by The College of Education / Feb 28, 2013
The International Reading Association (IRA) has created a task force to examine poverty's impact on literacy, and Eurydice Bouchereau Bauer, associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction, is one of seven members commissioned to examine the important topic.
According to Bauer, the IRA Poverty and Literacy Task Force developed a final draft of its report that will be submitted to the IRA board at its next conference in April. The report focuses on grades K-12 and addresses the impact of poverty on opportunity to learn.
“I am really pleased that IRA is addressing this topic and has included me in the conversation. The organization may not be able to eradicate poverty, but its members can focus their attention on maximizing the learning potential of students who come from impoverished background," Bauer said.
"The data suggest that reading achievement in the U.S. has been consistently linked with race, ethnicity and class, but we also know this link is not inevitable," she continued. "So, educators must act to improve the education of all students, especially those in poverty.”
The collective experience and scholarship of the task force is impressive. Task force members, along with Bauer, include:
• Carol Lee, chair of the task force, who is the Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, who recently completed a research project in a Chicago inner city high school that involves restructuring the English Language Arts curriculum, including assessment, in ways that build on social and cultural strengths that students bring from their home and community experiences;
• Nell Duke, the University of Michigan, a professor of language, literacy, and culture and faculty associate in the combined program in Education and Psychology there, whose work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty;
• Kris Gutierrez, University of Colorado, who holds the inaugural provost’s chair and is also current president and fellow of the American Educational Research Association;
• Robert Jimenez, Vanderbilt University, a professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning and past president of the Language Research Association;
• Tawana D. Miller, Teaching Museum South School in Hapeville, Georgia: director of Title I and NCLB compliance, who has served as assistant superintendent, chief curriculum officer, and executive director; and
• P. David Pearson, University of California, Berkeley, and former Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Berkley, who is founding editor of the Handbook of Reading Research, now in its fourth volume.
In addition, Bauer has been nominated for the presidency post of the Literacy Research Association. Voting will be conducted in early March.
Bauer has served as a faculty member at the College of Education since 2001, where she also earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Her research projects focus on culturally and lingusitically diverse students. Specifically, Bauer’s research centers on bilingual and biliteracy development of preschool and school age students, literacy assessments that inform the instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and preparation of preservice and inservice teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Along with other publications, Bauer is co-author of "Early Biliteracy Development: Exploring Young Learners’ Use of Their Linguistic Resources," Routledge. A review of the book can be found in Education Review.