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Educational psychology professors start new blog for Psychology Today

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Kudos,   Media Mention,   Students and Faculty

Nancy Knapp, an associate professor in the Department of Career and Information Studies and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, and Paula Schwanenflugel, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, will discuss the psychology and teaching of reading in a new blog series for Psychology Today.

According to Knapp and Schwanenflugel, fewer and fewer adults in the United States are reading for pleasure. In fact, a recent study revealed that nearly a quarter of adults haven't read a single book—in electronic, paper, or audio format—in the past year.

As a result, many employers believe that their workers do not read or write well enough to meet the demands of modern workplaces. "In essence, we have a literacy problem," wrote Knapp and Schwanenflugel. "The more we study reading and readers, the more we learn about the lifelong cognitive and social benefits of reading."

In contrast, people who read on a regular basis generally gain a host of benefits, which include developing extra cognitive reserves, developing more empathy and leading better and more productive lives.

In future entries, Knapp and Schwanenflugel will provide readers more details about these benefits and the issues surrounding reading in our societies and schools. The blog will also focus on "what can be done to help children become lifelong, engaged and expert readers."

Knapp researches literacy instruction, higher education pedagogy and the role of school libraries and librarians in promoting reading development. Her other research interests include pre-service and in-service educator beliefs, attitudes and motivations.

Schwanenflugel's recent investigations focus on two topics related to literacy development. The first is centered on classroom practices for enhancing the foundational literacy skills in preschool and kindergarten children, while the second topic is centered on reading theory, assessment and pedagogical practices for the development of reading fluency.

Knapp and Schwanenflugel recently co-authored a new book, "The Psychology of Reading: Theory and Applications," which highlights their findings on the personal and societal benefits of reading.

Read their first blog entry, "Does Reading Matter?" on Psychology Today's website.

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