Arthur Applebee

Distinguished Professor

Center on English Learning And Achievement

PHONE : (518) 442-5020
FAX: (518) 442-5008

Dr. Arthur Applebee


Arthur N. Applebee is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Education, Chair of the Department of Educational Theory & Practice, and Director of the Center on English Learning & Achievement. He joined the faculty at the University at Albany in 1987, as part of a SUNY-wide Graduate Research Initiative designed to place the University at Albany at the forefront of literacy research in the United States.

With degrees from Yale, Harvard, and the University of London, Applebee’s work focuses on how children and adults learn the many specialized forms of language required for success in school subjects, life, and work. In particular, his research has reframed the ways in which both scholars and practitioners think about critical issues in language learning. Since the early 1970s, he has also worked as an advisor to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, helping to design, implement, interpret, and report a continuing series of evaluations of the educational attainment of U.S. students.

His first book Tradition and Reform in the Teaching of English (1974) became a classic in its field, and the many other books, National Assessment monographs, and reports, articles, and book chapters that have followed have been equally influential in the United States and across the world. The Child’s Concept of Story (University of Chicago, 1978); Writing in the Secondary School (NCTE, 1981); How Writing Shapes Thinking (with J. Langer, NCTE, 1987); Literature in the Secondary School (NCTE, 1993); and Curriculum as Conversation (University of Chicago, 1996) have been particularly influential on scholarship in his field. His newest book (with J. Langer) is Writing Instruction that Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms (Teachers College Press, 2013).

Applebee advises at international, national, state, and local levels on effective approaches to language and literacy education, and was a member of the Validation Committee for the Common Core State Standards. Applebee was editor of Research in the Teaching of English (the premier scholarly journal in his field) for 8 years and has served on the editorial board or as a reviewer for another 18 national and international scholarly journals. He is a past president of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy and has been recognized for the cumulative contribution of his work by election to the International Reading Hall of Fame, by the David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English, and by his appointment as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He has also been a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, and received the SUNY Chancellor’s award for Research Excellence.

Applebee has written 24 books and monographs, over 100 journal articles and other publications, and is the most frequently cited author in the research handbooks in English language arts. Applebee’s research has received external funding since 1979 from a variety of sources, for a cumulative career total of over $27 million.