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Dale Willows

Dale Willows
Professor Emerita


Applied Psychology and Human Development

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

Research Overview

Dr. Willows is interested in normal reading and writing processes as well as in the causes of difficulties and disabilities. Her practical work is focused on literacy education in classroom instruction and on reading/writing assessment and intervention for children and adolescents with learning disabilities. Her research involves multidimensional longitudinal studies of the impact of various factors in pre-service and in-service teacher education in the area of literacy. A particular focus of her work at the present time is on knowledge mobilization, putting literacy research into practice through an evidence-informed website and examining uses of these internet resources as a tool for professional development.

Teaching Overview

Dr. Willows' specialty courses include:

CSE Course (Pre-Service Teacher Education)
APD2211: Theory And Curriculum I: Language and Literacy

DPE and SCCP Course (Special Education)
APD2296: Reading and Writing Difficulties

Representative Publications

The Balanced Literacy Diet: Putting Research into Practice in the Classroom website (Launched February 2012)

The Balanced Literacy Diet YouTube Channel (Launched December 2011)

Beach, P., & Willows, D. (2017). Understanding teachers’ cognitive processes during online professional learning: A methodological comparison. Online Learning Journal, 21 (1), 60-84.
Martinussen, R., Ferrari, J., Aitken, M. & Willows, D. (2015) Preservice Teachers' Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness: Relationship to Perceived Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, and Exposure to a Multimedia-Enhanced Lecture. Annals of Dyslexia, 65 (October), pp 142-158. 
Beach, P. & Willows, D. (2014).  Investigating teachers’ exploration of a professional development website: An innovative approach to understanding the factors that motivate teachers to use Internet-based resources.  Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40 (3), Summer 2014.
Corcos, E. & Willows, D. M. (2009).  Processing words varying in personal familiarity (based on reading and spelling) by poor readers and age-matched and reading-matched controls.  Remedial and Special Education, 30 (4), 195-206.

Willows, Dale (November, 2008).  Reducing literacy failure through teacher development: Implementing a Balanced and Flexible Literacy Diet.  Education Canada, 20-24.

Kruk, R. S., Sumbler, K. & Willows, D. M. (2008).  Visual processing characteristics of children with Meares-Irlen Syndrome.  Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 28, 35–46.

Willows, D. M.  (2002).  The Balanced Literacy DietThe School Administrator, 59 (1), 30-33. 

Terepocki, M., Kruk, R. S., & Willows, D. M.  (2002).  The incidence and causes of letter orientation errors in reading disability.  Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35 (3). 214-233.

Ehri, L., Nunes, S., Willows, D. M., Schuster, B., Yaghoub-Zadeh, Z., & Shanahan, T.  (2001).  Phonemic awareness instruction helps children learn to read.  Reading Research Quarterly, 36 (3), 250-287.

Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read (2000).  NICHD, USA Government.