FAQ icon

Need Answers?

Directory Icon

Email, Phone, and Addresses

Graduation cap icon

Explore Degrees

Nell K. Duke

Professor, Marsal Family School of Education


Room 4109
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Nell Duke’s work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education.

She has served as Co-Principal Investigator of projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, among other organizations. Duke has been named one of the most influential education scholars in the U.S. in EdWeek. In 2014, she was awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association. She has also received awards from the American Educational Research Association, the Literacy Research Association, the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Michigan Reading Association

Duke serves as a consultant for a number of education and policy organizations, and speaks widely on literacy education. Duke is author and co-author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent books are Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-based Instruction and Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills From Birth to 5, Second Edition. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the United States. Her Twitter handle is @nellkduke.


Selected Publications

"Best practices for comprehension instruction in the elementary classroom."

Duke, N. K., & Martin, N. M. (in press).  In S. R. Parris & K. Headley (Eds.) Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices (3rd ed.). New York, Guilford.

"Teaching literacy: Reading."

Purcell-Gates, V., Duke, N. K., & Stouffer, J. (in press).  In D. H. Gitomer & C. A. Bell (Eds.) The AERA handbook of research on teaching (5th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association.

"Letter names can cause confusion and other things every early childhood educator should know about English orthography."

Block, M. K., & Duke, N. K. (2015). Young Children, 70(1), 84 – 91.

"Project power." 

Duke, N. K. (2015). Instructor, 124(4), 30-35. 

"A passion for social justice."

Duke, N. K. (2014). In L. Bridges (Ed.) Open a world of possible: Real stories about the joy and power of reading (232-233). New York: Scholastic.

"How much for whom? Lessons from an efficacy study of modest professional development for child care providers."

Gerde, H. K., Duke, N. K., Moses, A. M., Spybrook, J., & Shedd, M. K. (2014). Early Education and Development, 25, 421-441.

"Using assessment to improve early elementary students’ knowledge and skills for comprehending informational text."

Witmer, S. E., Duke, N. K., Billman, A. K., & Betts, J. (2014). Journal of Applied School Psychology, 30, 223-253.

"Engaging families in children’s literacy development: A complete workshop series"

Roberts, K. L., Jordan, G. E., & Duke, N. K. (2014). [DVD and book]. New York: Scholastic.

"Beyond bedtime stories: A parent’s guide to promoting reading, writing, and other literacy skills from birth to 5"

Bennett-Armistead, V. S., Duke, N. K., & Moses, A. M. (2014). (2nd ed.). New York: Scholastic.

"Inside information: Developing powerful readers and writers of informational text through project-based instruction"

Duke, N. K. (2014). New York: Scholastic.

 "10 things every literacy educator and school librarian should know about research." 

Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Akers, A. T. T. (2013). Teacher Librarian, 40(4), 8 – 22.

"Handbook of effective literacy instruction: Research-based practice K - 8."

Taylor, B. M., & Duke, N. K. (Eds.) (2013). New York: Guilford.

"Reading standards for informational text."

Duke, N. K., Halladay, J. L., & Roberts, K. L. (2013).  In L. M. Morrow, T. Shanahan, & K. K. Wixson (Eds.) Teaching with the Common Core Standards for English language Arts, PreK-2 (pp. 46-66). New York: Guilford Press.

"A quest for synergy in literacy research methodology." 

Mallette, M. H., Duke, N. K., Strachan, S. L., Waldron, C. H., & Watanabe, L. M., (2013). To appear in Alvermann, D.E., Unrau, N.J., & Ruddell, R.B. (Eds.) Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

 "Improving reading in the primary grades."

Duke, N. K., & Block, M. K. (2012),  In I. Sawhill, R. Murnane, & C. Snow, (Issue Eds.) Future of Children, 22(2), 55 – 72.

"Narrowing the achievement gap in second-grade social studies and content area literacy: The promise of a project-based approach."

Halvorsen, A., Duke, N. K., Brugar, K. A., Block, M. K., Strachan, S. L., Berka, M. B., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Theory and Research in Social Education, 40, 198-229.

"Reading and writing genre with purpose in K – 8 classrooms."

Duke, N. K., Caughlan, S., Juzwik, M. M., & Martin, N. M. (2012). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

"The ABCs of emergent literacy"

Duke, N. K., Moses, A. M., Billman, A. K., Zhang, S., & Bennett-Armistead, V. S. (2012). [DVD and book]. New York: Scholastic.

"Literacy research methodologies"

Duke, N. K., & Mallette, M. H. (Eds.) (2011). (2nd ed.).New York: Guilford Press.

"The development of comprehension."

Duke, N. K., & Carlisle, J. F. (2011).  In M. L. Kamil, P. D. Pearson, E. B. Moje, and P. Afflerbach (Eds.) Handbook of Reading Research, Vol. IV (pp. 199-228). London: Routledge.

"The impact of instruction in the WWWDOT Framework on students' disposition and ability to evaluate web sites as sources of information."

Zhang, S., & Duke, N. K. (2011). The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 132-154.

"The genre-specific nature of reading comprehension."

Duke, N. K., & Roberts, K. M. (2010). In D. Wyse, R. Andrews, & J. Hoffman (Eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching (pp. 74-86). London: Routledge.


Award Start Date
Jan 01, 2021
Award End Date
Jul 31, 2023
Award Start Date
Nov 01, 2015
Award End Date
Jun 01, 2016
Award Start Date
Aug 01, 2014
Award End Date
Aug 15, 2015
Award Start Date
Sep 01, 2012
Award End Date
Aug 31, 2013