Wilkinson Presents at International Reading Association Convention

| April 24, 2013

Phyllis Wilkinson, left, and Gwendolyn Turner presented at IRA’s 58th
Annual Convention in San Antonio.

At the International Reading Association’s 58th Annual Convention in San Antonio, April 18 – 23, Phyllis Wilkinson, professor in the department of Communication Arts, Reading and Early Childhood (CARE); and Gwendolyn Turner, associate professor at the University of Missouri, presented a session to teachers, researchers and administrators from Thailand, Canada, Nova Scotia and the U.S.

Their topic was “Encountering international Literature: ‘Reading the World’ to Move toward Critical Literacy.” In the session, Wilkinson reported results from her Webster University Faculty Research Grant project, which was a quasi-experimental design to determine how seventh graders would respond to international selections and if they would learn to pose their own “real” questions to the author (QtA), to the world (QtW) and to themselves (QtS).

Preliminary findings from the research involving 94 students were shared with a focus on the role of students’ questioning, interactive small group discussions and elements of critical literacy in the process of reading narratives from other countries. Socio-constructivist theory provided a foundation for this work.

Wilkinson is department chair and coordinates the M.A. in Reading, a program that received national recognition in 2011 from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and International Reading Association.

The International Reading Association is a nonprofit, global network of individuals and institutions committed to worldwide literacy. More than 70,000 members strong, the Association supports literacy professionals through a wide range of resources, advocacy efforts, volunteerism and professional development activities. IRA members promote high levels of literacy for all by: improving the quality of reading instruction; disseminating research and information about reading; encouraging the lifetime reading habit for all.

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Category: Faculty

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