Imageability Matters, Says Award-Winning FCRR Researcher


Results from a recent study conducted by Dr. Laura Steacy suggest that early education students with low reading skills may benefit from imageability training. Her recent findings, soon to be published, have earned her The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) 2016 Outstanding Doctoral-Level Research Award. The award recognizes excellence in doctoral research that contributes to the field of learning disabilities.

Dr. Steacy's interest in early education word learning led her to examine the effect of imageability on word reading development in at-risk children. Results indicate imageability seems important for irregular words and that students who receive imageability training required fewer exposures for mastery than students who received word learning instruction.

Dr. Donald Compton, who served as Dr. Steacy's doctoral advisor, commented, "Laura’s study has important implications for how we think about structuring early reading instruction. I am thrilled the CEC Division of Learning Disabilities has chosen to recognize Laura and the study for its Outstanding Doctoral-Level Research Award."

The Division for Learning Disabilities is one of 17 special interest groups of the Council for Exceptional Children, the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

The Florida Center for Reading Research is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University that explores all aspects of reading research — basic research into literacy-related skills for typically developing readers and those who struggle, studies of effective prevention and intervention, and psychometric work on formative assessment. For more information, please contact Nathan Archer at