Jody Polleck

Jody Polleck

Professor and Program Leader for Literacy

Dr. Jody Polleck is a full professor and the program coordinator for literacy education. She began her work with urban adolescents in 1994 as an outreach counselor in Washington, D.C. for displaced youth. In 1999, she received her Master’s in English education and worked as a high school reading and English teacher for emerging readers and writers. In 2002, Jody received National Board Certification for adolescent English language arts; and in 2003, she accepted a full-fellowship to New York University where she completed her doctoral degree in English education. Jody is a 2019 Fulbright scholar. Her current research focuses on culturally sustaining literacy instruction and its intersections with healing-centered and culturally-affirming social emotional learning. She has published in over 25 books and journals including ALAN Review, Contemporary Issues in Technology and and Teacher Education, English Journal, High School Journal, Journal of Teaching Writing, Literacy Research and Instruction, Preventing School Failure, Reading and Writing Quarterly, Reading Horizons, and Teacher Education Quarterly. She published her first book, entitled Facilitating Youth-led Book Clubs as Transformative and Inclusive Spaces, with Teachers College Press in 2022.

  • B.A. 1996 University of Maryland
  • M.A. 1999 University of South Florida
  • Ph.D. 2007 New York University
  • English 120 (College Now): Expository Writing
  • SEDC 211/711: Advanced Study of Young Adult Literature in Our Diverse Society
  • EDLIT 755: Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Literacies for Students with Diverse Needs, Grades 5-12
  • EDLIT 757: Practicum in Literacy Assessment and Intervention (Grades 5-12)
  • EDLIT 742/752: Practicum in Literacy
  • EDLIT 745: Literacy Research for Change
  • EDLIT 740: Leadership in Literacy
  • EDDIL 802: Leading for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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.

  • Struthers, K., Polleck, J., & Peters, L. (2023). Building community and creating change: Collaboratively engaging diverse educational constituents in equity-based work. Action in Teacher Education, 45(3), 222-241.
  • Smith, A., & Polleck, J. (2022). Using digital book clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize the distance of social distancing. Dialogues in Social Justice: An Adult Education Journal, 7(2), 1-15.
  • Polleck, J. (2021). Writing club as culturally sustaining practice. Journal of Teaching Writing, 36(2), 71-105.
  • Polleck, J. & Smith, A. (2021). Bridging islands to build a continent: Harnessing the power of digital book clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In K.J. Fasching-Varner et al. (Eds.) The Corona Chronicles: On Leadership, Processes, Commitments, and Hope in Uncertain Times. DIO Press.
  • Schieble, M., & Polleck, J. (2021). The opportunities and constraints of a virtual field experience during a global pandemic for ELA teacher candidates’ learning about culturally sustaining pedagogy. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 21(2).
  • Polleck, J. et al. (2021). Using a lab model to prepare and empower alternative school district educators for culturally responsive-sustaining literacy instruction. Literacy Research and Instruction, DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2021.1955054.
  • Polleck, J. & Spence, T. (2020). Centering #BlackLivesMatter to confront injustice, inspire advocacy, and develop literacies. English Journal, 109(4), 87-94.
  • Polleck, J. & Yarwood, J. (2020). Putting students at the center: Empowering urban education teachers through culturally relevant unit planning. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 64(3), 191-200.
  • 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.
  • PSC-CUNY 2021 Grant ($6000): “Bibliotherapeutic Book Clubs to Enhance Literacy and Social-Emotional Development for High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism”
  • 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”