Current and Future Research

BACK TO HOME PAGE

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

This project began as part of my work as a visiting scholar funded by the Jeanne S. Chall Research Grant at Harvard University.

The late Jeanne Chall was a distinguished literacy scholar who ignited a lasting conversation about methods of teaching beginning readers in her seminal text Learning to Read: The Great Debate. Through multiple editions of the text she revised her ideas from the original 1967 first edition through the most recent edition. In the later editions, Chall also reflected on the impact her work made on policy and instruction. In this paper, I trace the prominent ideas that remained the same and what changed through these three editions, synthesize Chall’s reflection on the impact her work made on instruction and policy, and make connections from The Great Debate to current trends in research that Chall discussed in her original text. In connecting to current research I trace Chall's theory to instructional interventions and to real-world implementation in current research.
 


 

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]

ABSTRACT:

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.


Fourteen parents were interviewed regarding literacy practices in their homes, views of school literacy instruction, need for information on helping their children at home, and suggestions for improving home-school connections. Follow-up interviews in-person or by phone were conducted. Interviews were transcribed and data were analyzed through peer debriefing, constant-comparative analysis, narrative analysis, and use of analytical and theoretical memos. Photographs parents took of learning and literacy events in the home were collected and analyzed.

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 School”
 

ABSTRACT:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

BACK TO HOME PAGE