Dr. Michael Smith's research and teaching focus on adolescent literacy, an interest he developed in his eleven years of teaching high school English. More specifically, his research and teaching have centered on how experienced readers read and talk about texts as well as on what motivates adolescents’ reading and writing both in and out of school. He has used what he has learned to think about how to devise more effective and engaging reading and writing instruction. He has reported his research and the instructional ideas derived from them in a variety of articles and chapters and in 17 books or monographs, including Reading Don't Fix No Chevys and Reading Unbound, both of which won the David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English.

Research Interests

  • Literacy
  • Reading
  • Writing

Courses Taught




EDUC 0809

Race and Diversity in Children's and Young Adult Books: Reading Between the Lines


EDUC 8279

Found Theor Res Writing


MGSE 2111

Applications of Teaching and Learning Theories to Classroom Practice (grades 4-12)


Selected Publications