Devin M Kearns

Devin M Kearns
University of Connecticut | UConn · Department of Educational Psychology

Ph.D.

About

59
Publications
34,129
Reads
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810
Citations
Introduction
I study reading disability in elementary-age children. My current work focuses on (1) understanding why children struggle to read polysyllabic words and (2) developing programs to prevent and remediate word reading problems.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2014 - August 2019
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2011 - June 2014
Boston University
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
September 2006 - August 2010
Vanderbilt University
Field of study
  • Special Education

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
This literature synthesis examines empirical literature on interventions and measures used in experimental studies of reading comprehension for students with both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) or intensive support needs. Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. We present the effectiveness of the interventions and th...
Article
Statistical views of reading highlight the link between proficient literacy and the assimilation of various regularities embedded in writing systems, including those in the mapping between print and meaning. Still, orthographic-semantic (O-S) regularities remain relatively understudied, with open questions regarding 3 issues: (a) how O-S regulariti...
Preprint
A trend has emerged across schools in the United States in which phonemic awareness is viewed as much more than a component of beginning reading instruction. This perspective argues that “phonemic proficiency”, evidenced by mastery with advanced tasks such as phoneme elision or substitution, is an important target for assessment and instruction wel...
Article
We examined the effects of a professional development (PD) with coaching model designed to improve literacy and co-taught instruction for students with and without disabilities in co-taught content-area middle school classes. Eleven co-teaching pairs in nine schools were randomly assigned to [Treatment] (n = 7 pairs) or a business-as-usual comparis...
Article
The papers in the special series describe the role of data-based decision-making (DBDM) in improving the outcomes of students with learning disabilities based on research across Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. The articles address multiple aspects of a model of DBDM that includes the role of teacher knowledge, skills, beliefs, and...
Article
The Common Core State Standards emphasize the need for U.S. students to read complex texts. As a result, the level of word complexity for primary‐level texts is important, particularly the dimensions of and changes in complexity between first grade and the important third‐grade high‐stakes testing year. In this study, we addressed word complexity i...
Article
This study considers whether Unified English Braille provides an efficient representation of printed English. Two databases of English words were used to acquire and calculate information about English orthography that was then used to analyze Unified English Braille (UEB) using a computer program developed by the second author. In general, braille...
Chapter
Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) is a peer tutoring program available in the areas of reading and mathematics that incorporates peers as change agents in academic intervention. Developed at Vanderbilt University by Douglas Fuchs, Lynn S. Fuchs, and their colleagues, PALS is currently available in reading from kindergarten through high schoo...
Article
Full-text available
Syntactic complexity has been recognized as an important construct in writing research, and for the past five decades, many syntactic complexity measures (SCMs) have been examined in numerous studies. This systematic review is the first study of its kind to synthesize 36 studies spanning from 1970 to 2019 by identifying and cataloging all SCMs exam...
Preprint
Set for variability (SfV) is an oral language task which requires an individual to disambiguate the mismatch between the decoded form of an irregular word and its actual lexical pronunciation. For example, in the task, the word wasp is pronounced to rhyme with clasp (i.e., /wæsp/) and the individual must recognize the actual pronunciation of the wo...
Article
Full-text available
Can the science of reading contribute to improving educational practices, allowing more students to become skilled readers? Much has been learned about the behavioral and brain bases of reading, how students learn to read, and factors that contribute to low literacy. The potential to use research findings to improve literacy outcomes is substantial...
Article
Programs for teaching English reading, especially for students with dyslexia, and educational practice standards often recommend instruction on dividing polysyllabic words into syllables. Syllable division is effort intensive and could inhibit fluency when reading in text. The division strategies might still be useful if they work so consistently t...
Article
Full-text available
In co-taught classes, general education and special education teachers can improve the content-area learning and literacy skills of students with learning disabilities by helping them read texts effectively. Co-teachers can improve comprehension by providing students with background and vocabulary knowledge before reading. In this article, a routin...
Article
It is essential that middle school content-area and special education co-teachers adopt evidence-based literacy practices that they can integrate into their content-area instruction to address the needs of all of the students in their classes. This article provides co-teachers with four planning tips to improve implementation of the practices they...
Article
Full-text available
The Project CALI (Content Area Literacy Instruction) instructional framework is designed to enhance reading comprehension for all students, those with disabilities as well as their typically developing peers, in inclusive co-taught middle school content-area classrooms. For students with and at-risk for disabilities, even well-designed, research-ba...
Article
The orthographic choice (OC) task—requiring individuals to choose the correct spelling between a word and a pseudohomophone foil (e.g., goat vs. gote)—has been used as an outcome measure of orthographic learning and as a predictor of individual differences in word reading development. Some consider the OC task a measure of orthographic knowledge (e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Can the science of reading contribute to improving educational practices, allowing more children to become skilled readers? Much has been learned about the behavioral and brain bases of reading, how children learn to read, and factors that contribute to low literacy. The potential to use research findings to improve literacy outcomes is substantial...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine word learning efficiency in at-risk first grade students (N = 93) participating in a yearlong study evaluating a multicomponent intervention targeting word reading and decoding skills. As part of each intervention lesson, students participated in a 1 to 3-min sight word reading activity in which high-frequen...
Article
We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a randomized control trial to explore this question: Does “response/no response” best characterize students’ reactions to a generally efficacious 1st-grade reading program, or is a more nuanced characterization necessary? Data were collected on 265 at-risk readers’ word reading prior to and immediately...
Article
It is generally well accepted that proficient reading requires the assimilation of myriad statistical regularities present in the writing system, including in particular the correspondences between words' orthographic and phonological forms. There is considerably less agreement, however, as to how to quantify these regularities. Here we present a c...
Article
Full-text available
In an effort to improve oral reading, beginning and remedial reading programs in English focus on phonological awareness skills and recoding with grapheme–phoneme correspondences. The meanings of the words children practice reading aloud are given little emphasis. Some studies now suggest semantic knowledge may have a direct effect on children’s or...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper will be published in a special issue on dyslexia in Teaching Exceptional Children. This is the last version written before being accepted. The final published paper will have some differences. Please refer to the published version for any quotations. Abstract: Students with dyslexia have great difficulty reading words with more than on...
Article
Full-text available
Secondary school administrators increasingly include students with disabilities in general education classrooms with coteaching models. Theoretically, coteaching enables two educators to attend to the learning needs of students with disabilities while exposing them to grade-level content area instruction. However, our study on teachers’ perceptions...
Article
Purpose: Children with dyslexia often have related writing difficulties. In the simple view of writing model, high-quality writing depends on good transcription skills, working memory, and executive function-all of which can be difficult for children with dyslexia and result in poor spelling and low overall writing quality. In this article, we des...
Article
This study explored the developmental trajectories and predictors of word reading and reading comprehension among young at-risk readers. In fall of 1st grade, 185 students identified as at-risk for reading difficulties were assessed on measures of domain-specific skills (phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and vocabulary), domain-general skil...
Article
In Endrew F. v Douglas County School District RE‐1, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the requirement that schools provide special education services designed to confer educational benefit that is more than de minimis. Endrew offers an opportunity for the special education community to consider whether students with learning disabilities have access...
Article
Because of the importance of teaching reading comprehension to struggling young readers and the infrequency with which it has been implemented and evaluated, we designed a comprehensive first-grade reading comprehension program. We conducted a component analysis of the program’s decoding/fluency and reading comprehension dimensions (DF and COMP), c...
Article
This study reports practices implemented in over 2,000 minutes by 16 middle school special education and general education co-teaching pairs in English language arts classes. We report the extent to which teachers integrated literacy activities that support reading comprehension, the co-teaching models used, and the frequency with which each teache...
Article
This randomized controlled trial focused on 59 struggling readers in the third and fourth grades (30 female, 29 male) and examined the efficacy of an intervention aimed at increasing students’ multisyllabic word reading (MWR). The study also explored the relative effects of an embedded motivational beliefs (MB) training component. Struggling reader...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding academic vocabulary is essential to student success in school. Use of academic vocabulary words in writing is considered one of the strongest measures of how well a reader understands a given word. In theory, willingness to use academic vocabulary in writing indicates the complexity of acquiring representations of the word’s orthograp...
Article
Full-text available
This study addresses whether reading involves a process termed semantic and phonological ability to adjust recoding (SPAAR). It was hypothesized that SPAAR helps readers link inaccurate pronunciations to lexical entries (e.g., spynitch to spinach). Psychometric properties of the Mispronunciation Correction Task (MCT), a measure of SPAAR, were inves...
Article
Introduction This study evaluated the usability and effectiveness of an artificial intelligence Braille Tutor designed to supplement the instruction of students with visual impairments as they learned to write braille contractions. Methods A mixed-methods design was used, which incorporated a single-subject, adapted alternating treatments design a...
Article
Full-text available
Models of irregular word reading that take into account both child- and word-level predictors have not been evaluated in typically developing children and children with reading difficulty (RD). The purpose of the present study was to model individual differences in irregular word reading ability among 5th grade children (N = 170), oversampled for c...
Article
Full-text available
Children in the elementary grades are expected to solve equations to demonstrate prealgebraic proficiency. Prealgebraic differences may emerge based equation type (i.e., standard vs. nonstandard), the operation shown or required for solution (i.e., addition or subtraction), and the position of the unknown. Prealgebraic differences may also be influ...
Article
Full-text available
Developing readers of English appear to favor phonograms over grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) to read unknown words. For polysyllabic polymorphemic (PSPM) words, the morphophonemic nature of English means elementary-age children may focus on roots and affixes. Does developing readers' PSPM word reading accuracy relate to the morphological u...
Article
Full-text available
Comprehensive models of derived polymorphemic word recognition skill in developing readers, with an emphasis on children with reading difficulty (RD), have not been developed. The purpose of the present study was to model individual differences in polymorphemic word recognition ability at the item level among 5th-grade children (N = 173) oversample...
Article
Teachers are often asked to implement research-based instructional programs with fidelity and to ensure that all students reach high academic standards. These requests sometimes conflict when teachers find that not all their students are benefiting from the research-backed programs. In this article, we suggest that researchers and teachers can work...
Article
Current Arabic reading instruction places strong emphasis on orthographic skills and little emphasis on phonological and morphological skills. Yet, the role of each skill in reading development in Arabic is not well understood. The purpose of this literature review was to examine the degree to which children learning to read in Arabic use orthograp...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which teacher ratings of behavioral attention predicted responsiveness to word reading instruction in first grade and third-grade reading comprehension performance. Participants were 110 first grade students identified as at-risk for reading difficulties who received 20 weeks of intensive readi...
Article
Full-text available
The current study models reader, item, and word contributions to the lexical representations of 39 morphologically complex words for 172 middle school students using a crossed random-effects item response model with multiple outcomes. We report 3 findings. First, results suggest that lexical representations can be characterized by separate but corr...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the relation between morphological awareness on reading comprehension is moderated by multisyllabic word reading ability in fifth-grade students (N = 169, 53.7% female, 65.2% minority status, 69.2% free/reduced lunch status), oversampled for poor reading skill, when controlling for general knowle...
Article
Stakeholders are debating the value of cognitively focused instruction for students who have not benefited from a skills-based approach. Much of the discussion, however, is occurring without recognition of research that has been conducted in the past 2 decades. In this article, we reviewed the research. Electronic databases and hard copies of schol...
Article
Stakeholders are debating the value of cognitively focused instruction for students who have not benefited from a skills-based approach. Much of the discussion, however, is occurring without recognition of research that has been conducted in the past 2 decades. In this article, we reviewed the research. Electronic databases and hard copies of schol...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to extend the literature on decoding by bringing together two lines of research, namely person and word factors that affect decoding, using a crossed random-effects model. The sample was comprised of 196 English-speaking grade 1 students. A researcher-developed pseudoword list was used as the primary outcome measure. B...
Article
Full-text available
Children with learning problems require early intervention. If it is evidence based and implemented with integrity and intensity, it will accelerate the academic progress of many students. This is the hope and expectation of the many supporters of responsiveness-to-intervention (RTI). A minority of children, however, will not respond sufficiently t...
Article
Factors were explored that predicted whether teachers sustained the use of a validated reading intervention. Seventy-three teachers from 37 schools in 3 states were asked in interviews whether they continued to use Kindergarten Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (KPALS) 1 year after their involvement in the program. A logistic regression model was c...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Develop and conduct reliability and validity testing for an app to screen preschool and primary school students for dyslexia and other difficulties related to reading problems. Visit https://www.appriseproject.org/ to learn more