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Sarah W. Beck

Associate Professor of English Education

Teaching and Learning

Sarah W. Beck is Associate Professor of English Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at NYU Steinhardt. A former teacher of English and writing at both the high school and college levels, she obtained her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology with a focus on language and literacy development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2002, where she also worked in HGSE’s Teacher Education Programs as supervisor and instructor of student teachers. Since coming to NYU, she has conducted research with NYC public school students and teachers on the teaching and learning of subject-specific literacy, and the nature of academic writing. Her research interests include writing instruction and assessment, adolescent writing development; urban education; and the development of knowledge for teaching among in-service and pre-service teachers. Dr. Beck’s research has been published in Research in the Teaching of EnglishEducational ResearcherJournal of Literacy ResearchCambridge Journal of EducationAssessing Writing, and the Yearbook of the National Reading Conference.

Selected Publications

  • Beck, S. & Godley, A. (2023). “What makes you, you:” The discursive construction of the self in U.S. college application essays. American Journal of Education, 129, 4, 539-564. [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Beck, S., & Jones, K. (2023).  Fostering agency through dialogue in classroom writing assessment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 124, 1-11.
  • Beck, S. & del Calvo, A. (2023) Using dialogic writing assessment to support historical literacy. Literacy, 57,1, 61-71. 10.1111/lit.12309
  • Storm, S., Jones, K, & Beck, S. (2022). Designing interpretive communities toward justice: Indexicality in classroom discourse. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 21, 1, 2-15.
  • Beck, S., Jones, K., Storm, S., Smith, H., Bennett, M., & Torres, R. (2021).  Moves that matter: Dialogic writing assessment and literary reading. English Teaching: Practice and critique, 20, 1, 1-15.
  • Beck, S., Jones, K., & Storm, S., & Smith, H. (2020). Scaffolding students’ writing processes through dialogic assessment. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 63, 6, 651-660.
  • Beck, S., Jones, K., & Storm, S. (2019). Equity-based writing assessment as structured improvisation. English Journal. 109, 2, 76-83.   
  • Beck, S. (2018). A think-aloud approach to writing assessment: Analyzing process and product with adolescent writers. Teachers College Press. [book]
  • Beck, S., Cavdar, D., & Wahrman, A. (2018). Learning to teach writing through dialogic assessment. English Education, 50, 4, 305-336.
  • Beck, S., Llosa, L., Black, K. & Anderson, A. T. G. (2018). From assessment to instruction in writing: What do high school teachers prioritize? Assessing Writing, 37, 68-77.
  • Beck, S. (2017). Educational innovation as re-mediation: A sociocultural perspective. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 16, 1, 29-39.
  • Beck, S., Llosa, L., Black, K., & Trzeszkowski-Giese, A. (2015). Beyond the rubric: Think-alouds as a diagnostic assessment tool for high school writing teachers. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 58, 8, 670-681.


English Education

Foster classroom environments where literacy flourishes, reading comes alive, and students develop personally and socially significant ideas.

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Doctoral Seminar in Written Discourse

Examines theory and research in the teaching of composition. Also considers the role of the practitioner in creating knowledge in the areas of composition teaching.
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Teaching and Learning