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AERA organizes special symposium for recently named Fellow, Keith Stanovich


By Fred Michah Rynor

Keith StanovichIt's been twelve months of well-deserved recognition for OISE's Keith Stanovich.

Stanovich, Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development, is renowned for his theories on how reading skills are acquired and what the exercise of reading does to the mind. In 2012 he was presented with the E. L. Thorndike Career Achievement Award by the American Psychological Association (APA). As well, he will give the keynote speech at the APA’s annual conference in Hawaii.

The Thorndike award is considered one of the most coveted educational recognitions in the world and now he’s preparing for the ‘Symposium in Honor of Keith E. Stanovich’ presented by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) based in Washington.

“I was thrilled and surprised to receive this invitation,” states Stanovich, who joined OISE in 1991. In 1997 I received an award from AERA for my work on the psychology of reading and now it is 2013 and I am being honoured for my work on the psychology of reasoning by the same organization. The recognition of both of my research areas makes me feel profoundly satisfied with my life’s work.”

The AERA conference will take place April 27 in San Francisco and Stanovich will give the Distinguished Scholar Symposium talk on 'The Assessment of Rational Thinking: IQ Does Not Equal RQ.’

Stanovich’s nomination for the honourary symposium came from Division C (Learning & Instruction) of AERA for his lifetime of research on cognition and learning.

His talk, which focuses on his current research, will discuss his celebrated research on the empirical and theoretical differences between rationality and intelligence.

“My research has highlighted the sometimes startling discrepancy between intelligence and rational thinking,” he states. “Many people who score highly on intelligence tests still make poor life decisions and my work has shown that intelligence tests are incomplete measures of good thinking because they fail to take into account the rational thinking skills that are essential to sound judgment and decision making. I argue for the necessity of assessing rationality thinking separately from intelligence and my presentation will describe the progress my lab has made in developing such an assessment.”

Stanovich, regarded worldwide as an expert in the psychology of reading and reasoning, is grateful to OISE for helping him achieve so much during his career of educational investigation – achievements that often took routes not initially planned.

“OISE provided a very flexible environment whereby my change of research area -- something often fraught for a senior scholar -- was accomplished with ease.”

Stanovich is widely referenced for his theories on how reading skills are acquired and what the exercise of reading does to the mind. The theme of the 2013 annual conference is ‘Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy and Praxis’ with the panel on Stanovich’s work being led by renowned educators Patricia Alexander of the University of Maryland and Gale Sinatra of the University of Southern California.

Stanovich will release his latest research in book form in two years.