Dr. Afflerbach's reading research interests lay in three areas:
reading strategies, the verbal reporting methodology, and reading
assessment. Specifically, his
work examines reading comprehension strategies of accomplished and
developing readers. He uses
the verbal reporting methodology to produce descriptions of readers’
on-line processing, and also uses verbal reports to investigate
teachers’ decision making processes related to classroom assessment.
Dr. Afflerbach also conducts research on reading assessment. In particular, he is interested in the influences of
assessment on teaching and learning, and the suitability of reading
assessment for different audiences and purposes.
It is Dr. Afflerbach’s belief that the most pressing issue is the lack of reading development among students who achieve a "basic" level of reading ability, but then fail to progress beyond this very basic level. Researchers have a fairly good catalog of the things that good readers do, so in charting a developmental path from basic to proficient to advanced reading ability (to borrow from NAEP) we are not dealing with unknown territory. Rather, it appears that researchers need to better understand the contextual variables that influence children’s movement (or stagnation) as readers. These would include curriculum, instruction, family, community, motivation, and other factors.
Selected Recent Publications
Afflerbach, P., & VanSledright, B.
(in press). The
challenges middle school students face when reading innovative history
text. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.
VanSledright, B., & Afflerbach, P.
(in press). "But
the pale faces knew it not": Using revisionist history texts to
challenge traditional views of America’s past. Theory and Research in
Afflerbach, P. (1999). Verbal reports and protocol analysis. In Pearson, P., Kamil, M., Barr, R., & Mosenthal, P.
(Eds.) Handbook of reading
research, pp.163‑179. Hillsdale,
Pressley, M., & Afflerbach, P.
protocols of reading: The nature of constructively responsive reading.
Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Afflerbach, P. (1998). Reading assessment and learning to read.
In R. Anderson, J. Osborn, & P. Pearson (Eds.) Learning to
read, pp. 239-263. New York: Guilford Press.
Last modified 14 February, 2001 © 2000 University of Maryland