Mike’s research is investigating the classification of students with reading difficulties based on a model of reading called the Simple View of Reading. The Simple View of Reading is one of the most fully investigated and widely cited cognitive models of children’s comprehension. This model states that reading comprehension is the product a child’s ability to read words (decoding) and their ability to understand spoken language (linguistic comprehension). The model predicts that students with reading difficulties can be assigned to one of four groups based on their performance on these variables. However, the validity of this approach can be questioned, as there are a number of limitations associated with the way children are traditionally classified using these variables. Mike’s research investigates whether an alternative classification approach, based on the Simple View of Reading, can overcome these limitations and provide a better fit for the data. Mike is working with students from New Zealand primary schools who are 8-10 years of age.
Prior to working at the University of Canterbury, Mike taught for nearly fifteen years. He now works as a lecturer in the Specialist Teaching Programme and is completing his PhD in the School of Teacher Education. Mike also works with a number of other educational organisations. At a general level, most of Mike’s work focuses on helping children to learn. Within these various roles, he works with teachers, specialist teachers, children, parents, and whānau.