Wayne State University

Kathryn L. Roberts

Kathryn L. Roberts
Associate Professor of Reading, Language, and Literature
227 Education

Office Hours: By appointment, please email.

(313) 577-1509

Education
  • B.S., Elementary Education and Spanish, Butler University
  • M.S., Teaching English as a Second Language, Indiana University
  • Ph.D., Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy (Literacy Specialization), Michigan State University

Biography

 A former kindergarten teacher, Kathryn L. Roberts earned her doctoral degree in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, with a specialization in Literacy, from Michigan State University. Currently, Dr. Roberts is an assistant professor of Reading, Language, and Literature in the College of Education at Wayne State University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on emergent and content-area literacy, as well as theoretical foundations of literacy in the departments of Reading, Language and Literature; Early Childhood Education; and Bilingual-Bicultural Education.

Dr. Roberts’ primary research interests include content-area literacy, graphical comprehension, and family literacy. She has authored several publications on literacy education and speaks widely for both practitioner and researcher audiences about various aspects of literacy, such as family involvement, cross-curricular approaches to instruction, and literacy in early childhood contexts.

 

Responsibilities

 Reading, Language, and Literature; Division of Teacher Education

Teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, advising graduate students, research, serving on various committees

Academic Interests

  • Emergent Literacy
  • Comprehension
  • Informational Literacy
  • Family Literacy
  • Graphical Comprehension
  • Authentic Literacy

Area of Expertise

 Early Literacy
Comprehension
Informational Literacy
Family Literacy
Visual Literacy

Research Interests

  • Early Literacy
  • Comprehension
  • Informational Literacy
  • Family Literacy
  • Visual Literacy

Community Engagement Activities

  • Board Member, Taylor Reading Corps
  • Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Literacy Committee, ACLU Literacy Roadmap Project
  • Co-Chair, Reading by Third Grade Committee, Detroit Area Great Start Collaborative

Grants

A Unified Approach to Literacy Instruction
2015 - 2016
In this Improving Teacher Quality Grant, we will be engaging in 90 hours of professional development with grade K-3 teachers. We will be studying the effects of a contextually embedded intervention over the course of one year.

Awards & Honors

2015
Article of the Year, The Geography Teacher

Presentations

Practicing what we preach: Relationships between third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade teachers’ beliefs and practices related to genre
Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R. 2015   annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
Reimagining teacher education. Forming communities of practice across content areas and contexts for learning
Brugar, K. A., Roberts, K.L. 2015   the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association
A hierarchy of teacher needs: Professional development practice informing theory
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 2015   annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association
When textbooks don’t have GPS: Award acceptance presentation
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 2015   annual meeting of the National Council for Geographic Education
Engaging families in early literacy development
Roberts, K. L. 2014   Family & Community Engagement Symposium
Seeing is believing: Social studies and visual literacy
Brugar, K. A., Roberts, K.L. 2014   annual meeting of the College and University Faculty Association
Flourish followed by failure: Professional development as situated practice
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 2014   annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
Fantastic family literacy workshops: Please do try this at home!
Roberts, K. L. 2013   National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, D.C.
Maps, timelines, and tables: Reading graphics in the social studies
Brugar, K., Roberts, K. L., and McGuire, D 2013   Michigan Council for Social Studies, Lansing, MI
Literacy assessment in k-2: Reaching past the low-hanging fruit
Roberts, K. L. 2013   Michigan School Testing Conference, Ann Arbor, MI
Third graders’ interpretations of graphical devices in content-area texts: In their own words
Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R. 2013   annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
The relationship between graphical device comprehension and overall text comprehension for third-grade children
Roberts, K. L. & Norman, R. R. 2012   Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA.
Young children's understanding of specific graphical devices in informational text
Duke, N. K., Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. N. 2011   Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association
Examining the efficacy of comprehension strategy instrcution during parent-child lap reading
Roberts, K. L. 2011   Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association
Common Core State Standards on writing in action: Elementary
Roberts, K. L. 2011   Michigan Reading Association Research Pre-Conference
Common Core State Standards on digital media, text, and sources in action: Elementary
Roberts, K. L. 2011   Michigan Reading Association Research Pre-Conference
Getting the bigger picture: Children's utilization of graphics in text
Norman, R. R., & Roberts, K. L. 2010   Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association

Publications

Relationship between graphical device comprehension and overall text comprehension for third-grade children
Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R., Cocco, J.   2015 Reading Psychology 36 389-420
Getting the bigger picture: Children’s utilization of graphics and text
Norman, R. R., Roberts, K. L.   2015 Journal of Visual Literacy 34 35-55
Reading relationships: The power of parents
Roberts, K. L., Rochester, S. E.   2015 ASCD Express
Let’s table it: Using tables to reflect on informational reading
Brugar, K. A., Roberts, K. L.   2015 Oregon Journal for the Social Studies
Third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students’ perceptions of practices of strong readers of informational text
Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R.   2015 Journal of the New England Reading Association
Timelines: An opportunity for meeting standards through textbook reading
Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K. L.   2014 The Social Studies 105 230-236
Navigating maps to support comprehension: When textbooks don’t have GPS
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A.   2014 Geography Teacher 11 149-163
Practicing what we preach: Relationships between third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade teachers’ beliefs and practices related to genre
Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R.   2014 Michigan Reading Journal 47 6-13
Evaluating texts for graphical literacy instruction: The graphic rating tool
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A., Norman, R. R.   2014 The Reading Teacher 68 312-318
Bringing them in and bringing them back: Strategies for improving family participation
Roberts, K. L., Rochester, S. E.   2014 Colorado Reading Journal 54-59
Comprehension Strategy Instruction during Parent-Child Shared Reading: An Intervention Study
Roberts, K. L.   2013 Literacy Research and Instruction 52(2) 106-129
Not just pretty pictures
Norman, R. R. & Roberts, K. L.   2013 Educational Leadership 71(3) 38-44
Common Core State Standards on visual literacy: Literacy instruction in the content areas
Norman, R. R. & Roberts, K. L.   2013 Journal of the Connecticut Reading Association 1(2) 38-44
Beyond concepts of print: Development of concepts of graphics in text, pre-k to grade 3
Duke, N. K., Norman, R. R., Roberts, K. L., Martin, N. M., Knight, J. A., Morsink, P. M., & Calkins, S. L.   2013 Research in the Teaching of English
Saturn, science, and cross-curricular literacy standards
Grueber, D. & Roberts, K. L.   2013 Science Scope 37 26-32
The Common Core State Standards on reading and writing informational text in the primary grades: What are they, and what are the linguistic demands?
Roberts, K. L.   2012 Seminars in Speech and Language Pathology 33 146-159
The Common Core State Standards on technology: A *SHIFT* in focus for states
Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R., & Shedd, M. K.   2012 Journal of the New England Reading Association 48(1) 56-65
Research worth knowing about: Four recently-published studies
Roberts, K. L., Christ, T., Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Reynolds, J. M.   2011 Michigan Reading Journal 43(1) 56-57
Writing first: What research says about writing instruction in the primary grades
Roberts, K. L., & Wibbens, E. N.   2010 Writing research in classroom practice: Applications for teacher professional development
The genre-specific nature of reading comprehension and the case of informational text
Duke, N. K. & Roberts, K. L.   2010 The international handbook of english language and literacy teaching
Comprehension in the primary grades: A review of the research
Roberts, K. L., & Duke, N. K.   2009 A comprehensive look at comprehension