Jessica Early, associate professor of English at Arizona State University, is a scholar of English education and secondary literacy. She is the director of the English education and the Central Arizona Writing Project, a local site of the National Writing Project, at ASU. She initially began her career in the field of education as a high school English language arts teacher. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the teaching of writing and writing practices in ethnically and linguistically diverse secondary English Language Arts classrooms as well as the preparation and professional development of urban English Language Arts teachers.
Early has published widely. Her recent co-authored book, "Creating Literacy Communities as Pathways to Success: Equity and Access for Latina Students" offers a concrete model for researchers and teachers to create literacy communities of practice for students to explore their future selves in connection to a specific content area or discipline (Routledge, 2018). Her second book, "Real World Writing for Secondary Students" (Teacher College Press, 2012) presents theoretical grounding and concrete strategies for teaching writing to ethnically and linguistically diverse secondary students. She is also the author of "Stirring up Justice: Reading and Writing to Change the World" (Heinemann, 2006) a classroom-based examination of a literacy curriculum revolving around issues of activism within an urban secondary English classroom and she is a co-editor of "Advances in International Writing Research: Cultures, Places, and Measures" (Parlor Press, 2012).
Early's research appears in numerous scholarly journals including Research in the Teaching of English, English Journal, Educational Leadership, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of Reading & Writing, Writing Research, Literacy Today,Teaching and Teacher Education, and Rethinking Schools. Early serves on Editorial Review Boards for the Journal of Teacher Education and Voices from the Middle and she served on the conference committee for the innagural Writing Through the Lifespan Research Conference.
She is the director of the Central Arizona Writing Project (CAWP), located in the Department of English at Arizona State University. The CAWP is part of the National Writing Project network, the oldest and largest professional development project in the United States. In addition to working with K-12 teachers throughout the greater Phoenix area, Early teaches Research Methods in English Education, Methods of Teaching Composition in Secondary Classrooms, and Teaching Texts and Critical Literacy in Secondary Classrooms. Her current research focuses on the writing at the secondary level and on finding successful ways of shifting curriculum to better prepare ethnically and linguistically diverse students for the kinds of writing tasks they will need in college, the work place, and the community.