Jane Ashby, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at Central Michigan University, where she studies the cognitive processes that underlie reading by monitoring eye movements as participants read sentences silently. Early in her career, Jane taught writing workshop and content-area reading to urban young adults and tutored children who struggled learning to read. Later, she established a program to provide professional learning for teachers and supplemental instruction for students with dyslexia. In recent years, Jane worked at the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Vermont, where she provided professional learning to advance the literacy knowledge of elementary school teachers. She co-authored Psychology of Reading.
Thought Leader Session Description
Beyond Intuition: Surprising Facts about the Eyes and the Brain that Impact Reading Instruction
(Special Ed, Dyslexia, Other Learning Challenges, Coaching/ Instructional Support, Leadership, General Science of Reading) Learning to read is a complex process, and human thinking operates in counter-intuitive ways. Teaching can occur at a basic level largely through intuition. Growing beyond that basic, intuitive practice requires building a strong knowledge base about how the eyes and brain work. In this session, you will learn three surprising facts from eye movement research and neuro-imaging research that provide a useful foundation for teaching reading artfully. Explore how science extends our understanding of human cognition beyond what we know intuitively. The scientific process reveals unexpected information about how the human mind works as we perceive our surroundings, read words, and grow into skilled readers. This session addresses the following questions: how does the physiology of the visual system affect word recognition processes? what brain areas are active immediately during word recognition? how do reading networks grow and develop? Join us to learn the non-intuitive answers to these questions, presented in language that is accessible to non-scientists.
Target Audience(s): Elementary, Middle/ Jr. High
Education Track(s): New to the Science of Reading, Advanced Science of Reading, Leadership
Concurrent Session Description
The Possibility of Writing
(Special Ed, Dyslexia, Other Learning Challenges, Equity & Inclusion, ELL, Writing, Spelling, Coaching/ Instructional Support)
This session celebrates the role of writing in human development and shares instructional tips for helping children (PK – Grade 3) to develop the fundamental skills necessary for later writing development. First, we reflect on the social, emotional, and economic impacts of writing over the course of the lifespan. Next, we discuss the essential aspects of learning to write that have been identified by decades of research. In the third part of this session, you will learn several techniques for helping all children develop the accurate and automatic letter production skills that are crucial for learning to write.
Target Audience(s): Elementary
Educational Track(s): New to the Science of Reading, Equity & Inclusion, Leadership