A Florida State University educator is quickly making a name for herself in the area of child development research. Carol Connor, an associate professor in the College of Education and faculty member in the Florida Center for Reading Research, has received the 2009 Early Career Research Contributions to Child Development Award given by the Society for Research in Child Development.
Recipients of the award are typically no more than six years beyond their Ph.D. and have distinguished themselves through superior research, publications and scholarly activity.
"I am very honored to receive this award," said Connor. "It is particularly encouraging because it recognizes the importance of rigorous education research on how children learn in the classroom and that one size doesn’t fit all — that the effect of specific reading strategies, for example, depend on the language and literacy skills children bring to the classroom."
Connor’s work in the area of children’s language and literacy development has garnered much acclaim. In particular, she has a current five-year project supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and the National Institutes of Health to design and evaluate software that will provide guidance to teachers about how to fine-tune their instruction to best match their students’ current levels of growth in reading. Connor’s development of Assessment to Instruction (A2i), a Web-based software program that computes the recommended amounts and types of reading instruction for each individual child in a classroom, is currently being tested in elementary schools in Florida.
The 2009 Early Career Research Contributions to Child Development Award follows two similar recognitions for Connor. She previously received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2006 and the American Psychological Association’s Richard E. Snow Early Career Award in 2007.
"Dr. Connor’s early career award from the Society for Research in Child Development is her third national early career award and another sign of the high esteem in which her research on effective reading instruction is held," said Barbara Foorman, Florida State’s Francis Eppes Professor of Education and director of the Florida Center for Reading Research.
The Society for Research in Child Development is a multidisciplinary, not-for-profit professional association that seeks to promote research in the field of human development, foster the exchange of information among scientists and other professionals, and encourage application of research findings.