Kerry Hempenstall

Kerry Hempenstall
RMIT University | RMIT · School of Education

PhD

About

34
Publications
72,435
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287
Citations

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Educational psychologists can play a number of roles within education settings. They are often called upon to assist with the assessment and treatment of disability issues, student behaviour and mental health problems, parent and teacher liaison, and counselling, to name a few. Less frequently pursued is an active role in establishing and evaluatin...
Article
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One million Australian children are at risk of reading failure, with serious negative consequences for their quality of life and for Australian society. This figure — based on the results of national and international literacy tests — is five times higher than the number of children reading scientists estimate to have serious learning difficulties....
Article
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There has been concern about student literacy expressed in the community in recent years, following the results of national and international assessment. In spelling, there are insufficient hard data, but the perception is that our students are not receiving the exemplary spelling education they require. A number of possible reasons have been canva...
Article
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There is a nascent movement towards evidence-based practice in education in Australia, evident in Federal and State education documents, if not in classrooms. Such a classroom-level outcome would require a number of conditions to be met. One of the critical requirements is that teachers be provided with knowledge and training in practices that have...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Controversy has surrounded the annual National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) since its introduction in 2008. This initiative was designed to provide nationally consistent information on student progress in basic skills in years 3, 5, and 7, replacing the various state-based tests that preceded it. A great deal of criticism has...
Article
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Response to Intervention (RTI) is a popular if controversial initiative developed largely in the USA, but which is, as yet, little known in general education in Australia. However, this may change given the increased attention to accountability in recent times. The national NAPLAN and international PISA assessments are leading to pressure being pla...
Article
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Phonological awareness has been acknowledged as an important predictor of, and influence upon, reading progress. This study offers an independent evaluation of the Sound Foundations phonological awareness program, and investigates the differential impact of session frequency on the acquisition of phonological awareness, phoneme identity training on...
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable interest and controversy in the community concerning how our students are faring in the task of mastering reading. Broad scale assessment, formerly at a State level and now at a National level (NAPLAN), is potentially valuable in helping answer this question in a broad sense. However, there are limitations to the value of this...
Article
Full-text available
This study was an evaluation of a parent delivered, computer based beginning reading program with a group of 15 Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. Completing the Funnix program at home through a CD copy was expected to produce educationally and statistically significant improvements in phonemic awareness, letter-sound fluency, non-word decoding ski...
Article
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This paper first examines recent theoretical and empirical research on reading development and instruction in English speaking countries. Then, a study is described that examines the effects of a synthetic phonics-emphasis Direct Instruction remedial reading program on the phonological processes of students, with teacher-identified serious reading...
Article
Full-text available
This article first examines recent theoretical and empirical research on reading development and instruction in English‐speaking countries. Then, a study is described that examines the effects of a synthetic phonics‐emphasis Direct Instruction remedial reading program on the phonological processes of students, with teacher‐identified serious readin...
Article
Full-text available
This study was an evaluation of a parent delivered, computer based beginning reading program with a group of 15 Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. Completing the Funnix program at home through a CD copy was expected to produce educationally and statistically significant improvements in phonemic awareness, letter-sound fluency, non-word decoding ski...
Article
Full-text available
Phonological awareness has been acknowledged as an important predictor of, and infl uence upon, reading progress. This study offers an independent evaluation of the Sound Foundations phonological awareness program, and investigates the differential impact of session frequency on the acquisition of phonological awareness, phoneme identity training o...
Article
Full-text available
Teaching has suffered both as a profession in search of community respect and as a force for improving the social capital of Australia, because of its failure to adopt the results of empirical research as the major determinant of its practice. There are a number of reasons why this has occurred, among them a science-aversive culture endemic among e...
Article
Full-text available
This case study examined the effects of a parent-presented Direct Instruction decoding program on the reading and language skills of a child with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Following the 23 hour intervention, reading comprehension, listening comprehension and fluency skills improved to grade level, whilst statistically significant i...
Article
Full-text available
This case study involved teaching a Direct Instruction program (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) to an adult with moderate intellectual disability. Lessons were presented by the client’s community carers under supervision of the RMIT University Psychology Clinic. Unfortunately, after 31 completed lessons (131 sessions over almost 12 mo...
Article
Full-text available
This case study examined the effects of a parent-presented Direct Instruction decoding program on the reading and language skills of a child with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Following the 23 hour intervention, reading comprehension, listening comprehension and fluency skills improved to grade level, whilst statistically significant i...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past twenty years, there has been considerable controversy over the competing emphases to beginning reading known as Whole Language and phonics. To provide a context for the debate, this paper examines the history of disputes about reading instruction, particularly as it applies to at-risk students. It commences with a brief discussion of...
Article
Full-text available
Teachers involved in literacy instruction are continuously involved in decision‐making about the methods of instruction and the curriculum materials to employ with their students, and how to respond to their students' efforts along the road to skilled reading. There are various cues to which they may respond, but recent research suggests that some...
Article
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A great deal of recent interest in finding ways of enhancing literacy outcomes across educational systems has been fuelled by demands for increasing accountability. Techniques and programs are being investigated intensively, both by governments through expert committees and through the research community. The findings of the National Reading Panel...
Article
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The three'Cueing system is well‐known to Australian teachers. What is less well known is that it arose not as a result of advances in knowledge concerning reading development, but rather in response to an unfounded but passionately held belief. Despite its largely uncritical acceptance by many within the education field, it has never been shown to...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the effects of a phonics-emphasis Direct Instruction beginning reading program on the phonological processes of students with teacher-identified serious reading problems attending a northern Melbourne reading intervention centre. The students (16 males and 10 females, mean age 8.8 years) were assigned to the treatment condition...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years there has been an abundance of research highlighting the pre-eminent status of phonemic awareness in the development of reading capability. This paper examines the concept of phonemic awareness, and reviews recent findings pointing to its causal links with reading. The importance of linking reading instruction with phonemic awarenes...
Article
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Article
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When Australian state education departments, and major teacher associations take the unusual step of endorsing a particular model of teaching, such as whole language, one would anticipate that the decision would have been made with due gravity, including careful consideration of evidence supporting the model as worthy of such acclamation. Not only...
Article
Full-text available
The failure of the school system to effectively provide for the basic skill development of each its pupils is of concern to both the general and research communities. It is especially salient for those inclined towards empiricism as there are behavioural approaches to teaching, with excellent research support, which could make a major contribution...

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