Alan’s Bio

Alan 2

Greetings!  My name is Alan Brown, and I am Assistant Professor of English Education and the secondary education program director in the Department of Education at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Originally from Summerfield, N.C., I was a high school English teacher and basketball coach at Southwest Guilford High School before making the move to teacher education.  I received a B.S. in English and Secondary Education from Appalachian State University and an M.A.Ed. in English Education from Wake Forest University.  I completed my Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in secondary English education at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in the summer of 2012. I currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with my wife, Brandi, and our dog, Miley.

In WFU’s Department of Education, I teach the following courses: EDU 354/654: English Methods, EDU 231: Adolescent Literature, EDU 715: Action Research, EDU 758: Educational Leadership, EDU 377/677: Literacy in the 21st Century, and EDU 101: Issues and Trends in Education (with a focus on the impact of sports culture on K-12 schools). I also supervise the clinical exerperiences and student teaching internships of English language arts pre-service teachers.

My primary research interests include aspects of secondary teacher education, young adult literature, and adolescent literacy as well as various intersections of sport, literacy, education, and culture. My dissertation centered on the experiences of novice core content area teachers/athletic coaches in secondary schools, and I regularly present on topics that include engaging reluctant readers through extra-curricular interests (e.g., sports), connecting adolescents with out-of-school literacies, and mentoring pre-service and inservice academic teachers and athletic coaches.

I was invited to guest edit a themed issue of English Journal with Dr. Chris Crowe on the topic of sports and culture in the English classroom, which was published in the fall of 2014. My edited book, Developing Contemporary Literacies through Sports: A Guide for the English Classroom, co-edited with Luke Rodesiler, was published by NCTE Books in 2016.

I led my first after-school sports literacy program for 9th and 10th grade boys at Southwest Guilford High School in 2014. Currently, I lead a similar group for 8th grade boys with Wake Forest graduate student Wendell Dunn and teacher sponsor Bailey Allman. This program takes place at Paisley IB Magnet School in Winston-Salem, NC. You can find out a little about my inspiration for that program on this NCTE blog post, “Honoring Students’ Interests in Sports to Support Literacy Learning,” and learn more about the Paisley Sports Literacy Program in this Wake Forest News article. For other news stories about our sports literacy program, see my Student Projects and Collaborations page.

In November 2015, I was awarded the Conference on English Leadership (CEL) Innovative Leadership Award for my work connecting sports and literacy as well as my work with pre-service English teachers, including the “Future Is Now” session that I co-chair with Luke Rodesiler at the NCTE Annual Convention each year. In 2018, I was awarded the Faculty Service Excellence Award by Wake Forest University as well as named Champion of Change for Service and Social Action with Bailey Allman and Wendell Dunn by Wake Forest’s Office of Sustainability as a result of my work as an Academic and Community Engaged (ACE) Fellow for Wake Forest University’s Pro Humanitate Institute.

I hope you enjoy perusing the books and resources found on this blog.  My work with sports literacy began in 2010 as I began brainstorming my first sport sessions for NCTE and ALAN.  Since that time, sports literacy (see p. 3) has become one of my favorite hobbies and primary research interests.  It has afforded me many wonderful opportunities to collaborate, write, and present with teachers and scholars from across the country, not to mention some of my favorite young adult authors (see my publications and presentations page for more information).

WFU Faculty Profile:

Twitter: @Alando1423

Instagram: @Alando1423

ReadWriteThink Profile

For more information, please contact me via e-mail at

For the media:

Dr. Alan Brown is Assistant Professor of English Education at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a former high school English teacher who now serves as the secondary education director for Wake Forest University’s Department of Education. He earned a B.S. in English and Secondary Education from Appalachian State University, an M.A.Ed. in English Education from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in secondary English education from The University of Alabama. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on topics including action research, adolescent literacy, educational leadership, English methods, and young adult literature. His scholarly interests include working with secondary and college students as well as middle and high school teachers and athletic coaches to critically examine the culture of sports in schools and society while connecting contemporary literacies to students’ extra-curricular interests. He is the co-editor of Developing Contemporary Literacies through Sports (2016) and has published in journals including English Journal, The ALAN Review, SIGNAL Journal, Teacher Education Quarterly, Teacher Education and Practice, and Sport, Education and Society. He also supports the next generation of teachers through his work with pre-service teachers at Wake Forest University as well as his service to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). To learn more, visit his sports literacy blog at


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