George Newell, Ph.D.

Contact Information:

E-mail: newell.2@osu.edu
Office: 267 Arps
Phone: (614) 292-1844
Fax: (614) 292-7695

Mailing Address:

1945 N. High St.

Columbus, OH 43210-1172


While teaching high school English, I completed a master’s degree in English education at the University of Pittsburgh. These experiences led me to the then emerging field of written composition, an area of teaching and educational research that I haveĀ  pursued throughout my academic life. As a graduate student, I worked as a research assistant for the National Study of Secondary School Writing, taught in the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and received my Ph.D. in Programs in Writing, Reading, and Language from Stanford University in 1983. My first academic position was teaching college composition. I received tenure as an English education professor at the University of Kentucky, and then arrived at The Ohio State University where I have been an English education and Adolescent Literacies professor since 1989. I currently teach courses in the English language arts teacher education program on topics such as the teaching of writing, the teaching of literature, and teacher-inquiry. I teach other graduate level courses on “Multiple Literacies and Technology” and “Research and Theory in Teaching and Teacher Education.” I also co-direct (with Dr. David Bloome) the Columbus Area Writing Project (CAWP) and offer a workshop in “Teaching Digital Multimodal Composition” as part of CAWP’s professional development program. I live in northwest Columbus with my wife, Mary Jo. We have two sons, George Jr. and Michael.

Research Biography

My research has focused generally on investigations of the contexts of schooling and the cognitive, linguistic, and semiotics demands of school tasks, especially composing (in multimodalities) and learning in English and the content areas; examining the kinds of instructional support provided in undertaking those tasks; and assessing the knowledge and skills that result. My other more recent projects have included studies of how teachers’ conceptions of argumentation shape their writing instruction and teaching and learning of multimodal digital composition in the English language arts classroom. For a number of years I have used activity theory to examine the contexts for learning to teach secondary English, the development of early career English teachers, and the nature of the support and mentoring they receive for such development. I have published in English Journal, English Education, Research in the Teaching of English, The Journal of Literacy Research, and Written Communication.