College of Education > News and Publications > 2019: 10-12 news > Meyer elected to Reading Hall of Fame

Meyer elected to Reading Hall of Fame

Bonnie J.F. Meyer, professor of education (educational psychology), is one of five people elected into the Reading Hall of Fame. She and the others will be inducted into this international society in a formal ceremony at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association in Tampa, Florida, in December.

Bonnie J.F. Meyer, professor of educational psychologyBonnie J.F. Meyer, professor of education (educational psychology), is one of five people elected into the Reading Hall of Fame. She and the others will be inducted into this international society in a formal ceremony at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association in Tampa, Florida, in December.

Meyer said she is honored to be inducted into this highly distinguished, international group of leaders from the past and present, who over time have made important contributions to reading.

"It is a particularly enjoyable honor for me because I remember the first decade of the Reading Hall of Fame as I began publishing as a graduate student and then assistant professor about the importance of the text structure for reading and understanding scientific articles. This research was the beginning of my strong interest in reading comprehension," she said.

Meyer's research has impacted reading comprehension and provided theory and evidence for the importance of strategic use of text structures and words signaling five basic text structures. Her instrumental research and sustained applications have influenced numerous domains and promoted better comprehension of expository texts.

Meyer, Brandt and Bluth’s 1980 article about the text structure strategy with ninth-grade students was identified in the Reading Research Quarterly’s 50th anniversary edition as one of the five most highly cited articles from 1965 to 2014. Meyer’s instruction about the text structure strategy has improved everyday reading of expository and persuasive texts by younger and older readers. Context and readers have varied from content area reading in grade five to medical decision-making.

"Many members of the Reading Hall of Fame influenced my thinking and some became longtime friends. In my research I have clearly seen the enormous value of strong reading comprehension skills for learning in content domains by elementary school students to understanding medical information by older adults," Meyer said.

Recently, thousands of elementary and middle school students have learned how to better understand content area reading via Intelligent Tutoring of the Structure Strategy (ITSS; Meyer & Wijekumar). Meyer is a Fellow in the Society of Text & Discourse, AERA, the Association for Psychological Science, and three divisions of the American Psychological Association. She served as president of APA Division 15: Educational Psychology (2016-2017).

"I am delighted to represent my reading research about strategic use of text structures to increase understanding of key ideas in reading materials organized with cause and effect, problems and their solutions, contrasted and compared issues, and other text structures," Meyer said.

The Reading Hall of Fame was established in 1973. Its purpose is to contribute, from the collective experiences of its members, to further improvement in reading instruction in such ways as the following:

  • presenting co-sponsored meetings at the annual meetings of related organizations;
  • disseminating the information from the papers presented in such meetings through ERIC and/or publications of related organizations;
  • indicating needed research, and trends of the past that hold promise for the future;
  • facing current issues in reading, and discussing them in open forum suggesting possible solutions.

When nominated, members must have been actively involved in work in literacy for at least 25 years. Their reputation is to be widely known and respected by people in the profession. Their contributions will be within authorship of publications on literacy, including reports of significant research; performance in positions of responsibility in the field of literacy; and preparation of leaders in the literacy field through his/her teaching.

Meyer joins two other Penn State College of Education members in the Reading Hall of Fame: Distinguished Professor Emerita of Education Eunice (Nikki) Askov and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Education Patrick Shannon.

"I hope to see other College of Education faculty with contributions to literacy added to this group in the future," she said.