professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Back to the Future?

On Sunday I spent the afternoon with CREST. I was asked to kick off their fall meeting. I loved being back in touch with some old friends and colleagues (old only in terms of the length of time I have known them; we are, of course, all young!). I must admit, though, that I was a bit unnerved about addressing this group. What could I offer them (other than books) that would help them as the new school year got underway? I decided that it was time to go "back to the future," time to review what we know from more than 50 years of research in the field of YA literature, reading, readers, engagement, and motivation. So, on Sunday morning, I headed from home to Austin (about 3.5 hours), presented, had dinner with incredible thought leaders Judy, Judy, and Peggy, and then drove home watching the lunar eclipse play out in front of my eyes. This made for a bleary Monday, but it was so worth it.

I thought I would share some of the presentation here for those who want to know a bit more about the history, about the research. I do this in hope that some of you will go and read Norvell, Carlsen, LaBrant, Krashen, Allington, Kittle, and Miller. I also hope that if there is someone in a doctoral program casting about for research that he or she might consider replicating some of the past studies to see how they hold up over time. I replicated a study by Jerry Johns for part of my dissertation that was quite revealing. My study included a survey of more than 1200 middle school students. I would love to go back now, 25 years later, to see if anything has changed. Are students concepts of and attitudes toward reading different now? I suspect there has been some change in attitude, but I am willing to bet that their concept (or what is more likely to be their misconceptions) about reading has not shifted much. But, instead, I offer some of the power point I shared with the leaders at CREST.
Tags: history, research, ya

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