Leveraging Collaborative Expertise: Social Studies Teachers’ Perspectives of Disciplinary Literacy Instruction

Yongjun Lee, Laura M. Lemanski, Megan M. Van Deventer, David G. O’Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study aims to augment the current understanding of how practicing teachers perceive and implement disciplinary literacy and in what ways they collaborate with researchers in a disciplinary literacy project. To do this, we collected and analyzed transcripts of the meetings from a disciplinary literacy project that was a university-school partnership between history teachers, literacy education researchers, and social studies education researchers. To analyze our data, we applied a constant comparative method and identified three salient themes: collaboration, text use, and instructional practice. Specifically, the teachers cited that the triangular structure of the collaborative expertise of teachers, literacy, and social studies education researchers was useful in constructing professional and instructional knowledge. In terms of text use, teachers expressed that the intentional selection and teaching of multiple and multimodal texts provided diverse perspectives and supported the various ways in which students read and learn. Finally, concerning instructional practice, the teachers revealed that disciplinary literacy and thinking skills should be intentionally taught and that methods for enhancing discipline-specific motivation should be considered. Based on these findings, key issues and implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-241
Number of pages22
JournalLiteracy Research and Instruction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 24 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Research reported in this publication was supported by The Guy Bond Chair in Reading. College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers.


  • Disciplinary literacy
  • collaboration
  • content area literacy
  • professional development
  • social studies


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