University at Buffalo

John Z. Strong

John Z. Strong

Assistant Professor


Specialty/Research Focus

Achievement; Assessment; Elementary Education; English Education; Curriculum and Instruction; Equity and Poverty; Literacy; Reading Instruction; Evaluation; Writing Instruction; Race, Inequality, and Education; Standards; Quantitative Research Methods; Research Design; Research Methods

Contact Information
571 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: 716-645-4044

View CV

Professional Summary:

John Z. Strong, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Literacy Education in the Department of Learning and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo. A former high school English language arts teacher, his research interests include reading comprehension, text complexity, text structure, and writing. His research focuses on the development of integrated reading and writing interventions to support elementary and secondary students' understanding of complex texts, with an emphasis on the role of text structure knowledge in reading and writing. His research emphasizes equitable literacy instruction and improving literacy achievement for diverse populations of students who are traditionally underserved by public schools.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, University of Delaware, Education (2019)
  • MEd, University of Delaware, Reading (2014)
  • BA, University of Delaware, English Education (2010)
Awards and Honors:
  • Emerging Scholars Fellowship; Reading Hall of Fame; 2020-08-03;
  • 2020 ILA Timothy & Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award; International Literacy Association; 2020-07-28;
  • 2018 ILA Steven A. Stahl Research Grant; International Literacy Association; 2018-07-21;
Recent Publications:
  • Lewis, W. E. & Strong, J. Z. (2021). Literacy instruction with disciplinary texts: Strategies for grades 6-12. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Walpole, S., McKenna, M. C., Philippakos, Z. A., & Strong, J. Z. (2020). Differentiated literacy instruction in grades 4 and 5: Strategies and resources (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
Journal Article:
  • Strong, J. Z. (2022). Measuring text structure awareness in upper elementary grades. Reading & Writing Quarterly. Advance online publication.
  • Strong, J. Z. (2020). Investigating a text structure intervention for reading and writing in grades 4 and 5. Reading Research Quarterly, 55(4), 545– 551.
  • Lupo, S. M., Tortorelli, L., Invernizzi, M., Ryoo, J. H., & Strong, J. Z. (2019). An exploration of text difficulty and knowledge support on adolescents’ comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 54(4), 457– 479.
Recent Presentations:
  • Lupo, S. M., Strong, J. Z., Hattan, C., & Tortorelli, L. (2021, December). A framework for supporting students in reading complex texts. In S. M. Lupo (Chair), Theories to practices: Scaffolding students’ reading of complex texts. Alternative format session conducted at the Literacy Research Association 71st Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.;
  • Strong, J. Z., & Anderson, B. E. (2022, July). Effects of a summer reading intervention on reading achievement in grades K-5. Poster session presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading 29th Annual Meeting, Newport Beach, CA.;
  • Strong, J. Z., Walpole, S., & May, H. (2021, December). Effects of Bookworms literacy curriculum on reading achievement in grades 2-5. In L. Tortorelli (Chair), Broadening the science of reading discussion: Topics that warrant additional attention. Symposium conducted at the Literacy Research Association 71st Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.;
  • Tortorelli, L., & Strong, J. Z. (2022, April). TPACK for reading instruction: How elementary teachers used digital texts during the pandemic school year. Paper presented at the 2022 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.;
  • Vitale, M. N., Strong, J. Z., & Walpole, S. (2021, April). Investigating self- and collective efficacy beliefs of elementary school teachers. Paper presented at the 2021 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (Virtual conference).;
Recent Grants:
  • Investigating the impact and recovery from COVID-19 on reading achievement in urban elementary schools; State; Graduate School of Education Seed Grant: Reimagining Equity and Excellence in the Post-COVID-19 World; Awarded; (09/01/2021-05/31/2022)
Recent Activities:
Editorial and Review:
  • Editorial Review Board, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy; The Reading Teacher
Professional Service:
  • Literacy Research Association P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award Committee
  • New York State Reading Association Goal Area Chair for Professional Development
  • Literacy Research Association Area Co-Chair in Public Engagement and Policy in Literacy
  • Niagara Frontier Reading Council Board Member and Treasurer
Recent Editorships:
  • Associate Editor; The Reading Teacher

Contact Information

571 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: 716-645-4044

View CV