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O'Brien

David O'Brien

Professor
Ph.D., University of Georgia
Literacy Education

Curriculum and Instruction
Room 358 Peik Hall

159 Pillsbury Dr S E
Tel: 612-625-5337

Office hours:
by appointment

Areas of Interest

Adolescent literacy, literacy across disciplines, digital literacies: construction of supportive programs for adolescents and struggling adolescent readers, using literacy across the curriculum; using digital literacies to engage adolescents; bridging traditional print literacies with multimodal literacies and new media

Research Interests

My scholarship and teaching focus on the literacy practices of adolescents. I study how adolescents engage in literacy practices in support of learning with both traditonal print texts as multimodal texts and also how teachers learn to engage students in literacy practices with various text genres in middle and high school instruction.   Working from both socicultural and sociocognitive frameworks, I also explore how to motivate and engage “struggling” adolescent learners using various  technologies and multimodal texts.   I am currently collaborating with colleague Rick Beach in exploring how apps and other digital environments can be used to support the literacy learning of students in various disciplines.  Some of this work is highlighted in our blog,  Apps for Learning with Literacy  A forthcoming Routledge book on this topic, Using Apps for Learning Across the Curriculum:  A Literacy-Based Framework, will be available October 2014.  I am also embarking on a new project to implement and study a model, Strategic Engagement in Literacy, with colleague Deborah Dillon focusing on the systematic integration of motivation and engagement components into strategy instruction in literacy with middle school students who struggle in reading.  

Selected Publications

  1. Dillon, D. R., & O'Brien, D. G.  (2018).  Pragmatism [not just] Practicality as a Theoretical Framework in Literacy Research.  Alvermann, D.E., Unrau, N.J., & Ruddell, R.B. (Eds.). Theoretical models and processes of literacy (7th ed.) (pp. ).  Newark, DE: International Literacy Association & Routledge.Beach, R. and

  2. Beach, R. & O’Brien, D. (2018).  Significant literacy research informing English language arts instruction.  In D. Lapp & D. Fisher (Eds.) Handbook of Teaching the English Language Arts (4th ed.) [lead chapter].

  3. Nichols-Besel, K., Scharber, C., O'Brien, D. G., & Dillon, D. R. (2018). A space for boys and books: Guys Read book clubs. Children & Libraries16(2), 19-26.

  4. Dillon, D. R., O’Brien, D. G., Scharber, C., & Nichols-Besel, K. (2017).  Guys Read:  A summer library reading program for boys.  Children and Libraries, 15 (2), 3-8.

  5. O’Brien, D., & Ortmann, L. (2016).  Disciplinary literacy:  A multidisciplinary synthesis.  In K.A. Hinchman and D. Appleman (Eds.).  Adolescent Literacy: A Handbook of Practice-based Research. New York, NY: Guilford.

  6. O’Brien, D., & Rogers, T. (2015).  Sociocultural perspectives on Literacy and Learning.  In E. Anderman, and L. Corno (Eds.).  Handbook of Educational Psychology (3rd Ed.).  American Psychological Association.  New York:  Routledge

  7. Beach, R., & O'Brien (2015).  Using apps for learning across the curriculum:  A literacy-based framework.  New York: Routledge

  8. Beach, R. & O’Brien, D. (2015).  Fostering students’ science inquiry through app affordances of multimodality, collaboration, interactivity, and connectivity.  Reading and Writing Quarterly,  31(2), pp. 119-134

  9. Beach, R. & O’Brien, D. (2015).  Fostering students’ science inquiry through app affordances of multimodality, collaboration, interactivity, and connectivity.  Reading and Writing Quarterly,  31(2), pp. 119-134

  10. O’Brien, D. G., & Dillon, D. R. (2014).  The role of motivation in engaged reading of adolescents.  In K. A. Hinchman & H. S. Thomas (Eds.), Best practices in adolescent literacy instruction (2nd. Ed).  New York:  Guilford Press

Selected Presentations

  1. O’Brien, D. G., Lemanski, L., McDonald, M. Heinle, D. J., Dillon, D. R., Poch, R., Lee, Y., & Avery, P. (2019).  Advanced Placement Curricula:  Moving from Exclusion to Accesibility with Disciplinary Literacy.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association, April 5, 2019, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  2. O’Brien, D. G., McDonald, M., Poch, R., Dillon, D., Heinle, D.,Lee , Y. 2018).  “Do We Really Have to Read This?: An Argument for Text Accessibility in the Disciplines.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Indian Wells, CA. Nov. 28

  3. O’Brien, D. G., Dillon, D.R., Avery, P. G., Poch, R., Ortmann, L. L., VanDeventer, M. M., & Hylton, R. (2017).  A Disciplinary Literacy Framework Fostering Equity, Access, and Agency in a History International Baccalaureate Curriculum.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association, April 29, San Antonio, TX

  4. VanDeventer, M., Lemanski, L., & O’Brien, D. (2016).  Beyond the Textbook:  Reimagining Disciplinary Literacy in Teacher Education.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Nashville, TN.  Nov 30th – Dec 2nd 2016

  5. O’Brien, D. & Ortmann, L.  (2016).  A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Inquiry in Disciplinary Literacy.  Paper presented  at the Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Nashville, TN  Nov 30th—Dec.  2nd, 2016.

  6. O’Brien, D., & Ortmann, L. (2016).  Disciplinary Literacy:  A Multidisciplinary Synthesis from Traditional Artifacts of Learning to New Digital Landscapes.  Presentation as part of Alternative Session, “Can Practice-Based Adolescent Literacies Research Mobilze Social Transformation.” Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Nashville, TN Nov. 30th—Dec 2nd, 2016.

  7. Ortmann, L., O’Brien, D., and McDonald Van Deventer, M.  (2015).  The Role of Disciplinary Literacies to Engage Nontraditional IB History Students.  Paper presentation, Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA. December 2-16, 2015.

  8. McDonald Van Deventer, M. & O’Brien, D. (2015).  The Appification of Literacy.  Presentation in an alternative session:  New Literacies, Equity, Imagination and Research: How Have New Digital Media/Literacies Impacted Education, Society, and the Economy.  Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA.,  Dec 2-5, 2015.

  9. O’Brien, D., Ortmann, L., & Rummel, A. (2014).  Disciplinary Literacies:  Beyond the Print-Centric Era.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, Literacy Research Association, Marco Island, FL, December 5, 2014.