Ashley M. Pinkham's research while affiliated with West Texas A&M University and other places

Publications (14)

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There is a virtual consensus regarding the types of language processes, interactions, and material supports that are central for young children to become proficient readers and writers (Shanahan et al., 2008). In this study, we examine these supports in both home and school contexts during children’s critical transitional kindergarten year. Partici...
Article
Research (Evans & Saint‐Aubin, 2005) suggests systematic patterns in how young children visually attend to storybooks. However, these studies have not addressed whether visual attention is predictive of children's storybook comprehension. In the current study, we used eye‐tracking methodology to examine two‐year‐olds' visual attention while being r...
Article
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This study examined the efficacy of a shared bookreading approach to integrating literacy and science instruction. The purpose was to determine whether teaching science vocabulary using information text could improve low-income preschoolers’ word knowledge, conceptual development, and content knowledge in the life sciences. Teachers in 17 preschool...
Article
Although a great deal of research has focused on ontological judgments in preschoolers, very little has examined ontological judgments in older children. The present study asked 10-year-olds and adults (N = 94) to judge the reality status of known real, known imagined, and novel entities presented in simple and elaborate contexts and to explain the...
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The purpose of this study was to support teachers' child-directed language and student outcomes by enhancing the educative features of an intervention targeted to vocabulary, conceptual development and comprehension. Using a set of design heuristics (Davis & Krajcik, 200510. Davis, E. A., & Krajcik, J. S. (2005). Designing educative curriculum mate...
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This article make a case for the importance of background knowledge in children's comprehension. It suggests that differences in background knowledge may account for differences in understanding text for low- and middle-income children. It then describes strategies for building background knowledge in the age of common core standards.
Article
The goal of the current study is to explore the influence of knowledge on socioeconomic discrepancies in word learning and comprehension. After establishing socioeconomic differences in background knowledge (Study 1), the authors presented children with a storybook that incorporates this knowledge (Study 2). Results indicated that middle-income chi...
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Targeted to children as young as 3 months old, there is a growing number of baby media products that claim to teach babies to read. This randomized controlled trial was designed to examine this claim by investigating the effects of a best-selling baby media product on reading development. One hundred and seventeen infants, ages 9 to 18 months, were...
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For young children, maternal testimony is an important source of knowledge. Research suggests that children privilege assertions expressed with certainty; however, adults frequently overestimate their knowledge, which may lead them to express certainty about incorrect information. This study addressed three questions. (1) To what extent do mothers...
Article
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For young children, storybooks may serve as especially valuable sources of new knowledge. While most research focuses on how extratextual comments influence knowledge acquisition, we propose that children’s learning may also be supported by the specific features of storybooks. More specifically, we propose that texts that invoke children’s knowledg...
Article
In efforts to prepare children for learning to read, it is crucial to recognize the important role of word and world knowledge in early literacy, and to balance children's skill development with their conceptual knowledge development better. To make this argument, this chapter first examines the building blocks necessary for children's word learnin...
Article
This experiment tested how 18-month-old infants’ prior experience with an object affects their imitation. Specifically, we asked whether infants would imitate an adult who used her head to illuminate a light-box if they had earlier discovered that the light could be illuminated with their hands. In the Self-Discovery condition, infants had the oppo...
Chapter
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IntroductionSocial ReferencingReading IntentionsQuarantinePretense Play as SymbolicPretend Play and Social CognitionPretense and Cognitive NeuroscienceConclusion References
Article
Full-text available
How the rational imagination develops remains an open question. The ability to imagine emerges early in childhood, well before the ability to reason counterfactually, and this suggests that imaginative thought may facilitate later counterfactual ability. In addition, developmental data indicate that inhibitory control may also play a role in the ab...

Citations

... Given libraries' commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (International Federation of Library Associations, 1994), this finding is particularly relevant for those children from traditionally marginalized communities who tend to have fewer language opportunities and access to lower quality language environments (Neuman et al., 2018). Further, because librarians intentionally model strategies with the expectation that caregivers will learn and independently employ them when reading to children in the home (Cahill and Ingram, 2021), the impact of the talk observed in the storytime programs is even more powerful than the study might suggest at first glance. ...
... We intended to simulate ordinary joint reading activities, in which a child is typically provided with a book while being read to. Even though the children at this age range were not yet able to read, looking at the illustrations while being read to may have facilitated their comprehension of the narration (Kaefer et al., 2017) and made the reading activity more engaging (Ann Evans & Saint-Aubin, 2005). A Google Home Mini device (pictured in the right panel of Figure 1) was utilized in the two agent conditions. ...
... The books and materials librarians choose and use in storytime programs naturally influence the extent to which those goals are met. Book genre and subject matter of texts influence children's learning outcomes (Price, Bradley, and Smith 2012;Neuman, Kaefer, and Pinkham 2016). Equally important, the representation of the characters in the books selected affects the extent to which children are able to view themselves, their friends, and their families. ...
... Kinder aus sozial benachteiligten Familien haben aber nicht unbedingt damit ihre Probleme, sondern fallen vor allem erst beim Verständnis komplexer werdender Texte auf, wenn es weniger um das Dekodieren, sondern mehr um das Verständnis des Gelesenen geht (Leseman & Tuijl, 2006). Es wird vermutet, dass das Scheitern von vorher unauffälligen Schülerinnen und Schülern bei komplexer werdenden Texten auf Defizite in Wortschatz und Grammatik zurückführbar ist (Neuman, Pinkham & Kaefer, 2013). Kinder, die Probleme haben, Sätze grammatisch zu analysieren, bekommen dann vermutlich auch auf der Textebene Probleme, den Inhalt des Gelesenen zu verstehen (Scott, 2004 ...
... However, critics argue that scripting constrains teachers' autonomy and authority (Milner, 2013) and could deskill teachers if scripts elicit "mindless performance" rather than more intentional, engaged practice (Chi, 2011). A growing body of research suggests that curriculum materials may be more effective when they engage teachers in decision-making processes and allow teachers to adapt resources to their students' needs rather than following provided scripts verbatim (e.g., Bleses et al., 2018;Fang et al., 2004;Neuman et al., 2015;Tivnan & Hemphill, 2005). In a recent, large-scale meta-analysis of research investigating the impact of reading interventions for students in the primary grades, Gersten et al. (2020) did not find that unscripted interventions were statistically significantly more effective than scripted interventions (p p .94); still, the small, nonsignificant effect size was in the direction of unscripted intervention (d p 0.13). ...
... However, children younger than 2 do not seem to gain similar benefits from watching educational shows (e.g., DeLoache et al., 2010;Krcmar, 2014;Tomopoulos, et al., 2010). This adds to accumulating evidence that children under 2 do not learn as effectively from screen media as they do from live presentations (e.g., Neuman et al., 2014;Roseberry et al., 2009), in what has been named the video deficit effect (Anderson & Pempek, 2005). ...
... An inclination to provide natural explanations (rather than supernatural ones) could result if children typically reason according to their real-world knowledge, and do so even when thinking about novel and unfamiliar outcomes, events, and entities (Cook & Sobel, 2011;Lane, Ronfard, Francioli, & Harris, 2016). Consistent with this, children draw on their real-world knowledge when judging whether various entities are real or have various properties (e.g., Cook & Sobel, 2011;Sharon & Woolley, 2004;Van Reet, Pinkham, & Lillard, 2015). Real-world knowledge also constrains young children's pretense and generation of fiction (e.g., Harris & Kavanaugh, 1993;Sobel & Weisberg, 2014;Weisberg & Sobel, 2012;Weisberg, Sobel, Goodstein, & Bloom, 2013), and even constrains what they can visually imagine (Lane et al., 2016). ...
... image--is encountered, it is encoded with reference to what is already known (e.g., Nelson & Shiffrin, 2013). Novel items that are congruent with pre-existing knowledge are more likely to be remembered than those low in congruence (e.g., Greve, Cooper, Tibon, & Henson, 2019;Kaefer, Neuman, & Pinkham, 2015;Kan, Alexander, & Verfaellie, 2009). For word learning specifically, Pulido (2007) asked adult L2 learners of Spanish to read four Spanish texts, two describing familiar situations and two describing less familiar scenarios. ...
... Another way to make the prosocial or moral lesson of a story less difficult for children to transfer to their own behavior might be to make it more relatable. We know from prior research that if children are able to make connections between a story and their own prior knowledge of the world, this can facilitate their memory and comprehension of the story (e.g., Pinkham et al. 2014). In many cases storybooks that are more realistic-relaying common "everyday" types of events without fantastic or impossible properties, and featuring relatable human characters-facilitate story comprehension and memory (Ganea et al. 2008;Kotaman and Balci 2017;Richert et al. 2009). ...
... Young adolescent students demonstrate preferences for texts with visual supports, and research recommends incorporating visuals during student interaction with texts as a means of building background knowledge and supporting reading comprehension (Martinez & Harmon, 2011;Neuman et al., 2014). According to Seraffini (2012), "The amount of time students will spend looking at visual and multimodal texts in the new millennium will require a rethinking of current pedagogical approaches" (p. ...