Home > Events > LLRC Research Engagement Series: Patricia Alexander (HDQM)
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LLRC Research Engagement Series: Patricia Alexander (HDQM)

Time: 
Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: 
Benjamin Building, Suite 1220


Reconceptualizing Adolescent Literacy in the Age of Information Saturation, Multitasking, and "Fake News"

 

Abstract: Today’s adolescents live in a world that stands in sharp contrast to often overly simplistic conceptions of literacy captured in empirical research and instructional practice. As a case in point, comprehension models conger the image of the solitary student thoughtfully engaged in the processing of a single text crafted by a skilled author, often with the intention of learning. Yet, for many students, their literate lives bear little resemblance to that image. Instead, they are increasingly required to navigate the infinite expanse of the Internet, locate multiple sources, and integrate or reconcile the information those sources convey for an academic task they see as irrelevant. In addition, those multiple sources can take many forms from ebooks to blogs, include an array of graphics, pictures, and video, and be written by those with questionable motives or limited or erroneous knowledge of the topic. Even those who espouse a “new literacy” for the technological age, overlook certain challenges that processing online can pose to students who may mistakenly regard to themselves as digitally competent. Given this portrayal of adolescent literacy, I will consider what lingering questions call for empirical investigation, and what transformations in instructional practice seem warranted.

Bio: Dr. Alexander began her career as a middle-school teacher. She received her reading specialist degree from James Madison University and her Ph.D. in reading from the University of Maryland. After completing her Ph.D., Dr. Alexander joined the faculty at Texas A&M University before returning the UMD where she currently serves as a Jean Mullan Professor of Literacy and Distinguished Scholar Teacher and oversees the departmental specialization in Educational Psychology in the Human Development and Quantitative Methodology department. Dr. Alexander’s research focuses on literacy and reading comprehension, learning and academic development, critical and relational reasoning, epistemic beliefs, and expertise.

Recently named as one of the most influential educational psychologists of the past decade (Patterson-Hazly & Kiewra, 2012), Dr. Alexander has served as President of Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the APA, Vice-President of Division C (Learning and Instruction) of AERA, and Past-President of the Southwest Educational Research Association. Dr. Alexander has published over 270 articles, books, or chapters in the area of learning and instruction. She has also presented over 400 invited addresses or papers at national and international conferences. Dr. Alexander currently serves as the senior editor of Contemporary Educational Psychology, and presently serves on over 10 editorial boards including those for Learning and Instruction, Educational Psychologist, and the Journal of Educational Psychology.   

Please visit the Language and Literacy Research Center's website to view our speaker schedule for this Spring 2018 semester.