About the Show

Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) A. Baker, Dr. Candace Kuby, Dr. Sarah Vander Zanden
Updated October 2019

Purpose Statement

The ability to proficiently read and write is paramount to successful completion of a high school education, college education, and securing gainful employment. The public has minimal access to the most current research conducted in literacy studies. Very few non-researchers subscribe to such research journals as Reading Research Quarterly (RRQ) or the Journal of Literacy Research (JLR). Nor are reports commonly available via local or national news (as is often the case with the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, and other scientific journals). The National Research Council states,

One striking fact is that the complex world of education-unlike defense, health care, or industrial production-does not rest on a strong research base. In no other field are personal experience and ideology so frequently relied on to make policy choices, and in no other field is the research base so inadequate and little used. (1999, p. 1)

Without a wide dissemination of research findings, the public remains uninformed about the advances made in literacy research. Herein, the public is hampered in their understanding and ability to make informed decisions about their children’s literacy development as well as local, state, and national policies.

Podcasting has become a popular form of media. It is estimated that there are 700,000 active podcasts.

Podcasts, unlike television and radio, have a subscription feature. When a user “subscribes” to a podcast it automatically downloads to the user’s computer whenever a new episode is posted to the Internet. Via iTunes, each of these devices has the ability to subscribe to podcasts.

There are over 1,600 colleges of education in the United States, hundreds of thousands of teachers, tens of thousands of school administrators, and millions of parents of school-aged children. The Voice of Literacy podcast seeks to keep teachers, parents, principals, policymakers, and journalists informed about the latest research being done in literacy. In collaboration with the editors of RRQ and JLR, Dr. Betsy Baker, Associate Professor of Literacy studies at the University of Missouri, asks authors of research reports published in these journals to explain the following:

- How did you get interested in your topic?
- How does your research inform teachers?
- How does your research inform parents?
- How does your research inform principals?
- How does your research inform policymakers?
- What research do you plan to do next on this topic?

The Voice of Literacy seeks to open the doors to literacy research. The Voice of Literacy seeks to make literacy research readily available and consumable.

Join the online discussions of the podcasts. Create a dialog between researchers, teachers, parents, principals, and policymakers. Stay current with the most recent literacy research. Subscribe to the Voice of Literacy podcast via iTunes, FaceBook, or Twitter.

New episodes are posted 1st and 3rd Mondays from September – April.

See video description, http://www.voiceofliteracy.org/show/about

Contact information
Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) A. Baker
Professor, Literacy Studies
Office: 573-882-4831
email: BakerE@missouri.edu

303 Townsend Hall
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211


Dr. Betsy Baker, Dr. Candace Kuby, Dr. Sarah Vander Zanden and Dr. Amanda Goodwin