(April 28, 2010)--How do pre-reading children use cognitive thinking skills and word skills to understand spoken text? That's the mystery Brenda Hannon, UTSA assistant professor of psychology, is trying to solve.
"There are no good tools to identify if a young child is going to have problems learning and reading, so I'm working on developing, testing and comparing measures that would help make that determination," said Hannon.
Hannon is working with children and parents in the UTSA community. The kids spend two hours in a lab on the UTSA Main Campus viewing animated pictures and listening to various texts. The children are tested for their understanding of the pictures, auditory text and auditory words. The children also are asked to compare similarities and differences between images, and a researcher records the data.
According to Hannon, the children's prior knowledge from memory is tested and their deductive and inductive reasoning skills also are being tested when new information is presented in some of the tasks.
When the study is over, both children and parents leave in good spirits. Kids receive a $10 package that consists of toys such as coloring books, puzzles and bubbles. Parents are given a gift card to Barnes and Noble.
More volunteers are needed. Requirements call for children to be four to six years of age, free of known learning disabilities and predominantly English speaking. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult.
For more information, contact Brenda Hannon at 210-458-7479.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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