Current and Future Research
Current Research Projects as Principal investigator
1) Spreading the ‘Wealth of Knowledge’: Personal Narratives of Literacy Sponsors
This research examines the broader role that literacy sponsors-- individuals who lead and organize adult basic literacy and ESL programs--play and the impact that their efforts and views have on the people they serve (Brandt, 2001). The literacy sponsors in this study are individuals who lead and organize adult basic literacy programs in a major city located in the Southwest. This study is an extension of the pilot study below.
We use a narrative approach to examine the ways in which literacy sponsors in community-based literacy programs are attempting to meet the literacy needs of their local population and how the literacy sponsors’ personal experiences, views, and beliefs guide their own roles in and their goals for the program.
These four research questions will guide this study: 1) What benefits does the program bring to the adult literacy learners? 2) What challenges do the literacy sponsors report facing both within the organization and within the larger geographical region and community they serve? 3) What curricular supports are available within the adult literacy program and how do the literacy sponsors use them? 4) How do the literacy sponsors who lead and organize adult basic literacy programs see their role in the program and in what ways do their personal experiences and beliefs influence their goals, methods, agenda(s), and curricula used in the program?
2) Changing The Great Debate: Chall's Evolving Philosophy Across Editions
began as part of my work as a visiting scholar funded by the Jeanne S.
Chall Research Grant at Harvard University.
Recent Research Studies as PI: Dissertation Study 2007-2008
Family as Sponsors of Literacy
Parent's perspectives on their 'struggling reader's' literacy learning in home and in school (2007-2008). [Students were labeled by the school as having challenges in reading]
The participants in this qualitative, interpretive interview study were parents of children in grades 1-3 who attended an elementary school in a low-income, predominantly Latino urban neighborhood. The children were identified as struggling readers through teacher nomination and standardized assessments, and they received reading and writing intervention through an in-school pullout program and through a once-a-week, afterschool University-sponsored tutoring program. The purpose of this study was to gather the views of parents about their children's experiences in literacy learning and intervention, parents’ perspective of their role in their child’s literacy learning, as well as the ways parents described their child as a literacy learner.
Results suggest that parents were engaging their children in a variety of home literacy practices. Findings suggest the majority of parents complained that they received limited specific information and materials that they felt they needed to assist their children with their literacy struggles. Most of the parents expressed frustration and disappointment to learn their child had challenges in reading. Many of the parents were resourceful and drew upon their knowledge and social networks to locate help outside of the school to assist their children’s literacy learning. Most of the parents practiced collaborative literacy learning in the home, were keen observers of their children and could articulate awareness of their children as readers and writers.
Pilot Study (2005): “Parents’
Perspectives About How Their Children’s Literacy Needs are Met at
The participants in this qualitative study were parents of children in grades 3-5 who attended an elementary school in a low-income, predominantly Latino urban neighborhood. The children were identified as struggling readers through teacher nomination and standardized assessments, and they received reading and writing intervention through an in-school pullout program and through a once-a-week, after-school University-sponsored tutoring program. We (the researchers) directed the tutoring program in coordination with the school's literacy coordinator. The purpose of this study was to gather the views of parents about their children's experiences in literacy learning and intervention and about how the school and tutoring program can assist parents and strengthen connections between homes and school.
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