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English Education

(Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

The English Education programs at Virginia Tech meld traditional issues of teaching writing, language and literature with newly emerging practices and research in adolescent literacy, new literacies, multimodal technologies and teaching and learning in 21st-century classrooms.

Funding through Assistantships

75+ Credit Hours

100% Faculty Commitment

Intensive Research Opportunities

Our English Education Program

The School of Education at Virginia Tech offers a doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in English Education. The doctoral program is made up of full time and part-time doctoral students. Every effort is made to secure graduate assistantships for full time students as they complete their one year academic residency requirement. Prospective Students should contact Dr. Trevor Stewart to discuss their application.

Why Study English Education Here?

The English Education programs at Virginia Tech prepare English teachers, teacher educators, and scholars to be successful in the context of increasingly standardized education reforms. Working from the perspective that learning should be a generative act, faculty guide students in the exploration of concepts that make student-centered, dialogic approaches central constructs in the study of teaching and learning. Courses in the program focus on literacy development and consider the roles of language and culture in approaches to teaching that bring classroom content into dialogue with students’ lives in 21st century classrooms.

What You’ll Study
The English Education doctoral program emphasizes the following strands of research pertaining to English Education:

  • New literacies and adolescent learning
  • Adolescent literacy
  • The study of literature in k-12 contexts
  • The study of writing in k-12 contexts
  • Struggling/striving/reluctant/resistant readers and writers
  • Critical literacy

Doctoral Examinations and Dissertation
Students enrolled in the doctoral program must pass four exams as part of the degree requirements.

  • Scheduling Exams
  • Qualifying Exam
  • Preliminary Exam
  • Prospectus
  • Dissertation Defense

Plan of Study
During the second semester, and no later than the third semester of enrollment, the student and advisor should develop a proposed Plan of Study to submit to the Graduate School. The Plan of Study for English Education doctoral students must include the following minimum requirements:
Research: 15 hours (includes research practicum and required coursework)
Foundations: 9 hours
Concentration: 12 hours
Cognate: 9 hours
Dissertation: 30 hours

Career and Professional Development
Ph.D. program is primarily designed to prepare researchers and higher education faculty. The possible career paths could be but not limited to faculty positions in post-secondary education and for leadership positions in secondary education. The English Education programs at Virginia Tech meld traditional issues of teaching writing, language and literature with newly emerging practices and research in adolescent literacy, new literacies, multimodal technologies and teaching and learning in 21st century classrooms.

Blacksburg Campus
This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests

  • English education
  • Dialogic pedagogy
  • High-stakes testing
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Writing instruction and creativity

Trevor T Stewart, Associate Professor

Trevor T Stewart, Associate Professor

Research Interests

  • Rural education
  • Adolescent literacy
  • Place-based pedagogy
  • Special populations in rural communities

Amy Price Azano, Associate Professor

Amy Price Azano, Associate Professor

English Education Research Highlights

Azano, A. P. (2019). A place for local in critical global literacies. English Journal, 108(3), 108-110.

Azano, A. P., Tackett, M. E., & Sigmon, M. L. (2017). Understanding the puzzle behind the pictures: A content analysis of children’s picture books about autism. AERA Open, 3(2), 1-12.

Azano, A. P. (2015). Addressing the rural context in literacies research: A call to action. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 59(3), 267-269

Meth, J. M., & Azano, A. P. (2012). Negotiating the rub between cultures: Teacher talk and sustained shifts in practice. English Education, 44, 354-374

Stewart, T. T. (2018). Dialogue, inquiry, changing roles, and the dialogical self. In F. Meijers & H. Hermans (Eds.), The Dialogical self in education. Cultural psychology of education, Vol. 5, (pp. 35-47). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Boggs, G. L., Stewart, T. T., & Jansky, T. (2018). Economic relevance and planning for literacy instruction: Reconciling competing ideologies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 61(5), 553-565.

Stewart, T. T., & Boggs, G. L. (2016). Emerging dialogic structures in education reform: An analysis of urban teachers’ online compositions. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 4, 142-161.

Azano, A. P., & Stewart, T. T. (2015). Exploring place and practicing justice: Preparing pre-service teachers for success in rural schools. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 30(9), 1-12. 

Related Programs

Students interested in applying to the English Education (Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction) should contact the program leader, Dr. Trevor T. Stewart, by email at

Visit our office at Suite 201 in the Public Safety Building (0313), 330 Sterrett Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Domestic Application
Spring: January 1
Summer I: May 1
Summer II: June 1
*Fall:  August 1
International Application
Spring: September 1
Summer I: January 1
Summer II: February  1
*Fall: April 1
*Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: February 1


Trevor Stewart
Program Leader
1750 Kraft Drive, RM 2003 (0302)

School of Education (SOE) Programs

School of Education
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061