Literacy Processes : Cognitive Flexibility in Learning and Teaching book cover
1st Edition

Literacy Processes
Cognitive Flexibility in Learning and Teaching

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ISBN 9781593856540
Published May 15, 2008 by Guilford Press
384 Pages

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Book Description

Reading and writing instruction require individuals--both students and teachers--to flexibly process many kinds of information, from a variety of sources. This is the first book to provide an in-depth examination of cognitive flexibility: how it develops across the lifespan; its role in specific literacy processes, such as phonemic awareness, word recognition, and comprehension; and implications for improving literacy instruction and teacher education. The contributors include leading researchers in literacy, psychology, and cognitive development, who summarize the current state of the science and offer practical suggestions for fostering cognitive flexibility in learners of all ages.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Gedeon O. Deák

I. Theoretical Foundations

1. Introduction to Literacy Processes: Cognitive Flexibility in Learning and Teaching, Kelly B. Cartwright

2. Cognitive and Representational Development in Children, Bruce D. Homer and Elizabeth O. Hayward

3. Cognitive and Representational Development in Adults, Jan D. Sinnott

II. Flexibility in Word-Level Processes

4. The Role of Representational Ability in the Development of Phonological Awareness in Preschool Children, M. Jeffrey Farrar and Sylvia Ashwell

5. Developing Cognitive Flexibility in Word Reading among Beginning and Struggling Readers, Irene W. Gaskins

6. Flexibility in Word Reading: Multiple Levels of Representations, Complex Mappings, Partial Similarities, and Cross-Modality Connections, Virginia W. Berninger and William E. Nagy

7. Graphophonological–Semantic Flexibility: Contributions to Skilled Reading across the Lifespan, Kelly B. Cartwright, Melinda D. Hodgkiss, and Marisa C. Isaac

III. Flexibility in Comprehension Processes

8. An Invitation to Study Professionals Reading Professional-Level Texts: A Window on Exceptionally Complex, Flexible Reading, Michael Pressley and Mary Lundeberg

9. Flexible Use of Comprehension Monitoring Strategies: Investigating What a Complex Reading Framework Might Look Like, Susan E. Israel

10. Content-Area Reading/Learning: Flexibility in Knowledge Acquisition, Cynthia Hynd Shanahan and Timothy Shanahan

11. Fluent Reading and the Representation of Texts, Betty Ann Levy and W. Matthew Collins

IV. Flexibility in Instructional Practice

12. The Impact of Flexibility on Vocabulary and Comprehension Development, Sheri R. Parris and Cathy Collins Block

13. Flexibility and Developmental Coordination: Keys to Negotiating Beginning Reading Materials, Heidi Anne E. Mesmer

14. Teaching Flexibility?: Possibilities and Challenges, Dixie Massey

15. Using Technology to Teach Flexibility through Peer Discussion, Nicola Yuill, Lucinda Kerawalla, Darren Pearce, Rose Luckin, and Amanda Harris

16. The Dynamics of Flexibility in Effective Literacy Teaching, Ruth Wharton-McDonald

17. Concluding Reflections: What Can We Learn from Considering Implications of Representational Development and Flexibility for Literacy Teaching and Learning?, Kelly B. Cartwright

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Kelly B. Cartwright, PhD, received her doctorate in experimental (research) psychology, with an emphasis in cognitive development, from the University of Arkansas in 1997. Her research focuses on applications of cognitive-developmental theory and methods to other domains of development, with particular emphasis on reading and language development. She is currently Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Provost for Academic Services at Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Virginia, where she has taught undergraduate courses in child development, cognitive development, and research methods. Dr. Cartwright has also served on the steering committee for the interdisciplinary Teacher Preparation Program at CNU, for which she designed and teaches graduate courses in reading. In addition to her university appointments, Dr. Cartwright serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Literacy Research; is a literacy consultant for public and private schools; and is a member of the Cognitive Development Society, the International Reading Association, the National Reading Conference, and the Society for Research in Child Development.


By integrating findings from developmental science and various areas of literacy research, this unique book transcends narrow disciplinary boundaries. Developmental scientists will benefit from the rich illustrations of how the basic cognitive process of cognitive flexibility applies to a real-world skill such as literacy. Given the recent interest in the relation between school readiness and executive function, the volume is particularly timely.--Ulrich Müller, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

This volume highlights the importance of cognitive flexibility for several processes involved in literacy development. The contributors take the notion of lifespan development seriously, identifying both developmental advances and individual differences relevant for flexibility as well as their influences on literacy learning and teaching. This 'must-read' book is comprehensive, timely, and certain to inform our understanding of cognitive development and literacy development, both jointly and separately.--Sophie Jacques, PhD, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

This wide-ranging volume reminds us of the cognitive complexity of reading and the developmental challenges that children encounter as they learn to decode, represent, comprehend, monitor, and evaluate the meanings of text. The contributors examine cognitive flexibility in the ways children learn to read as well as in the ways that adults teach literacy. The book offers a rich variety of perspectives on reading skills across the lifespan, providing thought-provoking ideas for teachers and new avenues for researchers.--Scott Paris, PhD, Combined Program in Education and Psychology, University of Michigan
This well-crafted, thought-provoking volume draws on the concept of representational flexibility from cognitive developmental psychology and shows how it is relevant to literacy processes and instruction. I teach a course on reading and reading disabilities in an applied developmental psychology doctoral program. The unique approach taken in this book makes it wonderfully suited for this course. Students will see how research and theory in cognitive developmental psychology inform an innovative way of conceptualizing literacy processes and instructional practice.--Linda Baker, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County