for mentors. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 21(7), 843-862.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2005). Performing the drama of the poem: Workshop, rehearsal, and reflection. English Journal, 95(1), 88-96.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Achinstein, B. (2003). Focusing new teachers on individual and low performing students: The centrality of formative assessment in the mentor’s repertoire of practice. Teachers College Record, 105(8), 1486-1520.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2003). Thematic study of literature: Middle school teachers, professional development, and educational reform. English Education (Themed Issue: English Education in Middle Grades), 35(2), 107-121.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Larrabee, T. G. (2003). Toward a consistent stance in teaching for equity: Learning to advocate for lesbian- and gay-identified youth. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 19(2), 237-261.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2002). Old teachers when I started (after Levertov). (Poem). English Journal, 91(5).
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1999). Building cultural diversity into the literature curriculum. In E. R. Hollins, & E. I. Oliver (Eds.). Pathways to success: Culturally responsive teaching (pp. 139-155). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1998). Diverse learners, diverse texts: Exploring identity and difference through literary encounters. Journal of Literacy Research, 30(2), 273-296. (Special Themed Issue on Multicultural Issues in Literacy Research and Practice.)
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1997). Ethnography for the study of performance in the classroom. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), A handbook for literacy educators: Research on teaching the communicative and visual arts (pp. 95-107). NY: Macmillan.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1997). National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association, Standards for the English language arts. Communication Education, 46(1), 70-73.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1996). A gay-themed lesson in an ethnic literature curriculum: Tenth graders’ responses to “Dear Anita.” Harvard Educational Review, 66(2), 231-256.
  • Reprinted: (2011). In K. P. Afolabi, C. Bocala, R. C. DiAquoi, J. M. Hayden, I. A. Liefshitz, & S. S. Oh (Eds.), Education for a multicultural society (pp. 233-259). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review. (In Part II: Talking back: The power of counter-narratives to challenge dominant discourses in education.)
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1996). The promise and challenges of educational portfolios. In J. Barton & A. Collins (Eds.), Portfolio assessment: A handbook for educators (pp. 99-109). NY: Addison-Wesley.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Heath, S. B. (1995). Ethnography in the study of the teaching and learning of English. Research in the Teaching of English, 29(3), 262-287.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Christiano, D., & Lay, E. (1995). Fostering empathy and finding common ground in multiethnic classes. English Journal, 84(3), 26-34. Reprinted (1997). In R. E. Long (Ed.), Multiculturalism (pp. 57-70). NY: H. W. Wilson.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1994). Teachers’ reports of the effects of preparing portfolios of literacy instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 94(4), 421-439.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1993). Cross-cultural swapping of mother and grandmother tales in a tenth grade discussion of The Joy Luck Club. Communication Education, 42(4), 282-287.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1993). Adapting and tailoring lessons: Fostering teacher reflection to meet varied student needs. Teacher Education Quarterly, 20(1), 71-81.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1993). Reader response criticism and classroom literature discussion. In G. E. Newell & R. K. Durst (Eds.), Exploring texts: The role of discussion and writing in the teaching and learning of literature (pp. 259-282). Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Christiano, D., & Drexler, S. (1992). Family gumbo: Urban students respond to contemporary poets of color. English Journal, 81(5), 45-54. Reprinted (1993). Rethinking Schools: An Urban Educational Journal, 7(4), 8-10, 23.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Caret, E., Canales, J., & Meyer, T. (1992). Four against “The two-worlds pitfall”: University-schools collaboration in teacher education. English Education, 24(1), 34-51.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1992). Tom. (Poem). The San Francisco Bay Guardian. Winners of the 7th Annual Bay Guardian Poetry Contest. January 8, p. 22.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1991). When print alone fails poetry: Performance as a contingency of literary value. Text and Performance Quarterly, 11(2), 116-127.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1990). Assessing the teaching of literacy in the elementary grades: Project overview (Teacher Assessment Project Report L1). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1990). Assessing the planning and teaching of integrated language arts in the elementary grades (Teacher Assessment Project Report L3). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1990). Assessing teacher skills and knowledge in the selection and use of literature in the elementary grades (Teacher Assessment Project Report L5). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1989). Giving them voice: Models and blunders. Language Arts, 66(7), 736-741.
  • Vavrus, L., Calfee, R. C., Athanases, S. Z., Chin, E., & Wolf, K. (1989). Portfolio development handbook for teachers of elementary literacy (Teacher Assessment Project Report L6). Stanford, CA: Stanford.
  • Vavrus, L., Athanases, S. Z., Chin, E., & Wolf, K. (1989). Literacy examiner’s handbook for the assessment center (Teacher Assessment Project Report L7). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1988). Developing a classroom community of interpreters. English Journal, 77(1), 45-48.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (1988). Amy Shuman, Storytelling rights: The uses of oral and written texts by urban adolescents, NY: Cambridge U. Press, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 19(3), September, 290-292.

Publications Grouped and Cross-Listed by Theme

SCHOOLS ORGANIZED FOR LATINA/O EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS (SOLES), FUNDED BY THE WILLIAM T. GRANT FOUNDATION & FLORA FAMILY FOUNDATION

Athanases, S. Z., Achinstein, B., Curry, M. W., & Ogawa, R. T. (in press, 2015). The promise and limitations of a college-going culture: Toward cultures of engaged learning for low-income Latina/o youth. Teachers College Record.

Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2014). Scaffolding versus routine support for Latina/o youth in an urban school: Tensions in building toward disciplinary literacy. Journal of Literacy Research, 46(2), 263-299.

Achinstein, B., Curry, M. W., Ogawa, R. T., & Athanases, S. Z. (2014). Organizing high schools for Latina/o youth success: Boundary crossing to access and build community wealth. Urban Education. doi: 10.1177/0042085914550413. 

Achinstein, B., Athanases, S. Z., Curry, M. W., Ogawa, R. T., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2013). These doors are open: Community wealth and health as resources in strengthening education for lower-income Latina/o youth. Leadership (May/June, 2013), 30-34. Link: http://www.acsa.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/Media/LeadershipMagazine/2013-Archives/MayJune-2013.aspx

LEARNING FROM TEACHER INQUIRY IN TEACHER EDUCATION (PUBLICATIONS OF THE TEACHER INQUIRY PROJECT AT UC DAVIS)

Bennett, L. H., Athanases, S. Z., & Wahleithner, J. M. (in press, 2015). “Like a ball and glove”: Teachers’ reports of the learning that happens through inquiry. Action in Teacher Education.

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2015). Adaptive teaching for English language arts: Following the pathway of classroom data in preservice teacher inquiry. Journal of Literacy Research. Preprint: http://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/adaptive_teaching_for_english_pre-production.pdf

Athanases, S. Z. (2014). Mentoring and mediating the interface of multiple knowledges in learning to teach challenging content. In C. J. Craig & L. Orland-Barak (Eds.). International teacher education: Promising pedagogies, Vol. I (pp. 403-426). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (in press, 2013). Learning about English learners’ content understandings through teacher inquiry: Focus on writing. The New Educator, 9(4), 304-327

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Fostering data literacy through preservice teacher inquiry in English language arts. The Teacher Educator, 48(1), 8-28.

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Responsive teacher inquiry and learning to teach writing to adolescent English learners. In L. C. de Oliveira & Tony Silva (Eds.), L2 writing in secondary classrooms: Student experiences, academic issues, and teacher education (pp. 149-165). NY: Routledge.

Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (2012). Learning to attend to culturally and linguistically diverse learners through teacher inquiry in teacher education. Teachers College Record, 114(7), 50 pages.

Athanases, S. Z. (2011). Research as praxis: Documenting the dialectical relationship between theory and practice. In D. Lapp & D. Fisher (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts, 3rd Ed (pp. 358 -363). Sponsored by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. Erlbaum/Taylor Francis.

TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (in press, 2013). Learning about English learners’ content understandings through teacher inquiry: Focus on writing. The New Educator, 9(4), 304-327

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Responsive teacher inquiry and learning to teach writing to adolescent English learners. In L. C. de Oliveira & Tony Silva (Eds.), L2 writing in secondary classrooms: Student experiences, academic issues, and teacher education (pp. 149-165). NY: Routledge.

Athanases, S. Z., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Educators’ conceptions of academic literacy and language. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.), Academic language in second language learning (pp. 125-146). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2011). Toward program-wide coherence in preparing teachers to teach and advocate for English language learners. In T. Lucas (Ed.), Teacher preparation for linguistically diverse classrooms (pp. 195-215). NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2010). Mentoring for equity: Focusing new teachers on English language learners. In J. Wang, S. J. Odell, & R. T. Clift (Eds.), Past, present, and future research on teacher induction: An anthology for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners (pp. 187-204). Commission on Teacher Induction and Mentoring, Association of Teacher Educators. NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

de Oliveira, L. C., & Athanases, S. Z. (2007). Graduates’ reports of advocating for English language learners. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(3), 202-215.

NEW TEACHERS AS ADVOCATES FOR EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2011). Toward program-wide coherence in preparing teachers to teach and advocate for English language learners. In T. Lucas (Ed.), Teacher preparation for linguistically diverse classrooms (pp. 195-215). NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2008). Advocacy for equity in classrooms and beyond: New teachers’ challenges and responses. Teachers College Record, 110(1), 64-104.

Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2007). Conviction, confrontation, and risk in new teachers’ advocating for equity. Teaching Education, 18(2), 123-136.

de Oliveira, L. C., & Athanases, S. Z. (2007). Graduates’ reports of advocating for English language learners. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(3), 202-215.

Athanases, S. Z., & Martin, K. J. (2006). Learning to advocate for educational equity in a teacher credential program. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 22(6).

TEACHER INDUCTION AND MENTORING OF NEW TEACHERS

Athanases, S. Z. (2014). Mentoring new teachers: Focus on diverse learners, challenging content, and larger contexts of teaching. In G. Kelchtermans, J. Ormaza, D. Iturralde, & S. Janssen (Eds.), Education quality as a generator for change. Quito, Ecuador: Ministry of Education – VVOB.     (In Spanish): Mentoría para los nuevos docentes: Atención centrada en estudiantes de inglés como segundo idioma y de características diversas, contenido desafiante y contextos más amplios de la enseñanza. In Formación de docentes: generadora de cambio para una educación de calidad.

Athanases, S. Z. (2013). Questioning and inquiry in mentoring new teachers of English: A focus on learners. English Journal, 102(3), 40-48 (Themed Issue: Mentoring and Teacher Development).

Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2010). New teacher induction and mentoring for educational change. In A. Hargreaves, A. Lieberman, M. Fullan, & D. Hopkins (Eds.), International Handbook on Educational Change, 2nd edition (pp. 573-594). NY: Springer.

Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2010). Mentoring for equity: Focusing new teachers on English language learners. In J. Wang, S. J. Odell, & R. T. Clift (Eds.), Past, present, and future research on teacher induction: An anthology for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners (pp. 187-204). Commission on Teacher Induction and Mentoring, Association of Teacher Educators. NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

Athanases, S. Z., Abrams, J., Jack, G., Johnson, V., Kwock, S., McCurdy, J., Riley, S., & Totaro, S. (2008). Curriculum for mentor development: Problems and promise in the work of new teacher induction leaders. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(6), 743-770.

Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (Eds.). (2006). Mentors in the making: Developing new leaders for new teachers. NY: Teachers College Press.

Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. A new vision for mentoring new teachers.
Athanases, S. Z., & Achinstein, B. Mentors’ knowledge of formative assessment: Guiding new teachers to look closely at individual students. (Chapter 1)
Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. Mentors’ knowledge of equity and diversity: Maintaining a bifocal perspective on new teachers and their students. (Chapter 2)
Athanases, S. Z., with Abrams, J., Jack, G., Johnson, V., Kwock, S., McCurdy, J., Riley, S., & Totaro, S. Adopt, adapt, invent: Induction leaders designing curriculum. (Chapter 5)
Athanases, S. Z., Nichols, L., Metzinger, L., & Beauchamp, R. Mentors as induction leaders: Solving organizational challenges to develop effective mentor programs. (Chapter 10)
Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. Toward a knowledge base for effective mentoring: Conclusions and future directions for theory and practice.

Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2005). Focusing new teachers on diversity and equity: Toward a knowledge base for mentors. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 21(7), 843-862.

TEACHING AND LEARNING MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE AND LITERACIES WITH DIVERSE LEARNERS

Athanases, S. Z. (2006). Deepening teacher knowledge of multicultural literature through a university-schools partnership. Multicultural Education, 13(4), 17-23.

Athanases, S. Z. (1999). Building cultural diversity into the literature curriculum. In E. R. Hollins, & E. I. Oliver (Eds.). Pathways to success: Culturally responsive teaching (pp. 139-155). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Athanases, S. Z. (1998). Diverse learners, diverse texts: Exploring identity and difference through literary encounters. Journal of Literacy Research, 30(2), 273-296. (Special Themed Issue on Multicultural Issues in Literacy Research and Practice.)

Athanases, S. Z. (1996). A gay-themed lesson in an ethnic literature curriculum: Tenth graders’ responses to “Dear Anita.” Harvard Educational Review, 66(2), 231-256.  Reprinted: (2011). In K. P. Afolabi, C. Bocala, R. C. DiAquoi, J. M. Hayden, I. A. Liefshitz, & S. S. Oh (Eds.), Education for a multicultural society (pp. 233-259). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review. (In Part II: Talking back: The power of counter-narratives to challenge dominant discourses in education.)

Athanases, S. Z., & Heath, S. B. (1995). Ethnography in the study of the teaching and learning of English. Research in the Teaching of English, 29(3), 262-287.

Athanases, S. Z., Christiano, D., & Lay, E. (1995). Fostering empathy and finding common ground in multiethnic classes. English Journal, 84(3), 26-34. Reprinted (1997). In R. E. Long (Ed.), Multiculturalism (pp. 57-70). NY: H. W. Wilson.

Athanases, S. Z. (1993). Reader response criticism and classroom literature discussion. In G. E. Newell & R. K. Durst (Eds.), Exploring texts: The role of discussion and writing in the teaching and learning of literature (pp. 259-282). Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

Athanases, S. Z., Christiano, D., & Drexler, S. (1992). Family gumbo: Urban students respond to contemporary poets of color. English Journal, 81(5), 45-54. Reprinted (1993). Rethinking Schools: An Urban Educational Journal, 7(4), 8-10, 23.

Athanases, S. Z. (1993). Cross-cultural swapping of mother and grandmother tales in a tenth grade discussion of The Joy Luck Club. Communication Education, 42(4), 282-287.

Athanases, S. Z. (1988). Developing a classroom community of interpreters. English Journal, 77(1), 45-48.

DRAMA AND PERFORMANCE OF LITERATURE, WITH A FOCUS ON USES IN THE ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Athanases, S. Z. (2008). Theatre and theory partnered through ethnographic study. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching literacy through the visual and communicative arts, Volume II(119-128).

Athanases, S. Z. (2005). Performing the drama of the poem: Workshop, rehearsal, and reflection. English Journal, 95(1), 88-96.

Athanases, S. Z. (1997). Ethnography for the study of performance in the classroom. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), A handbook for literacy educators: Research on teaching the communicative and visual arts (pp. 95-107). NY: Macmillan.

Athanases, S. Z. (1991). When print alone fails poetry: Performance as a contingency of literary value. Text and Performance Quarterly, 11(2), 116-127.

LGBTQ YOUTH AND EDUCATION

Athanases, S. Z., & Comar, T. A. (2008). The performance of homophobia in early adolescents’ everyday speech. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Youth: An International Quarterly Devoted to Research, Policy & Practice, 5(2), 9-32.

Athanases, S. Z., & Larrabee, T. G. (2003). Toward a consistent stance in teaching for equity: Learning to advocate for lesbian- and gay-identified youth. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 19(2), 237-261.

Athanases, S. Z. (1996). A gay-themed lesson in an ethnic literature curriculum: Tenth graders’ responses to “Dear Anita.” Harvard Educational Review, 66(2), 231-256.  Reprinted: (2011). In K. P. Afolabi, C. Bocala, R. C. DiAquoi, J. M. Hayden, I. A. Liefshitz, & S. S. Oh (Eds.), Education for a multicultural society (pp. 233-259). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review. (In Part II: Talking back: The power of counter-narratives to challenge dominant discourses in education.)

TEACHER ASSESSMENT AND PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT, WITH REPORTS FROM THE TEACHER ASSESSMENT PROJECT AT STANFORD, FORERUNNER TO THE NATIONAL BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS

Athanases, S. Z. (1996). The promise and challenges of educational portfolios. In J. Barton & A. Collins (Eds.), Portfolio assessment: A handbook for educators (pp. 99-109). NY: Addison-Wesley.

Athanases, S. Z. (1994). Teachers’ reports of the effects of preparing portfolios of literacy instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 94(4), 421-439.

Athanases, S. Z. (1993). Adapting and tailoring lessons: Fostering teacher reflection to meet varied student needs. Teacher Education Quarterly, 20(1), 71-81.

Athanases, S. Z. (1990). Assessing the teaching of literacy in the elementary grades: Project overview (Teacher Assessment Project Report L1). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.

Athanases, S. Z. (1990). Assessing the planning and teaching of integrated language arts in the elementary grades (Teacher Assessment Project Report L3). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.

Athanases, S. Z. (1990). Assessing teacher skills and knowledge in the selection and use of literature in the elementary grades (Teacher Assessment Project Report L5). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.

Vavrus, L., Calfee, R. C., Athanases, S. Z., Chin, E., & Wolf, K. (1989). Portfolio development handbook for teachers of elementary literacy (Teacher Assessment Project Report L6). Stanford, CA: Stanford.

Vavrus, L., Athanases, S. Z., Chin, E., & Wolf, K. (1989). Literacy examiner’s handbook for the assessment center (Teacher Assessment Project Report L7). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.

Research & Publication Abstracts

  • Athanases, S. Z., Achinstein, B., Curry, M. W., & Ogawa, R. T. (in press, 2015). The Promise and Limitations of a College-Going Culture: Toward Cultures of Engaged Learning for Low-Income Latina/o Youth. Teachers College Record. 
    ABSTRACT: Educators and policymakers call for promoting “college-going cultures” in schools serving youth from nondominant communities. While increasing numbers of such students gain college access, many lack academic preparation to participate fully and persist in college academic life. Drawing on a two-year critical case study of Urban College Academy (UCA), we ask: How is a college-going culture enacted at UCA, and by whom, to support Latina/o students in gaining access to college? What is the nature of academic engagement at UCA that may help prepare Latina/o students for college? Our findings extend the “college-going culture” literature by providing a bi-level examination of organizational and instructional dimensions of efforts to promote Latino/a students’ college-going. We argue that college-going cultures must pay equal attention to school-level socialization efforts and classroom-level academic learning to remedy college access and persistence inequities. The study highlights: (a) the significance of instructional interactions in a college-going culture; (b) the distinction between college-level discourse and talk about college; © complexities and promising practices of supporting academic engagement in challenging work for Latina/o youth; and (d) a need for a schoolwide culture of engaged learning that is rigorous, meaningful, and infused throughout schools so it is visible, normalized, and ritualized.

  • Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (in press, 2013). Adaptive teaching for English language arts: Following the pathway of classroom data in preservice teacher inquiry. Journal of Literacy Research.
  • ABSTRACT: Consensus exists that effective teaching includes capacity to adapt instruction to respond to student learning challenges as they arise. Adaptive teachers may keep pace with rapidly evolving youth literacies and students’ increasing cultural and linguistic diversity. Teachers are challenged to critically examine pedagogy when some contexts expect compliance with scripts and testing regimens and impede innovation. Recent research is building cumulative knowledge on adaptive teaching in literacy—its forms, purposes, and values. For preservice teachers still developing curriculum and routines, developing adaptive expertise is particularly challenging. The present study examined how, if at all, a data-based model of teacher inquiry in one teacher education program fostered adaptive teaching in grades 7-12 English language arts placements in mostly high poverty, highly diverse schools. The study examined 96 inquiries collected over seven years, plus student teacher (ST) questionnaires, memos, and discussions.  STs overall worked with classroom data in ways that discerned patterns in student work and used findings to change the means by which their objectives could be met, through adapting literacy routines, materials, strategies, and activities. Adaptations were complex, not always effective, often challenging as STs weighed alternatives, tried to align adaptations with data, and worked to develop data-based rationales for instructional adaptations. Inquiry processes that supported STs in adaptive teaching included close examination of data, discovery and reflection, alignment of adaptations with data, and critique of adaptations. A disposition of flexibility supported the work. Findings contribute to literatures on adaptive literacy teaching and preservice teacher inquiry in English language arts.        
  • Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Responsive teacher inquiry and learning to teach writing to adolescent English learners. In L. C. de Oliveira & Tony Silva (Eds.), L2 writing in secondary classrooms: Student experiences, academic issues, and teacher education (pp. 149-165). NY: Routledge.
  • ABSTRACT: Even with methods preparation, preservice teachers find surprises and challenges in learning to teach writing to ELs. Teacher inquiry provides a means to reflect on ELs’ writing needs, plan action, and collect and analyze data to uncover patterns and rethink pedagogy. This chapter reports EL writing issues preservice teachers in one teacher education program explored through inquiry, including balancing voice with demands of testing, deconstructing linguistic complexity of writing prompts, and learning how grammar and punctuation fit within writing process and pedagogy. The chapter illustrates how inquiry promoted movement from initial problem-framing to discoveries about teaching writing to adolescent ELs.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (in press, 2013). Learning about English learners’ content understandings through teacher inquiry: Focus on writing. The New Educator, 9.
  • ABSTRACT: Writing is central to academic development, permeates content area coursework, and serves as both vehicle for and display of learning. For English learners (ELs), writing poses challenges, and teachers need preparation in how to understand and respond to these. This study reports five teacher inquiry processes that preservice teachers in one teacher education program used to learn more about their ELs and their writing performances, strengths, learning, preferences, and needs. The inquiry processes provided opportunities to develop knowledge of content and students (Ball, Thames, & Phelps, 2008), a key subdomain of the knowledge base of effective teaching.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Fostering data literacy through preservice teacher inquiry in English language arts. The Teacher Educator, 48(1), 8-28.
  • ABSTRACT: Data literate educators can generate questions about learning in their classes, collect and analyze classroom data to answer them, and develop inferences and explanations. Two elements may promote data literacy: (a) breadth of classroom-based data collection, and (b) depth of analysis. We examined these in inquiries conducted by 80 preservice teachers of secondary English in diverse classrooms over a six-year period. Analyzing products, processes, and self-reports, we found inquiries evidenced a range in breadth of data collection (from several to many collection events, from 1 to several collection tools) and in analytic depth, from thin to nuanced and complex. Qualitative themes and two cases illustrate challenges of pattern-finding, initially crude analyses in striving for depth, and the need for data literacy mentoring. Data literacy can highlight equity as teachers disaggregate classroom data to understand varied performance levels; issues shaping successes, problems, and resistance; and differentiation and further scaffolding needed.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (2012). Learning to attend to culturally and linguistically diverse learners through teacher inquiry in teacher education. Teachers College Record, 114(7), 50 pages.
  • ABSTRACT: Drawing on a 7-year collection of over 100 inquiry-based research projects completed by preservice teachers working in highly diverse settings, this study examines the processes and products of preservice inquiry and its potential to prepare English language arts teachers to teach culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners. Student teachers took various actions through inquiry to learn about their students: consulting and using outside resources on learners’ contexts and histories; looking closely at student work and performance at full-class, subgroup, and individual levels; and asking and listening beneath the surface to students’ thinking, reasoning, attitudes, beliefs, and concerns. These processes were supported by the use of essay more than any other assessment tool, inviting student language production and encouraging elaboration of ideas. These student language samples also provided valuable sources of information about student progress that student teachers analyzed carefully using coding, rubrics, and emerging themes analyses. Two cases illustrate the range of ways student teachers learned about their CLD students. Results challenge developmental and stage models of teacher learning and mechanistic practices of teacher education, suggesting that preservice teacher inquiry that is student learning-focused, data-based, and scaffolded appropriately provides opportunities for early-career development of a focus on CLD learners.
  • Athanases, S. Z., Abrams, J., Jack, G., Johnson, V., Kwock, S., McCurdy, J., Riley, S., & Totaro, S. (2008). Curriculum for mentor development: Problems and promise in the work of new teacher induction leaders. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(6), 743-770.
  • ABSTRACT: This article examines four case studies of mentors of new teachers who assumed leadership of teacher induction programmes. Using cycles of action research conducted in a teacher induction leadership network, case study authors inquired into features of mentor curriculum needed to develop mentors of new teachers. Cross-case analyses suggest the need for three elements of mentor curriculum. Tools, scripts, and routines can support the work but generic scaffolds need to be adapted and tailored to local needs and to monitor usefulness. In particularly a time of standards reform and high-stakes assessment, needs of new teachers need to be tied to students and their learning, the ultimate target of mentor development, particularly in many urban and other high-need districts. Finally, action research and inquiry skills can enable mentors and induction leaders to respond to data about how mentor curriculum must be tailored to particular needs of mentors, new teachers, and students.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2008). Advocacy for equity in classrooms and beyond: New teachers’ challenges and responses. Teachers College Record, 110(1), 64-104.
  • ABSTRACT: New teachers who graduated from the same teacher credential program reported challenges of advocating for equity and ways they responded. In complex narratives, teachers reported trying to meet learning needs of students diverse in languages, home countries, cultural norms, reading level, gender, special needs, and behavior. English language learners’ needs especially prompted acts of advocacy in and beyond the classroom. These included instructional tailoring, out of class tutorials, hunts for better texts and tests, a library field trip, creation of a culture/computer club, heightened parent contacts, and launching of a bilingual parent group. Teachers’ acts of advocacy shared four crosscutting themes: a goal of equitable access to resources and support, convictions about equity, interceding on behalf of students in need, and engaging co-advocates. Teachers report that all four themes have grounding in their teacher credential program that foregrounded advocating for equity in its mission and goals. Those earning credentials in bilingual education engaged in more acts of advocacy beyond the classroom, and analyses suggest this may be due to credential program experiences, life experiences, and the larger sociopolitical context for teaching English language learners. Results challenge conventional models of learning to teach, documenting how teachers even in the throes of the induction period can focus on student learning and on ways to advocate in and beyond the classroom for those in need of someone interceding on their behalf, particularly when well prepared to do so.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & de Oliveira, L. C. (2007). Conviction, confrontation, and risk in new teachers’ advocating for equity. Teaching Education, 18(2), 123-136.
  • ABSTRACT: Despite frustration with school constraints, new teachers who graduated from a program focused on advocacy for equity spoke for students in need in school forums and spoke up about issues of equity. Speaking for students, driven by convictions about equitable access to resources and a responsibility to act, often helped garner support and affected attitudes and school practices. However, this did not occur cost-free. Despite apparently strong preparation to advocate for equity, teachers reported that advocacy required persistence and sometimes confrontation with colleagues and administrators, some describing an assessment of risk, often feeling vulnerable in new jobs. A case of one teacher’s advocacy for special needs students and for one boy in particular illustrates themes. Suggestions are offered for ways teacher education can prepare teachers to speak for students in need and speak up and against practices and policies that impede equity.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Comar, T. A. (2008). The performance of homophobia in early adolescents’ everyday speech. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Youth: An International Quarterly Devoted to Research, Policy & Practice, 5(2), 9-32.
  • ABSTRACT: At a California school, 133 early adolescents, mostly 12-13 years old, reported widespread use of homophobic name-calling but disagreed about what it means. Most saw it as innocuous banter or generic insult. A smaller number cast it as gender-identity putdown, as speech that injures even when LGBT people are not present, or as a derogatory LGBT slur. Students rarely challenged the name-calling. Analyses suggest pre- and early adolescents may benefit from classroom instruction in language and power; in understanding norms and assumptions that underlie homophobic name-calling; and in how to be allies and advocates, confronting injurious speech among peers.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2008). Theatre and theory partnered through ethnographic study. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching literacy through the visual and communicative arts, 2nd edition (pp. 121-129). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • ABSTRACT: Capturing the unfolding learning of drama workshops is quite difficult, as rehearsals and performances are oral, embodied, and bound by time and space. This poses a challenge for research methods. Among the methods that can capture the unfolding literacy learning that drama affords, ethnography offers a means to uncover particular forms of understanding about the processes and impact of performance and to theorize more learning-rich opportunities and, ultimately, inventive assessments. This is what I examine in this chapter.
  • de Oliveira, L. C., & Athanases, S. Z. (2007). Graduates’ reports of advocating for English language learners. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(3), 202-215.
  • ABSTRACT: Beginning teachers who graduated from a credential program focused on preparing advocates for equity and with attention to teaching English language learners (ELLs) had reported in surveys being well prepared to teach ELLs and to promote equity. Focus groups illuminated teachers’ reports of ways they advocated for ELLs. Reported classroom acts included creating and maintaining safe environments for English language use and development, differentiating instruction and designing interventions for ELLs, and responding to sociopolitical issues related to race, language, and class. Reported advocacy beyond the classroom included seeing inequity and addressing it with lunchtime and after-school tutorials and clubs, and with family contacts and home visits. In some cases, such advocacy also included critiquing institutional practices or policy, and proposing or building alternatives. Three cases illustrate accounts of school challenges in meeting needs of ELLs but also document possibilities for how advocacy for ELLs, even in the first years of teaching, can be pursued.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Martin, K. J. (2006). Learning to advocate for educational equity in a teacher credential program. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 22(6), 627-646.
  • ABSTRACT: Drawing on a 5-year program-wide investigation of ways preservice teachers learn to teach to diversity, this study uses focus groups of graduates to illuminate survey results of their feeling well prepared to advocate for equity in classrooms and schools. Offering suggestions for improvement, graduates nonetheless reported two broad categories of program strength. The first was the value of infusion of culture, language, and equity content in coursework. Themes in strong coursework included focus on culturally responsive, equity-focused pedagogy; preparation to teach English language learners; developing cultural knowledge and sensitivity; and learning advocacy beyond the classroom. Faculty taught and modeled these concerns through many means. The second, which extended coursework, was sustained and scaffolded apprenticeships in teaching for equity, including student teaching supervisors as equity mentors, placements that support teaching for equity, and ongoing cohort discussions of equity teaching.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2006). Deepening teacher knowledge of multicultural literature through a university-schools partnership. Multicultural Education, 13(4), 17-23.
  • ABSTRACT: This paper reports from a study of teachers’ work in professional development as part of a university-schools partnership designed to better prepare underrepresented youth for potential admission into the UC system. The teachers sought to explore and learn more about diverse literature and to plan relevant instruction in order to better meet the needs of their students in a large urban multiethnic and very high needs high school district. Research on teachers’ engagement with multicultural literature has shown how, in efforts to link with texts, readers at times “over-identify,” overlooking culturally and sociologically specific content. In the present study, I too found teachers made associations to engage literature personally and to connect across lines of difference. However, unlike much research on teachers engaging multicultural literature, I did not find a predominance of teachers using a White normalized gaze on difference, a rush to find familiar things and universal themes over culturally specific content and development of “ethical respect.” I saw that, in this partnership work, personal links and universality were not ends in themselves but part of a complex set of often recursive stances in engaging multicultural literature. Teachers engaged in response stances that included personally identifying; reflecting on characters’ cultures; culturally connecting; critiquing and shifting perspectives; and historicizing and contextualizing.
  • Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2005). Focusing new teachers on diversity and equity: Toward a knowledge base for mentors. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 21(7), 843-862.
  • ABSTRACT: New teachers in the US often are unprepared to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Preparing teachers for diversity has generated widespread interest in mentoring, yet little research has explored a knowledge base for equity-focused mentoring. Drawing on expertise of leading mentor practitioners and a case study, this article builds a framework for what mentors need to know and be able to do to focus new teachers on equity. Mentors need a bi-level and multi-domain knowledge base, targeting both students and teachers. Analyses delineate challenges and tensions in tapping this knowledge base in the action of mentoring.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2005). Performing the drama of the poem: Workshop, rehearsal, and reflection. English Journal, 95(1), 88-96.
  • ABSTRACT: This paper concerns the infusion in K-12 language arts curricula of drama and performance as a means to engage students, especially those on the academic margins, in literature study. It draws upon a study in a 10th grade urban class studying the Ethnic Experience in Literature. I used data from one African American male’s performance journal, tapes, and interviews to demonstrate themes from the larger research study on ways in which drama supports literature study and other literacy goals. This article received Honorable Mention for the Edwin M. Hopkins Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for one of the three best published in the English Journal over two years by non-secondary teachers.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Achinstein, B. (2003). Focusing new teachers on individual and low performing students: The centrality of formative assessment in the mentor’s repertoire of practice. Teachers College Record, 105(8), 1486-1520.
  • ABSTRACT: Mentoring novice teachers often features buddy support, technical advice, and classroom management tips to meet teacher-centered concerns of survival. Such mentoring aligns with conventional models of teacher development that describe the novice concerned with self-image, materials and procedures, and management, and only after the initial years, able to focus on individual student learning. Drawing on the wisdom of practice of 37 experienced teacher induction leaders and case studies of mentor/new teacher pairs, this study found that mentors can interrupt that tendency among new teachers, focusing them on the learning of individual students, especially those underperforming. For this work, mentors tap knowledge of student and teacher learners, pedagogy for classrooms and for tutoring teachers, and especially multi-layered knowledge and abilities in several domains of assessment. These include assessment of students, alignment of curriculum with standards, and formative assessment of the new teacher. Skillful use of this knowledge can bring individual student learning into focus and help new teachers generate methods for shaping instruction to meet students’ varied learning needs. These results challenge developmental models of teaching and conservative mentoring practices, calling for articulation of a knowledge base and relevant mentor development to focus new teachers early on individual student learning.
  • Athanases, S. Z., & Larrabee, T. G. (2003). Toward a consistent stance in teaching for equity: Learning to advocate for lesbian- and gay-identified youth. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 19(2), 237-261.
  • ABSTRACT: Three education classes of mostly prospective teachers provided instruction on issues related to lesbian- and gay-identified (LG) youth in schools, including readings, a video, a guest speaker, discussion, and writings. Written responses of 97 students, of whom more than a third were students of color, revealed lack of knowledge of LG youth prior to instruction and strong appreciation for new knowledge. Some students voiced resistance and reconciliation related to religiosity, and many raised questions regarding classroom application. The dominant stance, however, was appreciation for challenges facing LG youth and reports of plans to advocate for them in schools. Students made many links to broader social justice issues. Enabling classroom processes appear to have included an equity framework, cultural insider perspectives, and a safe discussion space–design principles for teacher education and development related to advocating for all youth.
  • Athanases, S. Z. (2003). Thematic study of literature: Middle school teachers, professional development, and educational reform. English Education (Themed Issue: English Education in Middle Grades), 35(2), 107-121.
  • ABSTRACT: I studied the potential of thematic approaches to literary study to support students’ understanding. Such approaches may help teachers move curriculum from unlinked catalogs of texts to more integrated wholes of learning episodes that echo one another and help students build understandings. This article reports on things learned about both professional development and classroom teaching related to thematic study in a reform designed to provide thinking curricula for youth in under-performing urban middle schools.

Professional Experience

  • Project Director, Evaluating Communities of Learners, School of Education, Stanford University (Ed Haertel, PI), 1994-98
  • Researcher/Team-Teacher, English/History Linked Program, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, CA, 1994-96
  • Consultant, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 1991-94
  • Coordinator of Public Programs/English Specialist for Oakland Unified High School District English teachers to better prepare underrepresented minority students for college, ACCESS, UC-Berkeley, 1990-91
  • Reseacher, Teacher Assessment Project, Development and Study of Prototype Assessments to Inform National Board Certification, Stanford University (Lee Shulman, PI), 1988-89
  • High School English teacher, Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights/Mt. Prospect, IL, 1975-85 (also, Instructional Improvement teacher for Writing, 1984-85)

Awards and Honors

  • 2015, Faculty Individual Citation Award (Soaring to New Heights) of the Diversity and Principles of Community Awards. For career achievement in leadership in the furthering of equal opportunity and diversity objectives within the UC Davis community. (With the STEAD Committee: Strength through Equity and Diversity)

  • Outstanding Reviewer, American Educational Research Association, 2012

  • Excellence in Education Awards (Nominee) for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, Associated Students of UC Davis, 2012
  • Outstanding Reviewer, American Educational Research Association, 2011
        For work on editorial review board of Educational Researcher
  • Distinguished Research Award, Association of Teacher Educators, 2006
        For top article published on teacher education, 2003-05
    Published in Teachers College Record, 105(8): Focusing new teachers on individual and low performing students: The centrality of formative assessment in the mentor’s repertoire of practice 
  • Edwin M. Hopkins Award (Honorable Mention) for Outstanding Article Published in English Journal, Volumes 94 & 95, by a Non-Secondary Teacher, 2006
        For: Performing the drama of the poem: Workshop, rehearsal, and reflection. English Journal, 95(1).
  • Davis Humanities Institute Fellow, 2002-03
  • Spencer Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Academy of Education, 1999-2001
  • Promising Researcher in English Education, National Council of Teachers of English, 1994
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award in Curriculum Studies (Honorable Mention), American Educational Research Association, 1994
  • McDonnell Postdoctoral Research Fellow, James S. McDonnell Foundation Program in Cognitive Studies for Educational Practice, 1993-95
  • Award for Outstanding Teaching, Stanford Teacher Education Program, Stanford University, 1990
  • Outstanding Chicago Area Writing Teacher, Retrospective Honor from Gwendolyn Brooks, Illinois Poet Laureate, 1990
  • Spencer Dissertation Fellow, Spencer Foundation, 1989
  • Teacher of the Year Award, Township High School District 214, Illinois, 1985
  • Award for Outstanding High School Writing Teacher, English Department, Harper College, Illinois, 1984
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, Department of Communication Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1982

Activities and Service

  • 2013- present, Member, UC Davis STEAD Committee, Strength through Equity and Diversity, Focused on Recruiting Excellent, Diverse Faculty to UC Davis
  • 2013, Member of Working Groups to Develop Curriculum for the First Teachers College in Ecuador 
  • 2010 – Editorial Review Board, Educational Researcher
  • 2007-08 Editorial Review Board, Journal of Teacher Education
  • 2007-08 Editorial Review Board, Issues in Teacher Education
  • Chair. Graduate Group in Education, University of California, Davis, 2006-2011.
  • Developer and Trainer of Trainers. Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT), 2003.
  • Member. PACT English Language Arts Assessment Development Team, 2002.
  • Participant and Reviewer. Proposal Planning for New Small Urban Public Schools Initiative, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, CA, 2000-2001.
  • Coordinator and Presenter. Professional Development Workshop for Teacher Leaders, New Teacher Center, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2000-2001.
  • Chair. Literature Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association, 1995-97.
  • Nominating Committee. Conference on English Education, National Council of Teachers of English, 1995-96.
  • Member. National Communication Association, K-12 Comprehensive Language Arts Standards Committee, 1995-96.
  • Participant. Commission on Teacher Education for Teachers of Urban, Rural, and Suburban Students of Color, Conference on English Education, National Council of Teachers of English, 1994-98.

Courses Taught at UC Davis

  • Research on Response to Culturally Diverse Literature in K-12 Classrooms
  • Cultural Diversity and Education in a Sociopolitical Context
  • Research on Teacher Education and Development
  • Secondary School Teaching, English/language arts
  • Inquiry into Classroom Practice in English Language Arts: Intervention and Data Collection
  • Research on Class Discussion and Drama/Performance in Education

Recent Funded Research

  • William T. Grant Foundation Grant, 2010-2013, with B. Achinstein (lead PI), R. Ogawa, & L. C. de Oliveira

Project: Organizing Schools and Classrooms to Engage Latina/o Youth in Academically Challenging Work

  • Spencer Foundation Grant, 2010-2012

Project: Learning to Attend to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners through Data in Preservice Teacher Inquiry

  • Catalyst Grant, School of Education Advisory Board (Inaugural recipient), UC Davis, 2011

Project: Learning to Teach Analytic Reading and Writing with Diverse Learners

  • Seed Grant for Outreach Activities, University of California, Davis, 2008-09

Project: Developing and Studying Academic and Adolescent Literacies in Partnership with Yolo and Sacramento County Teachers

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