About Kelly

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Kelly B. Cartwright, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Teacher Preparation at Christopher Newport University (CNU) where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in cognitive, language, and literacy processes; and directs the Cognition, Language, and Literacy lab. Kelly's research focuses on the development of skilled reading comprehension and the neurocognitive and affective factors that underlie comprehension processes and difficulties from preschool through adulthood. Her research has been supported by grants from the Virginia State Reading Association and the United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Kelly regularly works with teachers in public and private schools throughout the US to better understand and improve comprehension instruction for struggling readers, and these experiences inform her research. Kelly's publications support both practitioner and researcher audiences. Her articles have appeared in a variety of journals, such as Contemporary Educational Psychology, Early Education and Development, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Research in Reading, and the Reading Teacher. Her most recent books were designed to support practitioners: Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension: A Guide for Educators (2015, Guilford) and Word Callers: Small-Group and One-to-One Interventions for Children who "Read" but Don't Comprehend (2010, Heinemann); and her 2008 researcher-focused book, Literacy Processes: Cognitive Flexibility in Learning and Teaching (Guilford), was nominated for the Ed Fry book award in 2008.

Cartwright Teaches in these Programs

Selected Recent Publications

Cartwright, K. B. (2017). Executive-level thinking: Teaching 21st century skills for effective reading comprehension. Literacy Today, 34 (6), 38-39.  


Cartwright, K. B., Bock, A. M., Coppage, E. A., Hodgkiss, M. D., & Nelson, M. I. (2017). A comparison of cognitive flexibility and metalinguistic awareness in adult good and poor comprehenders. Journal of Research in Reading,  DOI: 10.1111/1467-9817.12101


Cartwright, K. B., Coppage, E. A., Lane, A. B., Singleton, T., Marshall, T. R., & Bentivegna, C. (2016). Cognitive flexibility deficits in children with specific reading comprehension difficulties.  Contemporary Educational Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.01.003


 Guajardo, N. R., & Cartwright, K. B. (2016). The contribution of theory of mind, counterfactual reasoning, and executive function to pre-readers’ language comprehension and later reading awareness and comprehension in elementary school. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 144, 27-45 


Cartwright, K. B., Marshall, T. R., & Wray, E. (2016). A longitudinal study of the role of reading motivation in primary students' reading comprehension. Reading Psychology, 37, 55-91.


Bock, A., Cartwright, K. B., Gonzalez, C., O'Brien, S., Robinson, M. F., Schmerold, K., Shriver, A., & Pasnak, R. (2015). The role of cognitive flexibility in pattern understanding. Journal of Education and Human Development, 4, 19-25.


Cartwright, K. B. (2015). Executive skills and reading comprehension: A guide for educators. NY: Guilford Press.


Cartwright, K. B. (2015). Executive function and reading comprehension: The critical role of cognitive flexibility. In S. R. Parris & K. Headley (Eds.), Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices (3rd ed., pp. 56-71). NY: Guilford Press.


Cartwright, K. B. & Guajardo, N. R. (2015). The role of hot and cool executive functions in pre-resider comprehension. In A. DeBruin-Parecki, A. van Kleeck, & S. Gear (Eds.), Developing early comprehension: Laying the foundation for reading success. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.


Duke, N. K., Cartwright, K. B., & Hilden, K. (2014). Difficulties with reading comprehension. In C. A. Stone, E. R. Silliman, B. J. Ehren, & G. P. Wallach (Eds.), Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders. NY: Guilford Press.


Cartwright, K. B. (2012). Insights from cognitive neuroscience: The importance of executive function for early reading development and education. Early Education and Development, 23, 24-36.


Cartwright, K. B. (2010). Word callers: Small group and one-to-one interventions for children who "read" but don't comprehend. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.