PSU Professor Brings Childrens Literacy Message to Brazil

September 9th, 2008 by Adam

Educators around the world may speak many different languages, but they all have a universal concern; children’s reading comprehension skills. Children need a variety of reading comprehension strategies to navigate today’s demand for critical readers and thinkers, and Plymouth State University associate professor of education Lynn Davis is gaining recognition as an expert in the field.

“Children’s literature can improve their reading comprehension and that can enrich their lives as they understand more about the world around them,” said Davis, who just returned from a three-week tour in Brazil, courtesy of a Brazilian government grant.

Davis was the keynote speaker at the first International Congress of Reading and Children’s Literature in Puerto Alegre, which drew more than 200 teachers, university faculty and students.

“The group was very enthusiastic, they are eager to use children’s literature in their reading curriculum to enhance reading comprehension,” Davis said. “My main goal was to work with university professors at the Presidente Prudente campus to create a reading program structure that would feature children’s literature and comprehension strategy instruction as major components of their curriculum. The reading workshop format will be used in undergraduate reading courses as well as with in-service teacher professional development programs,” said Davis. “In addition to learning more about comprehension strategy instruction, Sao Paulo State is very interested in how the PSU Education Department provides practicum experiences for pre-service teachers prior to graduation. The education department has a lot to offer in this area,” Davis said.

“Professional development, especially teacher training for students nearing graduation, is of great interest to the Brazilian educators, so PSU’s education department has a lot to offer,” Davis said.

“Many of the faculty at Sao Paulo State University want to know what we’re doing in Plymouth, to see if it matches their research interests,” said Davis. “Eventually, we hope to do students exchanges; that’s one of our goals.”

Dr. Julie Bernier, PSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, supports Davis’ outreach efforts.

“Professor Davis’ connection with Sao Paulo State University has been very positive,” said Bernier. She and her colleague Professor Renata Junqueira de Souza have been collaborating for several years and have plans for a number of projects in the coming years.

Professor Davis’ role in a cross cultural educational effort was the result of a chance meeting at a snowbound Denver airport in 2003. She struck up a conversation with another stranded traveler, only to find she, too, was a University professor specializing in reading comprehension. Professor Renata Junqueira de Souza and Davis then met at several more conferences and eventually launched a joint research project on reading comprehension. Professor de Souza hopes to visit Plymouth State during a sabbatical next year.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes