Award Details

Nomination Deadline:  March 1

This award honors an outstanding work of scholarship or research in language, literature, rhetoric, or pedagogy and learning.

Any work or works of scholarship or research in language, literature, rhetoric, or pedagogy and learning published during the previous five-year period prior to January 1 of the year of the award. If an individual or company nominates more than three books, only the first three of its nominations to be received will be considered.

Award Criteria:
Any published research (a work or works by the same author or authors) in language, literature, rhetoric, teaching procedures, or cognitive processes that may sharpen the teaching or the content of English at any instructional level. Publication must be available in English. Commercially published instructional materials are not eligible for consideration. Reports of doctoral studies, while not precluded from consideration for the Russell Award, are typically considered as part of NCTE’s separate “Promising Researcher” program.

Award Specifics:
The award recipient is announced in November each year and honored at the NCTE Annual Convention with a plaque and honorarium.

The award was established in 1963 as the Distinguished Research Award and renamed in 1966 to honor the Council’s late president David H. Russell.

Nomination materials must be postmarked no later than March 1 and sent to or by postal mail to NCTE David H. Russell Award, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL  61801-1096.

Nominations should include:

  • A nomination letter with your name, phone, email, author, title, publisher, date of publication, and one paragraph indicating your reasons for nominating the work.
  • Four copies of the publication for distribution to the Selection Committee, or if that is not possible, provide full bibliographic information so that the Selection Committee will not encounter any difficulty in locating the publication nominated.

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

The Selection Committee determines the winner based upon the nominations meeting the criteria each year. The Selection Committee consists of three members, who serve three-year staggered terms. The chair of the committee shall be the member who has served longest. Each year, before the NCTE Annual Convention, the incumbent NCTE president shall appoint one member of the committee to replace the retiring member.

David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English Winners

Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Boise State University, Idaho and Michael W. Smith, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want and Why We Should Let Them (Scholastic, 2014)
Anne Haas Dyson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Rewriting the Basics: Literacy Learning in Children’s Cultures (Teachers College Press, 2013)
David E. Kirkland, Michigan State University, East Lansing, A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Young Black Men (Teachers College Press, 2013)
Peter Smagorinsky, University of Georgia, Athens, Vygotsky and Literacy Research: A Methodological Framework (Boston, 2011)
Judith A. Langer, University of Albany, Albany, New York, Envisioning Knowledge: Building Literacy in the Academic Literacies (Teachers College Press, 2011)
Neal Lerner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Idea of a Writing Laboratory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009)
Marc Lamont Hill, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity (Teachers College press, 2009)
Gerald Campano, Indiana University, Bloomington, Immigrant Students and Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Remembering (Teachers College Press, 2007)
Leila Christenbury, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Retracing the Journey: Teaching and Learning in an American High School
Sharon Crowley, Arizona State University, Tempe, Toward a Civil Discourse: Rhetoric and Fundamentalism (Pittsburgh Press, 2006)
Catherine Prendergast, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Literacy and Racial Justice: The Politics of Learning after Brown v. Board of Education (Southern Illinois University, 2003)
No award given
Gerald Graff, University of Illinois, Chicago, Clueless in Academe (Yale University Press, 2004)
Michael W. Smith, Temple University and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Boise State University, Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men (Heinemann, 2002)
Anne J. Herrington, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Marcia Curtis, University of Cincinnati, Persons in Process: Four Stories of Writing and Personal Development in College (NCTE, 2000)
Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Talkin That Talk: Language, Culture and Education in African America (Routledge, 1999)
Thomas Newkirk, University of New Hampshire, The Performance of Self in Student Writing (Heinemann, 1997)
Vivian Gussin Paley, The Girl with the Brown Crayon: How Children Use Stories to Shape Their Lives (Harvard University Press, 1998)
Arthur N. Applebee, University at Albany-SUNY, New York, Curriculum as Conversation: Transforming Traditions of Teaching and Learning (University of Chicago Press, 1996)
George Hillocks, Jr., University of Chicago, Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice (Teachers College Press, 1995) (A synthesis of theory and practice for the reflective teaching of writing)
Brian Street: Social Literacies: Critical Approaches to Literacy Development, Ethnography, and Education (1995) (An exploration of multiple literacies in crosscultural contexts)
Victor Villanueva, Jr.: From an American Academic of Color (1994) (An account and a study of race, class, literacy, and literacy instruction)
Anne Haas Dyson: Social Worlds of Children Learning to Write in an Urban Primary School(1993) (A study of the social lives and literacy learning of urban school children)
Deborah Brandt: Literacy as Involvement: The Acts of Writers, Readers, and Texts (1990) (A redefinition of literacy and literacy development through a process perspective)
James Moffett: Storm in the Mountains: A Case Study of Censorship, Conflict, and Consciousness (1998) (A case study of censorship, conflict and consciousness)
John S. Mayher: Uncommon Sense: Theoretical Practice in Language Education (1990) (A synthesis of various perspectives of the use and power of language in classrooms)
Nancie Atwell: In the Middle: Writing, Reading, and Learning with Adolescents (1998) (Classroom-based research into effective middle school language arts teaching)
Mike Rose: Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America’s Under-prepared (1989) (A study of under preparation in American education)
Robert Scholes: Textual Power: Literary, Theory and the Teaching of English (1985) (An analysis of literary criticism as it relates to the teaching of English)
Jerome C. Harste, Carolyn Burke, and Virginia Woodward: Language Stories and Literacy Lessons (1984) (A study of preschool children’s literacy learning)
Frederic G. Cassidy: Dictionary of American Regional English (1985) (Development of the multi-volume Dictionary of American Regional English)
Shirley Brice-Heath: Ways with Words: Language, Life, and Work in Communities and Classrooms (1983) (A study of language patterns in Appalachian towns)
Frank Smith: Writing and the Writer (1982) (A synthesis of information on philosophy of language, modern reading and interpretation theory, and cognitive development)
Margaret Donaldson: Children’s Minds (1979) (New insights into the stages of children’s intellectual development)
Donald Graves: Balance the Basics: Let Them Write (1978) (Studies of writing development in children)
Michael A.K. Halliday: Language as a Social Semiotic (1978) (Study of language development in its social settings)
Louise Rosenblatt: The Reader, The Text, The Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work (1978) (Theoretical depiction of the response to literature)
Marie M. Clay: Reading: The Patterning of Complex Behavior, What Did I Write? And other titles (1973) (Studies of children’s writing)
Mina Shaughnessy: Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing (1977) (Error analysis in the writing of college students)
James Britton: Language and Learning (1970) (Studies on the development of writing abilities)
No award given
Kenneth S. Goodman: (Studies in reading miscue analysis)
Roger Brown: A First Language: The Early Stages (1973) (A study of early acquisition of language)
Harold B. Allen: Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest (1973) (A study of dialect patterns in the upper Midwest)
No award given
Carol Chomsky: The Acquisition of Syntax in Children 5 to 10 (Studies on Acquisition of syntax in children from 5 to 10)
Albert H. Marckwardt (Extensive research in English linguistics, characterized by concern for implications and applications to the process of teaching)
Raven I. McDavid (Research in Regional and social dialects)
William Labov (A study of dialects and social stratification)
Walter Loban (Twelve-year longitudinal study of children’s language)
Wayne C. Booth (A study of the nature of fiction)
Ruth G. Strickland (Studies of children’s oral language)
Kellogg W. Hunt (Studies of the writing of children)