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Cynthia Greenleaf

Cynthia Greenleaf is a Senior Research Scientist with the Strategic Literacy Initiative, where for two decades she has conducted cutting-edge research in adolescent literacy and translated it into powerful teacher professional development.

Her work co-developing the Reading Apprenticeship® Instructional Framework has changed classrooms for hundreds of thousands of secondary and college students and their teachers. Three large-scale randomized controlled studies of Reading Apprenticeship have validated its effectiveness in improving students’ subject area engagement, literacy, and achievement.

Currently, Greenleaf directs Project READI, leading SLI’s participation with the University of Illinois at Chicago and others in a five-year federal research project to improve adolescent literacy across the United States. She serves as Co-Principal Investigator.

Concurrently, she co-directs the five-year RAISE project that is bringing Reading Apprenticeship to 400,000 high school students in five states. Significant federal funding supports this work to increase the impact of Reading Apprenticeship in subject area instruction.

She has published major research papers, won highly competitive grants, authored peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and co-authored the best-selling Reading for Understanding. With SLI colleagues, she also developed the Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy Course.

Awards and honors for her work in language and literacy teaching include recognition from the American Educational Research Association; the University of California, Berkeley; and the National Council of Teachers of English.

She received a PhD and an MA in language and literacy education from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego, where she graduated magna cum laude.