Professor Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar is the 2019 recipient of the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award, which is presented annually by the Literacy Research Association for a single contribution to research that has demonstrably and positively influenced literacy instruction and/or policy.
Palincsar was nominated for the article “Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities,” which was co-authored by Ann Brown (1943 – 1999) and published in Cognition and Instruction. Building on the work of Vygotsky, Bruner, Pearson, and Gallagher, the Reciprocal Teaching routine places students in scaffolded, collaborative conversations with peers and a teacher about both text content and strategic activity.
Nominators remarked, “One of the most significant contributions of the Palincsar and Brown article is how it defined and conceptualized both strategic activity and instruction. From its very inception, Reciprocal Teaching considered strategic activity to be more than a set of discrete strategies. Instead, strategic activity was conceptualized as actions that readers use to deal with unfamiliar content, complex text, and glitches during reading both to enhance understanding of the text at hand and to develop monitoring and self-checking activities that would apply to a range of other situations.”
In addition to her contributions to education scholarship, Palincsar’s work has had far-reaching impact on classroom practice, teacher preparation, and policy. Her nominators concluded, “This work has sustained its influence over 35 years and it has sparked new thinking and innovation about strategic comprehension activity and instruction. By all accounts, it will continue to do so for a long time to come.”