My research and scholarly interest center on how we acquire our ability to listen, speak, read and write and then what happens to us because we read. Since reading is such a key element in this, I have been interested in the cognitive science aspects of reading. My other major interest is closely associated — children’s literature. Linda Pavonetti, Ed.D., and I curate a small collection of original art from children’s books as well as some of the early transcripts.
Past research activities/experience:
- National Survey of Children’s Spelling Errors in Stories or Essays
- Showing the relationship between recreational (out-of-school) reading to increased word, comprehension, spelling, and general world knowledge.
- Longitudinal study of kindergarteners investigating early predictors of literacy achievement.
Current research activities:
- Collecting and acting as co-curator of original children’s literature and art from children’s literature.
- Finding and comparing Cinderella tales (AT 510) from Germany, Scotland, Ireland and the Beech Creek area of Appalachia.
- Investigating best practices in teaching literacy theory and instruction to preservice teachers.
- Reviewing the research evidence for the ability of teacher testing to predict teaching effectiveness.
Research goals/plans for future projects:
- Investigating the recreational reading of college juniors and investigating differences between majors with a special emphasis on elementary teacher education.
- Making available an extensive collection of materials related to children’s books with a special emphasis on the work of Ashley Bryan.
Workshops, In-Service Institutes, and Community Events:
Using children’s books in the classroom. For example:
- Genre Studies;
- Books and Activities for Grades Levels or Units of Study;
- What Books and Activities for Young Children Promote Reading Acquisition;
- Discussing Picture Book Design and Processes Used by Several Authors and Illustrators.
- Censorship of Books versus Book Selection Policies
- What Benefits Reading Beyond Information and Pleasure Are Attributed to Reading