Literacy Professors Launch Column in Global Magazine

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones

Two Radford University faculty members are coauthors of a new column in an international magazine for teachers of reading.

Jennifer Jones and Katie Hilden, both members of the literacy faculty in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership, pitched the idea for an instructional column to the International Reading Association and are now being published in Reading Today, the organization’s bimonthly magazine.

“For a couple of years now, Katie and I have met for a professional writing time,” Jones said. “We provide one another with feedback and suggestions for our professional writing goals and projects. We found ourselves spending time at each meeting discussing common practices we see in the field and further questioning what research has to say about these practices.”

After making an extensive list of areas to explore, Jones said, the two divvied up their topics and started writing descriptions of commonly observed practices, including what research has been done. They added their own suggestions for teachers based on existing research.

Katie Hilden

Katie Hilden

“We originally planned to put these into one big article for submission to a journal,” Jones said. “After discussing it further, we wanted a wide audience. We wanted to be sure our work would reach into classrooms, where it matters most. Reading Today seemed to be a perfect fit.”

Published in print and online versions, the magazine has a global circulation of more than 66,100 among schools and teachers who are members of the International Reading Association. The organization’s stated mission is to improve the quality of reading instruction, disseminate information about reading and encourage a lifetime reading habit.

The RU professors’ first column was published in fall 2011. Their latest column is titled “Comprehension and Authentic Reading: Putting the Power Back into K–W–L,” a discussion of the Know–Want to Know–Learn teaching technique.

As Jones and Hilden continue writing the column through 2012, they plan to address such teaching techniques as word walls, in which certain words are displayed prominently in the classroom; and round robin reading, in which students read orally one after the other.

Sandra Moore, director of the School of Teacher Education and Leadership, applauded the two professors for their initiative. “This is a major coup for Radford to have this recognition and a testimony to the respect Dr. Jones and Dr. Hilden have in the national literacy area,” she said.

Jan 26, 2012
Bonnie Erickson