Key Professional Appointments

Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, 2002 - present

Academic Leadership Program Fellow Council on Institutional Cooperation, 2003 - 2004

Associate Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, 1997 - 2002

Center for Advanced Study Fellow University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997 - 1998

Assistant Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, 1991 - 1997

Faculty Fellow College of Education, 1995 - 1996


Ph.D., Education, Ohio State University, 1990

M.A., Education, Ohio State University, 1975

B.S., Elementary Education, Kent State University, 1974


Garcia63rd Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association, G., & Willis, A. (2015). Frameworks for Promoting Multicultural Literacies: Moving Toward Educational Justice Reconceptualizing Literacy in the New Age of Multiculturalism and Pluralism, 2nd ed ( 2nd ed pp. 3 - 38). Charlotte, NC, USA: Information Age Publishing.

Willis, A. Classroom conversations in the study of race and social and educational inequalities: A review of related research Review of Education Research.

Willis, A. (2018). Re-positioning Race in English Language Arts Research. Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts Research, 4th ed ( vol. IV, pp. pp. 30- 56). New York, USA: Routledge.  link >

Willis, A. (2008). Reading comprehension research and testing in the US: Undercurrents of race, class, and power in the struggle for meaning Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Willis, A., Montovan, M., Burke, L., Hunter, C., Herrera, A., & Hall, H. (2008). On critically conscious research: Approaches to language and literacy research New York: Teachers College Press.

Willis, A. (2007). Critical race theory and literacy. Encyclopedia of language and education ( 2nd ed pp. 15-28). New York: Springer Science + Business Media.

Willis, A., & Harris, V. (2003). Afterword. Multicultural issues in literacy research and practice ( pp. 289-296). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Willis, A., Garcia, G., Barrera, R., & Harris, V. (2003). Multicultural issues in literacy research and practice Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Willis, A. (2002). Literacy at Calhoun Colored School, 1892-1943. Reading Research Quarterly, 37 (1), 8-44.

Merchant, B., & Willis, A. (2001). Multiple and intersecting identities in qualitative research Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Willis, A. (2001). Rocks in the brook: A teacher educator's self study. Reconceptualizing literacy in the new age of pluralism and multiculuralism ( vol. Vol. 9. Advances in reading/ language research,). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Willis, A., & Harris, V. (2000). Political acts: Literacy learning and teaching. Reading Research Quarterly, 35 (1), 72-88.

Willis, A., & Johnson, J. (2000). A horizon of possibilities: A critical framework for transforming multiethnic literature instruction Reading Online, 4 (3).  link >

Willis, A. (1998). (1998). Teaching and using multicultural literature in grades 9-12: Moving beyond the canon Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

Willis, A., & Harris, V. (1997). Expanding the boundaries: A reaction to the First Grade Reading Studies. Reading Research Quarterly, 32 (4), 439-445.

Willis, A. (1995). Reading the world: Contextualizing the school literacy experiences of a young African-American male. Harvard Educational Review, 65 (1), 30-49.


Discussant."Adolescent literacy."During the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, (2012).: San Diego, CA.

Critical Consciousness in Langauge and Literacy Research (2012).: Las Vegas, NV.


Tchg Diverse High School Stu (CI 403) Examines the curriculum and philosophy of teaching students in high school grades. Students will focus on a number of related topics including teaching a diverse student population, including all students in instruction, using technology for teaching high school English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies and alternative means of assessing students' learning. Seminar content will be integrated with coursework in instructional technology, assessment, and special education with high school students. Coursework is integrated with a high school field experience. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.

Tchg and Assessing Sec Sch Stu (CI 404) Emphasizes the practical application of theory and recommended practices for developing curriculum, teaching, and assessing learning in the middle and senior high school years. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.

Culture in the Classroom (CI 446) Explores cultural, political, and social factors that affect learning and teaching. Introduces students to the fields of educational anthropology and multicultural education and to the application of cultural information to curriculum development and classroom practice. The 3-hour undergraduate version and 4-hour graduate version meet the Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students requirement for Bilingual and/or ESL Teaching Approval or Endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education. 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 4 graduate hours.

Crit Theory in Lit Research (CI 507) Intensive examination of problems and trends in the subject fields. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 8 hours.

Issues & Trends in Reading (CI 570) The timing of beginning reading, the influence of certain linguistic findings on methodology and terminology in instructional materials, and the influence of research on methodology are addressed in a way that provides a historical perspective for evaluating the merit of emerging issues and trends.

Willis, Arlette

Professor, Curriculum & Instruction



307 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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