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Kohnen, Angela

Angela Kohnen
Associate Professor

School of Teaching and Learning
College of Education
University of Florida
2-288 Norman Hall
PO Box 117048
Gainesville, FL 32611

Research Biography

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.


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

Key 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


Principal Investigator, Teaching Students to Become Expert Information Seekers, School of Teaching and Learning IDC Funds, College of Education, University of Florida, 1 year, $10,000.

Principal Investigator, Future English Teachers’ Concepts of Writing and Writing Instruction, College Research Incentive Fund, College of Education, University of Florida, 1 year, $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)

Book Chapters

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.

Journal Articles

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.

Kohnen, A. M., & Saul, E. W. (2018). Information literacy in the Internet age: Making space for students’ intentional and incidental knowledge. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 61(6), 671-679.

Kohnen, A. M., & Whitacre, M. P. (2017). What makes professional development coherent? Uncovering the teacher perspective on a science literacy project. Action in Teacher Education, 39(4), 414-431.

Kohnen, A. M., & Saul, E. W. (2017). The Internet search strategies of highly successful college students. Journal of Literacy and Technology, 18(1), 1-34.

Kohnen, A. M. (2017). Middle and high school teacher responses to an authentic argument writing workshop. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 60(4), 433-441.

Kohnen, A. M., & English, C. (2016). In search of authentic argument. English Journal, 105, 59-65.

Kohnen, A. M. (2015). ‘They’re not keeping a journal of feelings’: Literacy initiatives and career and technical education. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 58(8), 658-667.

Lannin, A., Kohnen, A., Singer, N., Kline, K., Stokes, V. A., & Knowles, A. (2014). Welcoming new partnerships across the curriculum. English Journal, 104(2), 54-60.