My Profile

Marcia Barnes

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I am a Professor and hold a Univerity Research Chair (Level II)in

Psychology at the University of Guelph. I am Adjunct faculty in Pediatrics

at the University of Toronto and Adjunct Scientist in the Research Institute at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

I investigate how text literacy (reading comprehension) and numerical literacy develop and why some children have difficulty acquiring these academic skills.

Text literacy (the ability to use reading to acquire new knowledge)and

numerical literacy are necessary for academic and vocational attainments though less is known about the development of these skills than is known about how children learn to read words. Understanding how these skills are acquired in typically developing children and in children with learning disabilities is important for early identification of children at risk, informing educational practices, and designing evidence-based intervention programs. My CLLRNet-funded text literacy research focuses on the development of reading, language, and cognitive skills that English- and French-speaking children in different grades need to understand what they read. My clinical research involves the study of reading comprehension difficulties in children with congenital and acquired brain injuries, particularly those aspects of

comprehension that involve making inferences and learning from text. My numeracy research has two strands: one is to study the cognitive sources of difficulties in math in children with math disabilities and in children with brain injuries that place them at high risk for difficulties in math; the other is to understand the developmental trajectories of success and difficutlies in math in preschoolers in relation to early interventions. My

research is funded by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, and the National Institutes of Health. Activities related to knowledge transfer and educational policy include: 1) membership in 2004-2005 on the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Special Education Students, Ontario Ministry of Education, Special Education Policy and Programs Branch; 2) Current Advisory Committee member on Special Education at the Ontario Council of Directors of Education; and 3) Member of a CLLRNet group evaluating the activities and impact of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, MInistry of Education.

The language and culture of my heritage is passed on to me orally. it's a different way off learning than how I am taught at school. How do I keep my traditional culture alive while learning to read and being immersed in the majority culture?

Reading is the core of learning and staying in school . improving reading skills with young Aboriginal children can open up the doors to future prospects.

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