Jo Worthy

Jo Worthy

Professor, C&I Graduate Advisor

Language & Literacy Studies


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 436A
Monday: 1-4
Wednesday: 1-4
Thursday: 1-4
Please email me for an appointment

(512) 565-8638

(512) 471-8460

Courses of Instruction
Research in Reading
Foundations of Educational Research
Methods of Reading Instruction
Reading Difficulties
The Importance of Interest in Learning and Life (Freshman Signature Course)

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Curriculum & Instruction
1 University Station
Austin, TX 78712-0379
UT Mail Code: D5700


Jo Worthy, a former elementary and middle school teacher, is in the language and literacy program area. She teaches classes focusing on literacy development, pedagogy, and research in the teacher preparation and graduate programs. Her major research and teaching interests are reading interests and preferences, alternatives to ability grouping, and bilingual education. 


PhD, University of Virginia

Representative Publications


Representative Recent Publications

Worthy, J., Durán, L., Hikida, M., Pruitt, A., & Peterson, K. (2013). Spaces for dynamic bilingualism in read-aloud discussions: Developing and strengthening bilingual and academic skills. Bilingual Research Journal, 36, 311-328. 

Maloch, B., Worthy, J., Hampton, A., Jordan, M., Hungerford, H., & Semingson, P. (2013). Portraits of practice:  A cross-Case analysis of two first grade teachers and their grouping practices. Research in the Teaching of English, 47, 277-312.

Worthy, J., Chamberlain, K., Peterson, K., Sharp, C., & Shuh, P. (2012). The importance of read-aloud and dialogue in an era of narrowed curriculum: Literature discussions in a second-grade classroom. Literacy Research and Instruction.

Worthy, J., Consalvo, A. L., Bogard, T., Russell, K. W., & Shipman, S. (2012). Restorying: Fostering academic and social growth in a primary literacy workshop: Elementary School Journal, 112, 568-589.

Worthy, J., Consalvo, A., Russell, K., & Bogard, T. (2011). Spaces for academic and interpersonal growth in a primary literacy workshop classroom. 60th Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association (pp. 309-321). 

Worthy, J. (2010). Only the names have been changed: Ability grouping revisited. Urban Review, 42, 271-295.

Worthy, J. (2009). Tracking and ability grouping. In L. Christenson, R. Bomer, and P.Smagorinsky (Eds.). Handbook of Adolescent Literacy Research. New York: Guilford.

Cuero, K., Worthy, J., & Rodriguez, A. (2009). Middle school choices for bilingual Latino/a youth: When the magnet school represents “status” and the neighborhood school represents “solidarity.” The Urban Review, 41, 251-269.

Recent Awards

  • Elizabeth Shatto Massey Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, 2006-2007

Current Research Projects and Grants

Current Projects:

Language practices and attitudes of bilingual young adults:A longitudinal study of factors that influence Spanish maintenance and bilingualism

Language practices and ideologies of fifth graders in a supportive bilingual classroom (with Michiko Hikida, Leah Durán, Alina Pruitt, and Molly Wiebe)


Research Interests and Expertise

Alternatives to Ability Grouping

Reading Interests and Preferences

Students Who Find School Challenging

Bilingual Education

Boards, Committees and Associations

  • Co-editor of National Reading Conference (NRC) Yearbook: 2000-2006
  • Editorial Review Boards: Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, The Reading Teacher
  • Journal Reviewing: Elementary School Journal, Reading Research Quarterly, National Reading Conference Yearbook
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), Division C Secretary, 2006-2008
  • AERA program chair for Division C, Section I, 2005-2006
  • McCarthey-Dressman Educational Foundation, 1999-2013
  • Associate Editor of Educational Researcher, 1998-2000