My research focuses on cognitive processes underlying reading and writing ability. Shaping much of my research is a central question: How are complex systems of knowledge used during reading and writing? That question has played out in several ways as I have studied the influence of content knowledge and the constraints of working memory on writing. My reading research has ranged from basic research on the role of phonology and morphology in reading to more recent work on the knowledge that teachers of reading and writing bring to bear during instruction.
The ultimate goal of my research is two-fold -- to further theoretical understanding of reading and writing processes and to improve educational practice. It was my experience as a teacher of writing that sparked my interest in writing as a cognitive process.
My recent research has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, as well as by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. We have been examining foundational linguistic processes that enable children to expand their vocabulary, reading, and writing skills. Our current work examines the knowledge that skilled teachers of writing rely on as they teach and their enactment of that knowledge during their interactions with students.
Deborah McCutchen (University of Pittsburgh, 1985) teaches graduate courses in the psychology of reading and writing, as well as human learning.
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1985
De La Paz, S., & McCutchen, D. (2017). Learning to write. In R. E. Mayer and P. A. Alexander (Eds.) Handbook of research on learning and instruction, 2nd Ed. New York: Routledge Press/Taylor & Francis.
Northey, M., McCutchen, D., & Sanders, E. A. (2016). Contributions of morphological skill to children’s essay writing. Reading & Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 29, 47-68.
McCutchen, D., & Stull, S. (2015). Morphological awareness and children’s writing: Accuracy, error, and invention. Reading & Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28, 271-289.
McCutchen, D., Stull, S, Herrera, B. L., Lotas, S., & Evans, S. (2014). Putting words to work: Effects of morphological instruction on children’s writing. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47, 86-97.
McCutchen, D. (2013). Teachers in the know: Links between teachers' phonological knowledge and students' literacy learning. In M.A. Britt, S.R. Goldman & J.-F. Rouet (Eds), Reading: From words to multiple texts (pp. 52-71). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Graham, S., Bollinger, A., Booth Olson, C., D’Aoust, C., MacArthur, C., McCutchen, D., Olinghouse, N. (2012). Teaching writing in elementary school: A practice guide (NCEE 2012-4058). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
McCutchen, D., & Logan, B. (2011). Inside incidental word learning: Children’s strategic use of morphological information to infer word meanings. Reading Research Quarterly, 46(4), 334-349.
McCutchen, D. (2011). From novice to expert: Implications of language skills and writing-relevant knowledge for memory in the development of writing skill. Journal of Writing Research, 3(1), 51-68.
Click here for a slide show orientation (in PowerPoint) prepared for the Psychology of Reading course. Be sure to view the slide show in presentation mode to make it fully functional.