Chantal Francois, Ed.M.’08, Ed.D.’11, has been selected to receive the Jeanne S. Chall Doctoral Student Award. Francois’ doctoral dissertation is titled The Social Dimensions of an Individual Act: Situating Urban Adolescent Students' Reading Growth and Reading Motivation in School Culture.
Francois’ doctoral thesis draws on various methodologies to examine the sociocultural factors that influenced unusually positive growth in reading achievement at an urban secondary school. Francois found that the school community prioritized authentic literacy practices such as independent reading, author visits, and book clubs, along with critical opportunities to examine society through shared texts. These factors contributed to positive student performance and stable reading motivation levels. This research offers a counternarrative to the backdrop of urban adolescent reading underperformance.
Francois will receive her award during the eighth annual Jeanne S. Chall Endowment Lecture on Thursday, October 25, 2012. Robert Jiménez, professor of language, literacy, and culture at Peabody College (Vanderbilt University) will present the lecture. Additionally, the recipient of the Jeanne S. Chall Research Grant will be announced at this time. This event is free and open to the general public.
The Doctoral Student Award honors the late Jeanne S. Chall, who served as a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her seminal work on reading research and instruction influenced scholarship on the teaching of reading in schools and universities throughout the country. This award is given to a graduating HGSE student whose dissertation has been noted for particular excellence in the fields of beginning reading, readability, and reading difficulty, with special emphasis given to projects supporting adult literacy; reading assessment; early reading; grapho/phonoemic processes; and stages of reading, writing, and vocabulary development.