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Dana A. Robertson

Dana A. Robertson, Associate Professor

Dana A. Robertson, Associate Professor
Dana A. Robertson, Associate Professor and Program Leader, Reading & Literacy Education

School of Education
1750 Kraft Drive
Room 2020 (0302)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-2221 |


Dana A. Robertson is an associate professor of reading and literacy in the School of Education at Virginia Tech and is the Program Leader for the Reading and Literacy Education Program.

He is a former classroom teacher, literacy specialist, and literacy coach. Dr. Robertson has conducted research focused on classroom discourse and oral language, comprehension instruction, reading and writing challenges, literacy coaching, and teacher professional learning. He was named an Emerging Scholar with the Reading Hall of Fame. He has also been awarded the Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, the Marvin Millgate Engaged Faculty Award, and the Mary Garland Early Career Fellowship, all from the University of Wyoming. He currently serves as a Board Member of both the International Literacy Association and the Literacy Research Association, and he is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences, and he was a collaborator on the International Literacy Association’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals–2017. Dr. Robertson has co-authored two books and four chapters and has published in several journals, including Journal of Literacy Research, Theory Into Practice, Professional Development in Education, The Reading Teacher, Reading Psychology, Language Arts, Voices From the Middle, and Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.

  • Literacy Coaching   
  • Literacy Professional Development
  • Reading and Writing Challenges
  • Comprehension
  • Content-Focused Literacy Instruction
  • EdD in Developmental Studies: Literacy and Language, Boston University                           
  • MEd in Elementary Education, University of Massachusetts - Boston                                                  
  • BA in Music Performance, Berklee College of Music
  • Board Member-At-Large, International Literacy Association
  • Board Member-At-Large, Literacy Research Association
  • Area Chair Best Paper Award, In-service Teacher Education/Professional Development in Literacy (Area 2), Literacy Research Association Annual Conference, 2020
  • Everett D. and Elizabeth Lantz Distinguished Professorship in Education, University of Wyoming, 2019-2021
  • John P. “Jack” Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, University of Wyoming, 2019
  • Marvin Millgate Engaged Faculty Award, University of Wyoming, 2019
  • Excellence in Writing Fellow, University of Wyoming, 2017
  • Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions Toward Improving Climate, University of Wyoming, 2015
  • Mary Garland Early Career Fellowship Award, University of Wyoming, 2014
  • Reading Hall of Fame Emerging Scholar, IRA/LRA Reading Hall of Fame, 2013
  • Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society, Boston University Chapter, 2010
  • Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society, Boston University Chapter, 2007Award or Honor, Year


  • Robertson, D. A., Hall, L. A., & Brock, C. H. (Eds.). (forthcoming). Innovation, Equity, and Sustainability in Literacy Professional Learning. Guilford Press.
  • Robertson, D. A., Ford-Connors, E., & Dougherty, S. (2017). Engaging readers: Supporting all students in knowledge-driven reading, grades 4-8. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Paratore, J. R., & Robertson, D. A. (2013). Talk that teaches: Using strategic talk to help students achieve the Common Core (Teaching Practices that Work Series). Guilford Press.

Journal Articles

Petersen, D. B., Spencer, T. D., Konishi, A., Foster, M. E., & Robertson, D. A. (2020). Using parallel narrative-based measures to examine the relationship between listening and reading comprehension. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(4), 1097-1011.

Ives, S., Parsons, S. A., Parsons, A. W., Robertson, D. A., Daoud, N., Young, C., & Polk, L. (2020). Measures of elementary students’ motivation to read and genre preferences. Reading Psychology, 41(7).

Robertson, D. A., Padesky, L.*, Ford-Connors, E., & Paratore, J. R. (2020). What does it mean to say coaching is relational? Journal of Literacy Research, 52, 55-78.  https://10.1177/1086296X19896632

Robertson, D. A., Ford-Connors, E., Frahm, T.*, Bock, K., Paratore, J. R. (2020). Unpacking productive coaching interactions: Identifying coaching approaches that supports instructional uptake. Professional Development in Education, 46, 405-423.

Robertson, D. A., Padesky, L.*, & Brock, C. H. (2019). Cultivating student agency through teacher professional development. Theory Into Practice, 59, 192-201. https://doi/org/10.1080/00405841.2019.1705090

Welsh, K., Brock, C., Robertson, D. A., & Thrailkill, L.* (2019). Disciplinary literacy in a 2nd grade classroom: A science inquiry unit. The Reading Teacher, 73, 723-734.

Robertson, D. A., & Padesky, C. J.* (2019). Keeping students interested: A case for interest-based instruction to motivate and engage students in reading and writing. The Reading Teacher, 73, 575-586.

Brock, C. H., Robertson, D. A., & Borti, A.*, Gillis, V. G. (2019). Evolving identities: Exploring leaders’ positioning in the birth of a professional literacy collaboration. Professional Development in Education.

Leighton, C. M., Ford-Connors, E., Robertson, D. A., Wyatt, J., Wagner, C. J., Proctor, C. P. & Paratore, J. R. (2018). “Let’s FaceTime tonight:” Using digital tools to enhance coaching. The Reading Teacher, 72, 39-49.

Ford-Connors, E., & Robertson, D. A. (2017). What do I say next? Using the third turn to build productive instructional discussions. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 61(2), 131-139. (h-index = 35, Q2, impact factor = 1.177)

Ford-Connors, E., Robertson, D. A., & Paratore, J. R. (2016). Classroom talk as (in-)formative assessment. Voices From the Middle, 23(3), 50-57.

Ford-Connors, E., Dougherty, S., Robertson, D. A., & Paratore, J. R. (2015). Mediating complex texts for the upper grades: Considering motivation, instructional intensity, and cognitive challenge. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(8), 648-657. /jaal.418

Robertson, D. A., Ford-Connors, E., & Paratore, J. R. (2014). Coaching teachers’ talk during vocabulary and comprehension instruction. Language Arts, 91(6), 416-428.

Robertson, D. A., Dougherty, S., Ford-Connors, E., & Paratore, J. R. (2014). Re-envisioning instruction: Mediating complex text for older readers. The Reading Teacher, 67(7), 547-559.

Robertson, D. A. (2013). Teacher talk: One teacher’s reflections during comprehension strategies instruction. Reading Psychology, 34(6), 523-549.

Grimaldi, S., & Robertson, D. A. (2011). One district's RTI journey and IRA's guiding principles: The roads converge. New England Reading Association Journal, 47(1), 18-26.

Book Chapters

  • Robertson, D. A. (2021). Explicit teaching. In S. Parsons & M. Vaughn (Eds.), Principles of effective literacy instruction (pp. 136-149). Guilford.
  • Robertson, D. A., Ford-Connors, E., Dougherty, S., & Paratore, J. R. (2020). Re-conceptualizing literacy instruction to accelerate. In E. Ortlieb, S. Grote-Garcia, J. Cassidy, & E. H. Cheek, Jr. (Eds.), What’s hot in literacy: Exemplar models of effective practice (Literacy Research, Practice, and Evaluation, Vol. 11, pp. 141-157). Emerald Publishing.
  • Ossa-Parra, M., Wagner, C., Proctor, C. P., Leighton, C., Robertson, D. A., Paratore, J. R., & Ford-Connors, E. (2016). Dialogic reasoning: Supporting emergent bilingual students’ language and literacy development. In C. P. Proctor, A. Boardman, & E. Hiebert (Eds.), Teaching emergent bilingual students: Flexible approaches in an era of new standards. Guilford Press.
  • Ford-Connors, E., Robertson, D. A., Leighton, C., Paratore, J. R., Proctor, C. P., & Carney, M. (2015). Comprehension instruction within the context of the Common Core Standards. In S. R. Parris & K. Headley (Eds.), Comprehension instruction: Research-based practices (3rd ed., pp. 105-122). Guilford Press.

Invited Publications

  • Robertson, D. A. (2021). How to end the reading wars and serve the literacy needs of all students (book review). Teachers College Record.
  • Fang, Z., & Robertson, D. A. (2020). Unpacking and operationalizing disciplinary literacy: A review of disciplinary literacy inquiry and instruction (book review). Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 64, 240-242.
  • Leighton, C. M., Ford-Connors, E., & Robertson, D. A. (October 2019). Using Digital Tools to Enhance Literacy Coaching. International Literacy Association digital brief database 
  • Ford-Connors, E., & Robertson, D. A. (2017, July/August). Teacher talk as an instructional tool: Tips for making use of the “third turn.” Literacy Today, 35(1), 34-35.
  • Robertson, D. A., Ford-Connors, E., Dougherty, S., & Paratore, J. R. (2015). Teaching that connects: The importance of coherence in accelerating students’ achievement. The Oklahoma Reader, 51(2), 6-11.

Standards and State-Level Policy Documents

  • Brock, C. H., Carter, R., Callaway, B., Corner, T., Gearin, B., Gilbertson, A., Hallam, A., Hamel, S., Hickman, B., Hill, J., Hunt, T., Jesse, D., McWhirter, K., Pusateri-Lane, L., Pzinski, E., Reyes, A., Robertson, D. A., Shebby, S., Shipley, S., Simpson, J., & Symes, B. (2021). K–3 literacy guidance framework: Instruction, assessment, and intervention. Region 11 Comprehensive Center, McREL International. (authorship listed alphabetically)
  • International Literacy Association. (2018). Standards for the preparation of literacy professionals 2017. Author.

Other Professional Development Modules

  • Hunt, T., Robertson, D. A., Carter, R., & Lyman, B. Understanding dyslexia. Alexa® Skill.

Featured Books