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Dr. Lisa Borden-King
Teacher Education and Human Performance

Putting Theory-research Results into Practice

The education field has sometimes been driven by current trends rather than by research based practices. At Minot State University’s Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance, we are infusing research-driven practice throughout the undergraduate experience and helping our education majors sort out what is well documented practice from what is simply popular or traditional practice.

This is evidenced by the emphasis in the Center for the Applied Study of Cognition and Learning Sciences, a new interdisciplinary initiative at Minot State University, on research based applications of mind/brain research. The primary purpose of CASCLS is to help educators at all levels connect information on how the mind/brain actually works to appropriate applications in P-12, undergraduate, graduate and community education.

Minot State University’s Reading Clinic, which I direct, annually serves approximately 50 children from the local area. Through the reading clinic, university students get an excellent background in teaching elementary school students to read, particularly students who struggle with reading. In addition, the reading clinic supports our research efforts by providing opportunities to study children’s processing of the reading task in an authentic reading context. Current research efforts are focused on understanding a key group of struggling readers who seem to be the most resistant to traditional interventions, and then designing interventions that specifically target the areas of difficulty discovered through research.

Minot State students are currently involved with our research efforts both directly as research assistants and indirectly through their participation in the reading clinic. The research we are conducting has significance for the teaching of reading in all classrooms, but more specifically, to improving the reading skills of the most troubled readers. These efforts reflect the commitment of the CASCLS initiative to bridging the gap between mind/brain research and classroom practice. It is an exciting time in education at Minot State University!