Angela Kohnen

Angela Kohnen 

Associate Professor

Angela Kohnen





PO Box 117048
Gainesville, FL 32611


Dr. Angela Kohnen is an Associate Professor in the area of literacy and English education. Her research is unified by an interest in the connections between literacy and identity, particularly for teachers and students in school settings. Outside of K-12 schools, we are in the midst of what some have called a literacy revolution, a time when young people read, write, and create at rates never before seen. The Internet makes it easier for young people to consume content and connect with people from nearly anywhere on the planet; technological tools make it possible for many adolescents to create and publish their own compositions in a variety of modes. Through her research, Dr. Kohnen seeks to understand how literacy instruction within K-12 schools addresses (or could address) these realities. More specifically, she asks questions about how teachers across content areas can teach writing in ways that promote thinking and identity development; she is interested in what written genres support student learning and development; and she researches effective ways to encourage curiosity in young people and support their information-seeking endeavors. She is currently leading efforts to create and study an interdisciplinary information literacy curriculum for eighth graders.

Prior to coming to UF, she taught high school in the St. Louis, Missouri area and subsequently worked at Missouri State University where she coordinated the English Education program and provided professional development to practicing teachers on the teaching of writing. Her research has appeared in the Reading Research Quarterly, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, English Education, and Linguistics and Education.


  • School of Teaching and Learning

Research Interests

Adolescent Literacy, Critical Literacy, Digital Literacy, English Education, Information Literacy, Media Literacy, Middle School / Jr. High, Multiliteracies, Professional Development, Qualitative Research, Secondary / High School Transition, Writing


  • Ph.D. University of Missouri-St. Louis, Education/Teaching and Learning Processes (English Education)M.Ed. University of Missouri-St. Louis, Secondary Education (English Education)B.A. Washington University, English and American Literature

Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, University of Florida, School of Teaching and Learning, 2015-present
  • Assistant Professor and Coordinator of English Education, Missouri State University, Department of English, 2012-2015

Activities and Honors

  • B.O. Smith Research Professorship, 2019-2021
  • Diane E. Haines Award for Teaching Excellence, 2018

Selected Grants

Teaching Students to Become Expert Information Seekers

  • PI
Funding Agency
  • School of Teaching and Learning IDC Funds, College of Education, University of Florida
Award Amount
  • $10,000

Future English Teachers' Concepts of Writing and Writing Instruction

  • PI
Funding Agency
  • College Research Incentive Fund, College of Education, University of Florida
Award Amount
  • $5,000

Selected Publications

  • Kohnen, A.M., & Saul, W. (in press). Thinking like a generalist: Strategies for a complex world. Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse Publishers. (winter 2020)
  • Lacy, A., & Kohnen, A. M. (in press). 'Why can't they test us on this?': Transforming intensive reading instruction. In J. Dyches, B. Sams, & A. Boyd (Eds.), Acts of resistance: Subversive teaching in the ELA context. Gorham, ME: Myers Education Press.
  • Polman, J. L., Kohnen, A. M., Whitacre, M., Gebre, E., & Davidson, R. (2017). Teachers adapting curricular designs through work with students over time. In C. DiSalvo, E. Bonsignore, J. Yip, & B. DiSalvo (Eds.), Participatory design for learning (pp. 59-70). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Kohnen, A. M., Saul, E. W., & Singer, N. (2016). Developing support for teachers and students in secondary science classrooms through writing criteria. In S. Plane, C. Bazerman, F. Rondelli, C. Donahue, A. N. Applebee, C. Bore, P. Carlino, M. Marquillo Larruy, P. Rogers, & D. Russell (Eds.), Recherches en écritures: Regards pluriels (Writing research from multiple perspectives) (pp. 211-232). Lorraine, France: Centre de Recherche sur les Médiations.
  • Saul, E. W., Newman, A., & Kohnen, A. (2014). STEM literacy through science journalism: Driving and communicating along the information highway. In R. E. Yager & H. Brunkhorst (Eds.), Exemplary STEM programs: Designs for success (pp. 143-161). Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.
  • Kohnen, A. M. (2019). Becoming a teacher of writing: An analysis of the identity resources offered to preservice teachers across contexts. English Education, 51(4), 348-375.
  • Kohnen, A. M. (2019). Teaching online research as a critical literacy skill. English Journal, 108(5), 25-30.
  • Kohnen, A. M., & Mertens, G.M. (2019). 'I'm always kind of double-checking': Exploring the information-seeking identities of expert generalists. Reading Research Quarterly, 54(3), 279-298. doi:10.1002/rrq.245
  • Kohnen, A. M., & Lacy, A. (2018). 'They don't see us otherwise': A discourse analysis of marginalized students critiquing the local news. Linguistics and Education, 46, 102-112.
  • Kohnen, A. M., & Saul, E. W. (2018). Literacy instruction for life online. Phi Delta Kappan, 99(6), 33-38.