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Learning to Read - Reading to Learn

11/30/2021

Our ability to read is fundamental to learning, social participation, and success in the workplace. Dr. Panayiota (Pani) Kendeou conducts research at the University of Minnesota (USA) on how best to promote literacy across the lifespan. In her LIfBi Lecture on November 9th, Pani Kendeou presented two of her lines of research that aim to improve our theoretical understanding of reading and translate it into practical solutions.

 

Pani Kendeou develops theoretical models detailing the cognitive processes of reading and constructs practical intervention programs based on these models. Based on key findings of her research, in particular that our comprehension of language and thus our ability to read depends on a general ability to draw inferences, Pani Kendeou presented two of her main research areas in her LIfBi Lecture.

Learning to Read - Improving Reading Comprehension for Young Students

Pani Kendeou designs and researches technology-based instructional methods, interventions, and tests for reading comprehension for children in kindergarten and elementary schools. The online platform inference galaxy, developed in the ELCII and TeLCI projects, led by Pani Kendeou, promotes the ability to draw inferences, which is fundamental to reading. With the development of this intelligent support system for the classroom and group level as well as the individual support area, it is possible to prevent language comprehension difficulties of children in kindergarten age and to address the needs of children with comprehension difficulties in reading in 1st and 2nd grade.

Reading to Learn - The Acquisition of Knowledge and Reduction of Misinformation through Reading

Within the second line of research presented in her LIfBi Lecture, Pani Kendeou investigates how people learn new knowledge during their reading experiences and thus revise pre-existing incorrect knowledge or misinformation with competing new knowledge. To this regard, she presented theoretical models and empirical analyses in her LIfBi Lecture. In addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also been described as an "infodemic," Pani Kendeou emphasized the correction of misconceptions as central, particularly in the context of misinformation on the Internet. The goal of her research is to identify the conditions and limitations of successful revision of pre-existing false beliefs and misconceptions.  

Further research areas

In an outlook on her further research topics, Pani Kendeou outlined in her LIfBi Lecture the influence of credibility of sources on and the importance of (negative) emotions for the retention of what is read. Concluding, she stated that traditional concepts of reading comprehension need to be extended through (multiple) document literacy and collaborative comprehension models, as reading and ways of reading have changed rapidly through new technologies in recent years.

Link to Dr. Panayiota (Pani) Kendeou's profile page at the University of Minnesota.