Carol McDonald Connor, previously Professor of Psychology and a Senior Learning Scientist at the Learning Sciences Institute at ASU, joined the UC Irvine School of Education January 1, 2016 as a Chancellor's Professor.
Dr. Connor’s work focuses on teaching and learning in preschool through fifth grade classrooms – with a particular emphasis on reading comprehension, executive functioning, and behavioral regulation development, especially for low-income children. Unique in her approach is the use of technology to establish exactly what types and doses of reading instruction are most effective for students with differing knowledge and skills.
Dr. Connor has developed online assessment tools, coupled with specific instructional modules, that teachers can easily use to first assess each of their students’ current learning needs, plan instruction using a dynamic lesson planner, deliver the appropriate instructional modules, and then monitor their progress so that the entire process can be fine-turned to maximize each student’s learning experiences. Random-assignment trials of her reading methods have documented large achievement gains for low-income students.
Dr. Connor is the first UCI Professor hired under the Provost’s prestigious High Impact Hire Program, which seeks to bring together clusters of faculty in research areas critical to the needs of the university and nation. Dr. Connor is the lead hire in a High-Impact Hire cluster titled “Restoring Opportunity through Educational Interventions.” Five additional faculty are being recruited to join Dr. Connor in this cluster in the Schools of Education and Social Sciences.