Dr. Burke Scarbrough

Burke Scarbrough headshot
Professional Title
English Program Coordinator, Teaching Communication Arts and Literature Program Contact, Associate Professor of English Education, Distinguished University Teaching Professor

Burke Scarbrough joined the UMD English faculty in 2012. In addition to coordinating the English program, he serves as advisor, methods instructor, and program contact for the Teaching Communication Arts & Literature program. He has taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral courses in the fields of English education, literature, writing, adolescent development, and social science research methods.

Prior to his academic life, he taught middle and high school English in New York City public schools as well as summer school drama, public speaking, and writing courses at a New England boarding school. These days, he stays connected to secondary schools by conducting classroom research in partnership with secondary English teachers and living vicariously through passionate UMD teacher candidates.

His research interests include secondary literacy pedagogy, literacy teaching collaborations and partnerships, and the role of summer in youth learning and development.

His teaching and advising have been recognized with numerous awards, including the University of Rochester’s Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, the UMD College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award for Tenure-Track Faculty, two UMD Student Awards for Outstanding Academic Advisor, the UMD Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the University of Minnesota’s Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Since 2017, he has served as editor (now co-editor) of the Minnesota English Journal, the refereed publication of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English. He also serves on the Editorial Review Boards of English Journal, published by the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, published by the International Literacy Association. He is currently President of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English.


Ph.D., Curriculum & Teaching, University of Rochester, 2012
M.A., English Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2004
B.A., English, Duke University, 2003

Courses Taught

ENGL 4902: Teaching Writing
ENGL 4922: Teaching Communication Arts and Literature
EDSE 4215: Teaching Reading and Literature, Grades 5-12
ENGL 4802: English Language for Educators
ENGL 4292: Literature into Film
ENGL 1101: Literature Appreciation
ENGL 2571: Contemporary Literature
ENGL 2906: Methods of Literary Study
WRIT 1120: College Writing
WRIT 3140: Advanced Writing: Social Sciences
EDUC 4500: Professional Issues and Ethics

Recent Publications

Scarbrough, B. (2022). For concurrent enrollment, collaboration, not alignment, is the better story. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 21(4), 443-454. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B. (2022). Meg Carney is still climbing. Minnesota English Journal, 57[ link ]

Scarbrough, B. (2021). "Silence signals consent": A review of The civically engaged classroom (book review). Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy65(2), 189-191. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B., Pieper, B., & Vetsch, H. (2018). Engaging banned and challenged books through role-play simulation. English Journal, 108(2), 74-83. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B. (2018). Centering students' voices in a public speaking genre study. Minnesota English Journal, 53. [ link ]

Wilson, M. A. F., & Scarbrough, B. (2018). Neoliberal contradictions in two private niches of educational 'choice.' Critical Studies in Education, 59(1), 74-92. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B. (2017). A summer of distinction: Exploring the construction of educational advantage outside the academic year. Curriculum Inquiry, 47(5), 481-503. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B. (2017). Elite schools: Multiple geographies of privilege (book review). Critical Questions in Education, 8(1), 71-74. [ link ]

Johnson, C. W., & Scarbrough, B. (2015). The role of video in a literacy collaboration to re-engage struggling students. In Ortlieb, E., Shanahan, L., & McVee, M. (Eds.), Literacy research, practice, and evaluation, vol. 6: Video research in disciplinary literacies (pp. 79-94). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Group. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B., & Allen, A.-R. (2014). Writing workshop revisited: Confronting communicative dilemmas through spoken word poetry in a high school English classroom. Journal of Literacy Research, 46, 475-505. [ link ]

Finnigan, K. S., & Scarbrough, B. (2013). Defining (and denying) diversity through inter-district choice. Journal of School Choice, 7(2), 142-162. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B. (2012). As bad as they say: Three decades of teaching in the Bronx (book review). Teachers College Record. [ link ]

Scarbrough, B., Baker, D., & Ares, N. (2010). Numeracy and youth cultural practices. In Ares, N. (Ed.), Youth-full productions: Cultural practices and constructions of content and social spaces (pp. 209-234). New York: Peter Lang. [ link ]