Applebee Award Honors Research on Bilingual Reading Textbooks

side by side photos of Leah Durán smiling with long red reddish hair and gray sleeveless top and Lucía Cárdenas Curiel smiling with long curly brown hair with red top and black jacket
Leah Durán and Lucía Cárdenas Curiel

Albany, NY (December 1, 2022) – Two scholars were recognized with the Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy this year. Lucía Cárdenas Curiel and Leah Durán published “A Historical Inquiry into Bilingual Reading Textbooks: Coloniality and Biliteracy at the Turn of the 20th Century” in Reading Research Quarterly. The article explores the opportunities for learning offered by bilingual reading textbooks in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War, an important analysis with implications for today’s textbook development across the globe.

The Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy, made possible through a UAlbany endowment established in memory of Distinguished Professor Arthur Applebee, is given annually to honor an outstanding and influential article in literacy research published in a refereed journal in the previous calendar year.  It is the first international award offered by the University at Albany. The award was created through a partnership between the School of Education and the Literacy Research Association (LRA), the premier organization for literacy research.

Lucía Cárdenas Curiel is an assistant professor in the College of Education, Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of pedagogical knowledge, literacies, and linguistic repertoires, which allow engagement from the classroom to teacher education programs and to research and theory. Leah Durán is an associate professor in the College of Education, Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on approaches to literacy teaching and learning that build on the linguistic resources of bi/multilingual students.

Until his retirement in August 2015, Applebee was a SUNY Distinguished Professor in UAlbany’s School of Education, Chair of the School’s Department of Educational Theory & Practice, and Director of the Center on English Learning & Achievement. He joined the School of Education in 1987. With degrees from Yale, Harvard, and the University of London, Applebee’s work focused on how children and adults learn the many specialized forms of language required for success in school, life, and work. His research reframed the ways in which both scholars and practitioners think about critical issues in language learning by interconnecting reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and learning across disciplines. Since the early 1970s, he 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.

He has an extraordinary record of academic accomplishment—countless students; 25 books and monographs; over 100 articles and other publications; leadership roles at all levels of education; editorial work; seminal texts in areas related to language, literacy, and learning; $27 million dollars in external funding; and designation as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association—a highly selective honor by the premiere association for educational researchers in the world.