Devin Kearns

Assistant Professor

Educational Psychology


Assistant Professor of Special Education

Research Scientist, Center for Behavioral Education and Research

 

Academic Degrees:

Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University

M.A., Elementary Literacy and Language Arts, Loyola Marymount University

B.A., History and Government, cum laude, Georgetown University

 

Biography:

Dr. Kearns researches reading disability in elementary age children, focusing on developing and implementing programs to prevent and remediate reading problems.

He is currently conducting studies to

(1) examine how late-elementary-age children read polysyllabic words, and

(2) help struggling readers learn strategies to help them read polysyllabic words better.

To understand more about his work, the following presentations are helpful. The first describes the work in technical terms. The second provides an overview in less technical terms and information for teachers about instruction for polysyllabic word reading.

Haskins Cover   CEC Polysyllabic Cover

Dr. Kearns’s academic work has appeared in journals like Exceptional Children, the Journal of Educational Psychology, the Journal of Learning Disabilities, the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, and Reading Research Quarterly. More information about his publications and some links to full-text can be found on his Research Gate or Google Scholar page.

Dr. Kearns has seven years of classroom experience, working in elementary education as a general-education teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. He has provided professional development and done curriculum design for federally-funded centers, universities, and schools and districts across the U.S. and Canada. Below is a video of Dr. Kearns teaching sixth graders to read polysyllabic words.

 

Dr. Kearns was a Learning Sciences Institute and Institute of Education Sciences Fellow, and he was the 2010 recipient of Vanderbilt University’s Robert Gaylord Award for Writing Excellence. Dr. Kearns is associate editor for Assessment for Effective Intervention and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

 

Recent Publications and Presentations:

You can also view his complete CV: Devin Kearns-Curriculum Vitae.

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Dobbs, C., & Kearns, D. M. (accepted) Using new vocabulary in writing: Exploring how word and learner characteristics relate to the likelihood that writers use newly taught vocabulary. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Kearns, D. M., Steacy, L. M., Compton, D. L., Gilbert, J. K., Goodwin, A., Cho, E., Lindstrom, E. R., & Collins, A. A. (in press). Modeling polymorphemic word recognition: Exploring differences among children with early-emerging and late-emerging word reading difficulty. Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Powell, S. R., Kearns, D. M., & Driver, M. K. (in press) Journal of Educational Psychology. Performance differences in first and second grade children on standard and nonstandard equations.

Steacy, L. M., Kearns, D. M., Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., Cho, E., Lindstrom, E. R., & Collins, A. A. (in press). Exploring individual differences in irregular word recognition among children with early-emerging and late-emerging word reading difficulty. Journal of Educational Psychology.

McCarthy, T., Rosenblum, P. L., Johnson, B., Ditel, J, & Kearns, D. M.  Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. The Artificial Intelligence Tutor: A supplementary tool for teaching and practicing braille.

Al Ghanem, R., & Kearns, D. M. (2015). Orthographic, phonological, and morphological predictors of children’s word reading skills in Arabic: A literature review. Reading Research Quarterly, 50, 83-109. doi: 10.1002/rrq.84

Kearns, D. M. (2015). How elementary-age children read polysyllabic polymorphemic words. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107, 364-390. doi:10.1037/a0037518

McMaster, K. L., Jung, P.-G., Brandes, D., Pinto, V., Fuchs, D., Kearns, D., Lemons, C. J., & Yen, L. (2014). Customizing an evidence-based reading practice: Balancing fidelity and flexibility. The Reading Teacher, 68, 173-183.

Miller, A. C., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Compton, D., Kearns, D. M., Zhang, W., …, Peterson, D. (2014). Behavioral attention: A longitudinal study of whether and how it influences the development of word reading and reading comprehension among at-risk readers. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7, 232-249.

Goodwin, A., Gilbert, J. K., Cho, S.-J., & Kearns, D. M. (2014). Probing lexical representations: Simultaneous modeling of word and reader contributions to multidimensional lexical representations. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106, 448-468 doi: 10.1037/a0034754.

Gilbert, J. K., Goodwin, A. P., Compton, D. L., & Kearns, D. M. (2014). Word reading as a moderator of morphological awareness and reading comprehension. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47, 34-43. doi: 10.1177/0022219413509966.

Lemons, C. J., Kearns, D. M., & Davidson, K. A. (2014). Data-based individualization in reading. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(4), 20-29.

Kearns, D. M., & Fuchs, D. (2013). Does cognitively focused instruction improve the academic performance of low-achieving students? Exceptional Children79, 263-290.

Fuchs, D., Hale, J. B., & Kearns, D. M. (2011). On the importance of a processing-deficit perspective: An introduction. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44, 99-104. (Impact Factor [Jan 2015]: 1.941; Citations [Jan 2015]: 10).

Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., & Kearns, D. M. (2011). Word and person effects on decoding accuracy: A new look at an old question. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 489-507. doi: 10.1037/a0023001

McMaster, K. L., Fuchs, D., Saenz, L., Lemons, C., Kearns, D. M., Yen, L., … Fuchs, L. S. (2010) Scaling up PALS: Importance of implementing evidence-based practice with fidelity and flexibility. Division of Learning Disabilities Newsletter, 28, 1-3.

Kearns, D. M., Fuchs, D., Meyers, C. Berends, M. McMaster, K., Saenz, L. S., … Smith, T. M. (2010). Factors contributing to teachers’ sustained use of Kindergarten Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 3, 315-342.

Books and Chapters

Carlisle, J. F., & Kearns, D. M. (in press). Learning to read morphologically-complex words. In K. Cain, R. Parrila, & D. L. Compton (Eds.), Theories of Reading Development.

Fuchs, D., McMaster, K., & Kearns, D. M. (in press). Evidence-based interventions for reading disabilities in children and adolescents. In L. A. Theodore (Ed.), Handbook of applied interventions for children and adolescents. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Kearns, D. M., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., McMaster, K. L., & Saenz, L. (2015). How to use Reading PALS: Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to improve students’ word recognition and reading comprehension. In K. R. Harris & L. Meltzer (Eds.), The power of peers: Enhancing learning, development, and social skills. New York, NY: Guilford.

Kearns, D. M., Lemons, C. J., Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2014). Essentials of a tiered intervention system to support unique learners: Recommendations from research and practice. In J. Mascolo, D. Flanagan, & V. Alfonso (Eds.), Essentials of planning, selecting, and tailoring interventions for the unique learner (pp. 56-91)Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Svenson, E., Yen, L., Thompson, A., McMaster, K., Al Otaiba, S., & Kearns, D. M. (2011). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies: First-Grade Reading PALS. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.

Kearns, D. M. (2009). Grade four reading case study: Comprehension. Retrieved May 29, 2009 from National Center on Student Progress Monitoring website: http://www.studentprogress.org/library/CaseStudy/reading_grade4_comprehension_3-4-09.pdf

Kearns, D. M. (2008). Grade one reading case study: Decoding. Retrieved March 3, 2009 from National Center on Student Progress Monitoring website: http://www.studentprogress.org/library/CaseStudy/reading_grade1_10-27-08.pdf

 

Recent Presentations

Keynote

Kearns, D. M. (2015, December). Everyday practices that make all the difference. Presented to the Conference of the Connecticut Council for Exceptional Children. New Britain, CT: Central Connecticut State University.

Kearns, D. M. (2015, May). Effective practices for intensifying scientific research-based interventions. Meriden, CT: State Education Resource Center.

Invited

Ciullo, S., Kearns, D. M., Lemons, C. J., & Zumeta Edmonds, R. (2016, April). “Do this, not that!,” Part 2: Differentiating tier 2 and tier 3 interventions. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. St Louis, MO.

Lembke, E., McMaster, K. L., Powell, S. R., & Kearns, D. M. (2016, April). CEC-DR Showcase: Real school problems and research-based solutions: Lessons from the field. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. St Louis, MO.

Kearns, D. M. (2016, March). Introduction to Intensive Intervention: The Intensive Intervention Course Sequence Module 1. Presented to the Bristol-Warren Regional School District as part of the National Center for Intensive Intervention-funded project. Warren, RI.

Kearns, D. M. (2016, March). Teaching basic reading skills effectively and efficiently with research-supported practices. Presented to Haskins Training Institute. New Haven, CT.

Kearns, D. M. (2016, January). Tiered instructional models. Presented at the Leadership Training of the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative. New Britain, CT.

Kearns, D. M. (2016, January). Your everyday practices make all the difference. Presented to the Connecticut Teaching as Leadership Conference. New Haven, CT.

Kearns, D. M. (2015, July). Is “set for variability” a unique reading-related skill? Presented to ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and Its Disorders. Sydney, Australia: Macquarie University.

Kearns, D. M. (2015, May). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in Reading: A Peer-Mediated System for Improving Academic and Social Behavior. Mystic, CT: Northeast PBIS Network Leadership Forum.

Kearns, D. M., & Foorman, B. (2015, April). The Common Core State Standards for K-5 ELA: Facts, myths, and what’s next? Program Chair Featured Session presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children. San Diego, CA.

Gersten, R., Zumeta, R. O., Kearns, D. M., Lembke, E., & Anderson, L. (2015, March). Implementing Data-Based Individualization. Washington, DC: Intensive Intervention Summit.

Kearns, D. M. (2015, March). Implementing data-based individualization in Rhode Island. Providence, RI: Special Education unit of the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Kearns, D. M. (2014, October). RTI in the NYC Public Schools: Improving education outcomes for all students. New York, NY: New York City Public Schools.

Kearns, D. M. (2012, December). Are petals like pleats? An investigation of consistency effects in children’s reading of polysyllabic words. Presented to ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and Its Disorders. Sydney, Australia: Macquarie University

Peer-Reviewed 

Kearns, D. M. (2016, July). Morphological awareness, decoding, and polysyllabic word reading: Relation with reading comprehension in Grade 2 students. In M. A. Wilson & S. H. Deacon, The role of morphology in language acquisition and literacy development across languages. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Porto, Portugal.

Wexler, J., Kearns, D. M., Lemons, C. J., Mitchell, M. A., Clancy, E., Williams, M., & Hayes, J. (2016, February). What Project CALI has taught us so far: Year 1 preliminary observations. Poster presented at the Pacific Coast Research Conference. Coronado, CA.

Kearns, D. M., & Al Ghanem, R. (2015, July). The role of orthographic knowledge in polysyllabic word reading. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Kona, HI.

Carlisle, J. F., Kearns, D. M., & Hiebert, E. (2015, July). Examination of polysyllabic and polymorphemic words in first- and third-grade reading texts. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Kona, HI.

Al Ghanem, R., Kearns, D. M., & Toste, J. R. (2015, July). Orthographic learning for morphologically complex words. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Kona, HI.

Zumeta, R., Fuchs, L. S., Kearns, D. M., & Hitchener, N. (2015, April). How can we make intensive intervention happen? Considerations for knowledge development, implementation, and policy. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children. San Diego, CA.

Ciullo, S., Kearns, D. M., Lemons, C. J., & Zumeta, R. O. (2015, April). Do this, not that! Unraveling common instructional myths for students with LD. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children. San Diego, CA.

Kearns, D. M. (2015, March). Effect of set for variability on word recognition in developing readers: Strong evidence for an understudied skill? Poster presented at the Biannual Conference of the Society for Research on Child Development. Philadelphia, PA.

Fuchs, D., Peng, P., Elleman, A., Kearns, D., Fuchs, L., Compton, D., Patton, S., Steacy, L., Toste, J., & Miller, A. (2015, March). Exploring the value of working memory training when combined with skills-based instruction in reading comprehension for young at-risk students. Paper presented at the Spring Conference of Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Kearns, D. M., & Al Ghanem, R. (2015, February). The effects of item-specific and general child knowledge in word reading. Paper presented at the Pacific Coast Research Conference. Coronado, CA.

Toste, J. R., Capin, P., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., & Kearns, D. M. (2015, February). Enhancing elementary students’ word reading skills through targeted multisyllable word reading and motivational beliefs training. Paper presented at the Pacific Coast Research Conference. Coronado, CA.

Savaiano, M., & Kearns, D. M. (2015, February). Braille and printed English: Alignment for learning and instruction. Paper presented at the Pacific Coast Research Conference. Coronado, CA.

 

Contact Information
Emaildevin.kearns@uconn.edu
Phone860 486 3985
Mailing AddressDepartment of Educational Psychology Neag School of Education 249 Glenbrook Road, Unit 3064 Storrs, CT 06269
Office LocationGentry 002D
Linkhttp://devinkearns.org