Carol Connor, Principal Investigator
Carol McDonald Connor, is a Chancellor’s Professor in the UC Irvine School of Education. Prior to moving to UCI she was a professor of Psychology and a Senior Learning Scientist at the Learning Sciences Institute at ASU.
Dr. Connor’s work focuses on teaching and learning in preschool through fifth grade classrooms – with a particular emphasis on reading comprehension, executive functioning, and behavioral regulation development, especially for low-income children. Unique in her approach is the use of technology to establish exactly what types and doses of reading instruction are most effective for students with differing knowledge and skills.
Dr. Connor has developed online assessment tools, coupled with specific instructional modules, that teachers can easily use to first assess each of their students’ current learning needs, plan instruction using a dynamic lesson planner, deliver the appropriate instructional modules, and then monitor their progress so that the entire process can be fine-turned to maximize each student’s learning experiences. Random-assignment trials of her reading methods have documented large achievement gains for low-income students.
Dr. Connor has also worked as a Developmental Psychology Professor at Florida State University and the Florida Center for Reading Research. During her years there her research focused on examining the links between young children’s language and literacy development with the goal of illuminating reasons for the perplexing difficulties children who are atypical and diverse learners have developing basic and advanced literacy skills. She also focused on children’s learning in the classroom – from preschool through third grade. Awarded the Presidents’ Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE, 2008), the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD, 2009) Early Career Award, and the Richard Snow Award (APA, 2008), she is the principal investigator for studies funded by the US Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
Hear Carol talk about reading instruction here!