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"Building Reading Confidence in Adolescents"

Feb. 22, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Two Western Michigan University faculty members in the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies have collaborated with a professor from the University of Cincinnati on a new book that provides fresh insight into self-efficacy, an essential component of motivation.

The book, "Building Reading Confidence in Adolescents: Key Elements That Enhance Proficiency," was written by Holly Johnson, an associate professor in the Division of Teacher Education at the University of Cincinnati, and by WMU's Dr. Lauren Freedman, department chair, and Dr. Karen Thomas, professor of special education and literacy studies.

"Building Reading Confidence in Adolescents" discusses classroom conditions and practices that can create more proficient readers in grades six though 12.

Johnson, Freedman and Thomas interviewed and surveyed more than 120 teachers and 300 students in Michigan, Kentucky and Texas and found these self-efficacy elements fundamental to success for effective teaching and learning in literacy.

Among others, Freedman worked with Robin Abbott, language arts/social studies curriculum coordinator for the Battle Creek (Mich.) Public Schools, in identifying four recurring elements relevant to engaging readers with texts: confidence, independence, metacognition and stamina.

In addition to her other duties, Freedman serves as the advisor for education programs at the WMU-Battle Creek campus. Thomas also serves as the advisor for education programs at the WMU-Southwest campus and as director of the University's McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic.

"Building Reading Confidence in Adolescents" was published in December 2007 by Corwin Press, a Sage company, and is available online through corwinpress.com and amazon.com. It is 112 pages and lists for $56.95 in hardcover and $25.95 in paperback.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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