Keep Your Eye On The Flag

I entered the profession in 1964 during another period, not unlike several more recent cycles, in which we were so desperate for teachers that states would credential folks on a provisional basis if (a) they had a degree in anything and (b) were breathing.… Read the rest

On becoming a thoughtful reader: Learning to read like a writer. Pearson, P. D. & Tierney, R. J. (1984)

Rob and I wrote this essay for an NSSE volume on secondary literacy edited by Olive Niles and Alan Purves. We used it as an opportunity to take the “constructivist notion of reading comprehension to the nth degree by positing that every act of comprehension is an act of composing.… Read the rest

Toward a Composing Model of Reading—Tierney, R. J. & Pearson, P. D. (1983)

This is the first published appearance of what came to be called our composing model of reading in which we made the argument that readers, like writers, engaged in an original act of “composing” a text for an inner reader and, in the process, made all of the inferences necessary to create a considerate and complete situation model of the meaning of the text.… Read the rest

Children’s Comprehension of Between- and Within-Sentence Syntactic Structures—Bormuth, J. R., Manning, J., Carr, J., & Pearson, D. (1970)

This is my first published piece. Completed while I was in grad school at the U of Minnesota. John Bormuth spent two years there on his way from UCLA to U of Chicago. The idea was to develop, eventually, a systematic way of teaching intersentential syntax.… Read the rest

Toward a Theory of Reading Comprehension Instruction

Pearson, P. D., & Spiro, R. J. (1980). Toward a theory of reading comprehension instruction. Topics in Language Disorders, 1(1), 71-88.

Rand Spiro and I wrote this piece over a period of a couple of years in 1978-80, building off my earlier accounts of the utility of schema theory and Rand’s characterization of the ways in which Schema Theory was able to explain the typical roadblocks that kids run into when trying to render text meaningful.… Read the rest

Where the P in “P David” comes from

This is the second installment of the name saga…

Fast forward from Grade 1 to my sophomore year in high school. 16th birthday coming up in April of 1957. In the 1950s, turning 16 is a triple witching hour of sorts—have to get a driver’s license, register for Social Security, AND register for Selective Service (the draft for those of you born after 1980).… Read the rest