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

Awards, Honors, Associations

John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarship, American Education Research Associatiion, 2019 - 2019

Recipient, Fulbright Scholar Award, Institute of International Education, 2013 - 2013

Recipient, College of Education, Distinguished Teaching Career Award, 2010 - 2012

University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002 - 2003

Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 - 2001

Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Honorable Mention, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000 - 2000

Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, College of Education, 2000 - 2000

University Scholar Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000 - 2000

Distinguished Scholar Award, College of Education, 1999 - 1999

Outstanding Researcher, American Educational Research Association, 1998 - 1998


Willis, A. (2019). Race, Response to Intervention, and Reading Research. Journal of Literacy Research, 51 (4), 1-26.  link >

Willis, A. (2019). Response to Intervention: An illusion of equity. Language Arts, 97 (2), 83-96.

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.

Willis, K., & Willis, A. Applying Critical Race Theory as a Tool for Examining the Literacies of Black Immigrant Youth Clarifying the Role of Race in the Literacies of Black Immigrant Youth New York, NY, USA: Teachers College Record Yearbook.

Willis, A., Kirkwood, M., Nalubega-Booker, K., Nasr, M., & Bustos, L. (2019). “We’ve Been Doing It Your Way Long Enough” Choosing the culturally relevant classroom. ( 3 ed vol. 121,). New York, NY, USA: Teachers College Record.

Smagorinksy, P., Ellison, T., Guay, M., & , A. The Effects of Social Contexts on Readers and How they are Positioned in School: Minoritized Readers and the Consequences of Assignment and Assessment. Handbook of Reading Research ( vol. V,). New York, NY, USA: Routledge.


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.


Literacy Research Association, Past President Ad Hoc Committee, 2018 - 2019

Co-Editor, American Educational Research Association, 2010 - 2013

Vice President, Vice President, Literacy Research Association, 2012 - 2012

Vice-President Elect, Literacy Research Association, 2011 - 2011

President, National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, 2008 - 2009

Associate Editor, The New Advocate, 2002 - 2003

Funding Board Member, Dissertation Fellowship Program, The Spencer Foundation, 2002 - 2003

Reviewer, Institute of Education Sciences, 2002 - 2002


Tchg Diverse High School Stu (CI 403) Students in English Education only.

Tchg and Assessing Sec Sch Stu (CI 404) Section E: Reserved for students in English Education.

Tchg and Assessing Sec Sch Stu (CI 404) Section E2: Reserved for students in English Education.

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.

Crit Theory in Lit Research (CI 507) Intensive examination of problems and trends in the subject fields.

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.

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Professor, Curriculum & Instruction



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

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