Jody Polleck

Photo of Jody Polleck

Associate Professor and Program Leader for Literacy

Associate Professor Dr. Jody Polleck is the program leader for literacy education at Hunter College in New York City. For the past 16 years, she has also served as a secondary literacy intervention teacher and literacy coach across the five boroughs. Jody completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland-College Park, majoring in journalism and English with a minor in women’s studies. She began her work with urban adolescents in 1994 as an outreach counselor for homeless youth in Washington, D.C. In 1999, she received her Master’s at the University of South Florida in English education and worked as a high school reading and English teacher for emergent readers and writers in a dropout prevention program. In 2002, she received National Board Certification for adolescent and young adulthood/English language arts. In 2003, Jody received a full-fellowship to New York University where she completed her doctoral degree in English education four years later. Her research focused on urban adolescent females of color and their experiences in student-led book clubs. Jody explored how these alternative, supplemental forums were effective in not only promoting literacy but social and emotional development as well. In addition to teaching and researching, Jody has trained teachers nationally and internationally and has developed several regional curriculum guides for reading, English, and social studies. Her current research agenda focuses on differentiated and culturally responsive-sustaining literacy instruction. In 2019, she received a Fulbright Scholar Award where she developed and researched student-led book clubs for adolescents with autism in the Netherlands. Jody has been published in over 20 different books and journals including The High School Journal, Reading Horizons, ALAN Review, The English Journal, Reading and Writing Quarterly, Preventing School Failure, and Teacher Education Quarterly.

  • B.A. 1996 University of Maryland
  • M.A. 1999 University of South Florida
  • Ph.D. 2007 New York University
  • SEDC 211/711: Advanced Study of Young Adult Literature in Our Diverse Society
  • EDLIT 740: Leadership in Literacy
  • EDLIT 742/752: Practicum in Literacy
  • EDLIT 745: Literacy Research for Change
  • EDLIT 755: Literacy Instruction for Struggling Readers and Writers
  • EDLIT 757: Practicum in Literacy Assessment and Intervention (Grades 5-12)

Jody’s research focus is with urban adolescents and culturally responsive-sustaining and differentiated literacy instruction across the content areas. She has studied youth experiences in student-led book and writing clubs, exploring how these alternative, supplemental forums are effective in not only promoting literacy skills but also social and emotional development. She is also looking at the complexities and intersections of race, class, gender, ability, language, and sexuality within these communities and how they can be used as places for empowerment, agency, and advocacy. As an action research-practitioner, she also continues to study her own pedagogy with youth and professional learning experiences with New York City teachers.

  • Polleck, J. & Spence, T . (In Press). Centering #BlackLivesMatter to confront injustice, inspire advocacy, and develop literacies. English Journal.
  • Polleck, J. & Yarwood, J . (In Press). Putting students at the center: Empowering urban education teachers through culturally relevant unit planning. Preventing School Failure.
  • Polleck, J. (In Press). A glimpse into practice: Embracing culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies. In J. Valle & D. Connor (Eds.) Rethinking disability. New York: Routledge.
  • Tijms, J., Stoop, M. A., & Polleck, J. N. (2018). Bibliotherapeutic book club intervention to promote reading skills and social–emotional competencies in low SES community-based high schools: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Research in Reading, 41(3), 525-545.
  • Schieble, M. & Polleck, J. (2017). Addressing LGBTQ-themed texts and heteronormativity in English education. In H.L. Hallman (ed.) Innovations in English Language Arts Education (pp. 165-183). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Polleck, J. & Espana, C. (2017). Revolutions and resistance: Creating space for adolescent agency and advocacy through a critical reading of Sonia Manzano’s The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. ALAN Review, 45(1), 44-56.
  • Polleck, J. & Jeffery, J. (2017). Common Core and its impact on standardized testing: A New York case study. The High School Journal, 101(1), 1-26.
  • Polleck, J. (2016). Using nonfiction to advocate for change. English Journal, 105(4), 57-74.
  • Polleck, J. (2016). Breaking barriers in the classroom: Exploring LGBTQ issues through Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. In A. Butler-Wall, K. Cosier, R. Harper, J. Sapp, J. Sokolower, & M.B. Tempel (Eds), Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality (pp. 243-253). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.
  • Polleck, J. (2016). Bring texts to life: Using afterschool book clubs as a way to address and reinforce the common core standards for literacy with urban adolescents. In J. Hayn, J. Kaplan, & A. Nolen (Eds), Implementing Common Core Literacy Standards through Young Adult Literature (pp. 97-113). London, UK: Roman & Littlefield.
  • Polleck, J. & Epstein, T. (2015). Affirmation, analysis, and agency: Book clubs as spaces for critical conversations with young adolescent women of color. Reading Horizons, 54(1), 78-107.
  • Polleck, J. & Shabdin, S . (2013). Building culturally responsive communities. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, 86, 1-8.
  • Polleck, J. & Wirtz, J. (2013). Building urban pre-service teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and skills through digital poetry collaborations. In J. Keengwe & D. Hucks (Eds.), Literacy Enrichment and Technology Integration in Pre-Service Teacher Education (pp. 37-56). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Jeffery, J. & Polleck, J. (2013). Transformations in site-based teacher preparation courses: The benefits and challenges. In J. Novel (Ed.) Moving Teacher Education into Urban Schools and Communities: Prioritizing Community Strengths (pp. 105-199). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Polleck, J. (2011). Adolescent literature book clubs: A forum for cultivation of peer relationships with urban adolescent females. ALAN Review, 38(1), 76-95.
  • Polleck, J. (2011). Constructing dressing rooms in urban schools: Understanding family through books clubs with Latino and African-American female adolescents. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 24(3), 139-155.
  • Polleck, J. (2011). Using book clubs to enhance social-emotional and academic learning with urban adolescent females of color. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 27(1/2), 101-128.
  • Polleck, J. (2011). Transformative scholarship: Problematizing the role of the insider within educational research in urban settings. In W. Blanchett & K. Scott (Eds), Research in Urban Educational Settings: Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Practice (pp. 59-81). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Polleck, J. (2010). Creating and maintaining a transformative community: Book clubs with Urban Adolescent Females. SIGNAL Journal, 33(1), 8-15.
  • Polleck, J. (2010). Creating transformational spaces: High school book clubs with inner-city adolescent females. The High School Journal, 93(2), 50-68.
  • Jeffery, J. & Polleck, J. (2010). Reciprocity through Co-instructed Site-based Courses: Unintended and Intended Learning for both Pre-service and In-service Teachers. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37(3), 81-100.
  • Fulbright Scholar Award 2019 at the University of Amsterdam: “Bibliotherapeutic Book Clubs to Enhance Literacy and Social-Emotional Development for Urban Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder”
  • Hunter College Presidential Faculty Advancement 2019 Award ($3000): “Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive and Critical Literacy Classrooms within Alternative Settings”
  • PSC-CUNY 2019 Grant ($3500): “Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive and Critical Literacy Classrooms within Alternative Settings”
  • ALER (Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers) 2017 Teacher Education Research Grant Award ($3000): “Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive Literacy Classrooms within Alternative Settings”
  • Moving from Associate to Full Professor 2017 Award ($1000): “The Challenges and Risks within High Stakes Literacy Assessments”
  • Faculty Innovations in Teaching and Technology, FITT 2012 Grant ($2000): “Using Hybrid Classes to Enhance Students’ Collaboration and Advocacy”
  • PSC-CUNY 2011 Grant ($6000): “Differentiating Literacy Instruction in the Urban English High School Classroom”
  • PSC-CUNY 2008 Grant ($6000): “Building Teacher Efficacy through Whole-school Literacy Professional Development with Urban Teachers”