D. Experience-Based Knowledge

Earlier you considered two important sources of evidence: the best available research, along with definitions and demonstrations of practice, and policies/professional guidelines about dialogic reading practices. Experience-based knowledge is another source of evidence to help guide your decision-making. Experience-based knowledge is the “know-how” that comes from solving problems, overcoming barriers, and making decisions in everyday life.

CONNECT staff identified experts, practitioners, and parents from around the country who have experienced-based knowledge on the topic of dialogic reading and invited them to share their views.  These knowledgeable spokespersons are:

Pam Zornick
Pam is a pre-K teacher in North Carolina and has been teaching young children for more than twenty years. She has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support with a Social Inclusion focus, and has worked as a lead teacher in an inclusive setting. Pam also serves as a supervising teacher for student teachers.  Listen as Pam talks about how student teachers can shape classroom practices, including a story of how one student teacher changed the way an assistant teacher read to the children.
Samtra Devard 
Samtra is the founder of the HOPE Center Network for Families – which operates under the core belief that “Every Child Has Possibilities.” She resides in Bear, Delaware, with her husband and their three children, one of whom has a disability. Samtra is an advocate for children and their families with a particular interest in systems change. She is a parent leader in numerous national and state organizations and initiatives, as well as a writer and speaker at workshops and conferences nationwide. Samtra holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University. Learn more about the HOPE Center Network for Families at www.hopecenterofde.com. Listen as Samtra talks about why it is important for teachers to know and use research-based literacy practices with young children with disabilities.
Cristina Gillanders
Cristina Gillanders is an Investigator at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been in the field of early childhood for more than 20 years as a bilingual early childhood teacher, director of an early childhood program, and teacher educator and researcher. Her research focuses on young Latino emergent literacy, bilingualism, and early childhood teaching practices for Latino dual language learners. One of Cristina’s recent articles, Storybook Reading for Young Dual Language Learners, focuses on research and recommended reading strategies for these children. Listen as Cristina talks about why reading aloud is important for dual language learners.

Now listen to audio clips 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 from phone interviews with these spokespersons and identify important considerations to keep in mind about effective dialogic reading using Activity 6.8a.

Audio 6.1: Pam Zornick

Pam Zornick, a pre-K teacher, talks about how student teachers can shape classroom practices, including a story of how one student teacher changed the way an assistant teacher read to the children. (running time: 1 min., 42 sec.)

Audio 6.2: Samtra Devard

Samtra, the mother of three children, including one who has a disability, talks about why it is important for teachers to know and use research-based literacy practices with young children with disabilities. (running time: 1 min. 31 sec.)

Audio 6.3: Cristina Gillanders

Dr. Gillanders, an investigator who studies Latino emergent literacy and bilingualism, talks about why reading aloud is important for dual language learners. (running time: 1 min. 52 sec.)