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About Sebastian Wren, Ph.D.

 

Sebastian Wren was born in Oklahoma and moved to Texas at the age of 15.  Unsatisfied with the move from one of the best magnet schools in the country (Booker T. Washington in Tulsa, OK) to a small, rural school near San Antonio, Sebastian dropped out of high school and began attending classes at the University of Texas in San Antonio at the age of 16. 

At UTSA, Sebastian pursued diverse interests ranging from math and engineering to foreign language to philosophy to history.  During his undergraduate tenure, he also served as photography editor and managing editor for an independent newspaper and was active in student politics.  In 1989, Sebastian earned a B.A. in Psychology, and began working with adolescent special-education students housed in a residential psychiatric facility helping them with their educational endeavors. 

In 1991, Sebastian moved to Austin to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas.  At U.T., Sebastian again revealed a tendency to explore diverse interests, teaching statistics and research methods courses, taking qualifying examinations physiological psychology (sensation and perception), and working closely with Dr. Philip Gough conducting research to explore the cognitive foundations of reading. 

In 1998, while finishing his dissertation, Sebastian began working at the Southwest Education Development Laboratory where he worked with under-served schools across the country and developed expertise in reading education, school improvement, and educational leadership.  In 2002, Sebastian created BalancedReading.com, and began disseminating literacy research information and education resources to educators. 

In 2006, Sebastian began working independently, and is currently in the process of creating Education Exploration a non-profit organization dedicated to education improvement (EducationExploration.org).  He continues to pursue diverse interests, serving as president of his neighborhood association, president of the Capital Area Reading Council, and working closely with Austin city leaders to make his beloved (adopted) home town of Austin, Texas, the best place in the world to live.




Sebastian Andrew Wren

Curriculum Vita
(last updated 12-12-05)

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Education

2000:   Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; Cognition and Perception (major), Neuroscience (minor).

1989:  B.A., The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX; Psychology (major), Philosophy (minor).

Employment History

1998 ?   Program Specialist / Associate, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

1996 - 1997:  Lecturer, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. 

1994 - 1998:  Assistant Instructor, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

1991 - 1994:   Teaching Assistant / Research Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

1989 - 1991:  Instruction Counselor (adolescent wing), Charter Real Psychiatric Hospital, San    Antonio, TX.

1988 - 1989:  Specialist: Differential Abilities Scale Norming Team, Psychological Corporation (HBJ), San Antonio, TX.

Grant Support

Research Fellowship: Dallenbach Fellowship granted by the University of Texas Graduate Board.

Peer-reviewed Publications

Wren, S. (2006).  The Reading Assessment Database for Grades K-2.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/rad

Wren, S. (2001).  The Cognitive Foundations of Learning to Read: A Framework.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.

Wren, S. (1999).  The Reading Assessment Database for Grades K-2.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX. http://www.sedl.org/reading/rad

Gough, P.B. & Wren, S. (1999).  Constructing meaning: The role of decoding.  In J. Oakhill & R. Beard (Eds.) Reading development and the teaching of reading: A psychological perspective.  Malden, MA: Bllackwell.

Gough, P.B. & Wren, S. (1996). The decomposition of decoding. In C. Hulme & R. M. Joshi (Eds.) Reading and spelling: development and disorders. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Other Publications

Wren, S. (2004).  Developmentally Appropriate Reading Instruction. U.S. Department of Education Reading First Newsletter.

Wren, S. & Biggers, D. (2003).  Literacy Coaches: Roles and Responsibilities.  Instructional Leader, 16(6). (*This article was revised and re-published in the SEDL Letter, and can be downloaded from their website at http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/pdfexit.cgi?url=http://www.sedl.org/pubs/sedl-letter/v17n01/SEDLLetter_v17n01.pdf)

Wren, S. & Watts, J. (2002).  The Abecedarian Early Reading Assessment.  http://www.sebastianwren.com.

Wren, S.  (2002).  Ten Myths of Reading Instruction. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX. http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/myths.html

Wren, S. (2002).  Methods of Assessing Early Reading Development. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/assessment.html

Wren, S. (2001).  How do Children Read?  School Reform News, 5 (2), p. 21.

Wren, S. (2001).  What does a Balanced Literacy Approach Mean?  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.   http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/balanced.html

Wren, S. (2001).  Reading and the Three Cueing Systems.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/cueing.html

Wren, S. (2000).  Understanding the Brain and Reading.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/brainreading.html

Wren, S. (2000). What is Reading? - Decoding and the Jabberwocky's Song.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/whatisreading.html

Wren, S. (2000).  Regular and Exception Words.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/exception.html

Wren, S. (2000).  Reading by Sight.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/sight.html

Wren, S. (2000). Cross-modal priming and word recency -- Evidence against the implicit memory model of word recency. (Dissertation).  The University of Texas at Austin.

Wren, S. (1999).  Phonics Rules.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/phonicsrules.html

Wren, S. (1999).  The Phive Phones of Reading.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.  http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/phon.html

Wren, S. (1999).  Reading Assessment Across the Southwest Region.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX. http://www.sedl.org/reading/rad/states.html

Wren, S. (1999).  The Instructional Resources Database. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX. http://www.sedl.org/reading/ir/
 

Presentations

Wren, S. (2005).  Literacy coaches: Promises and problems.  National Reading Conference, Miami, FL.

Wren, S. (2005). Ten myths of reading instruction.  Neuhaus Education Center, Houston, TX.

Wren, S. (2005).  Understanding the brain and reading. Neuhaus Education Center, Houston, TX.

Wren, S. (2002). Selected issues in early reading acquisition.  Louisiana Megaconference in Reading and Language Arts, New Orleans, LA.

Wren, S. (2001).  The role of administration in developing a research-based reading curriculum.  Gadsden Administrators Conference, Gadsden NM.

Wren, S.  (2001).  Using research to Inform Systemic Interventions in Low-Performing Schools.  Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin TX.

Wren, S. (2000).  Developing a research-based state-wide reading assessment.  Series of talks presented to the New Mexico Early Reading Assessment Committee (October to December).

Wren, S. (2000).  What do we know about early reading acquisition?  Presented to the New Mexico archdiocese council of elementary principals, October.

Wren, S. (2000).  What research says about how children learn to read.  Presented for a New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee hearing, August.

Wren, S. (1998).  Selecting early reading assessments.  Presented at the Oklahoma Early Education Conference in Oklahoma City, OK, in October, and through the Oklahoma Videoconference Network in November.

Wren, S. (1998).  Assessments and the NRC report on Preventing Early Reading Difficulties in Young Children.  Presented at the Improving Americas Schools Conference in Nashville, TN in December.

Wren, S. (1996).  The relative naming latencies for homophones, homographs, pseudohomophones, pseudowords, and non-pronouncable letter strings.  Paper presented at the annual meeting, Southwest Psychological Association, Fort Worth, TX.

Wren, S. (1996).  Recency effect across modalities.  Paper presented at the annual meeting, Association for Research in Memory, Attention, Decision-making, Imagery, Language, Learning & Organizational-perception, Austin, TX.

Wren, S. & Gough, P.B. (1996). Word frequency, NOT age of acquisition accounts for naming latency variance.  Talk presented at the annual meeting, Southwest Psychological Association, Houston, TX.

Wren, S. & Gough, P.B. (1996). Diminished word length effect by orthographic modification.  Talk presented at the annual meeting, Southwest Psychological Association, Houston, TX.

Wren, S. & Gough, P.B. (1995). Separation of the frequency/recency confound.  Paper presented at the annual meeting, Southwest Psychological Association, San Antonio, TX.

Gough, P.B. & Wren, S. (1994).  Recency and frequency effects in word naming.  Paper presented at the annual meeting, Psychonomic Society, St. Louis, MO.
 

Teaching Experience

Lecturer  Sensation and Perception

Assistant Instructor Introduction to statistical methods and research design
   Computer laboratory for statistics and research

Teaching Assistant Psychology of reading
   Introduction to research methods in social sciences
   Advanced statistics and research methods
   Psychology of language
 

Field Work / Professional Development Experience

Worked on long-term school improvement effort focusing on reading achievement in Marked Tree (AR), Putnam City (OK), and Newcomb (NM) from 2000 to present.

Provided long-term professional development in reading instruction to teachers in Bernalillo (NM) Independent School District from 1998 to 2000.

Provided long-term professional development in reading instruction to teachers in Fredericksburg (TX) Independent School District during the 1998-1999 academic year.

Provided long-term professional development in reading instruction to teachers at Bruce Aiken Elementary School in Brownsville (TX) Independent School District during the 1999-2000 academic year.

Professional Affiliations

The Capital Area Reading Council (currently president of CARC) ? Since 2002
The International Reading Association ? Since 2002
The Society for the Scientific Study of Reading -- Since 1999
The National Reading Conference Association -- Since 1998

Other Experience

General Computation Laboratory Assistant (teaching computer skills to other graduate students and professors and assisting in the implementation of network administration)

Statistics and Computer Consultant (primary statistics and data consultant for various research projects including Project QuEST (Dr. Nancy Roser, Director))

Qualifying Examinations

Major Exam: Human Perception
Minor Exam: Sensory Psychology

World Wide Web Page

http://www.educationexploration.org
http://www.balancedreading.com

http://www.sebastianwren.com
http://www.sedl.org/reading

Professional Referencess Available Upon Request





BalancedReading.com  •  P. O. Box 300471  •  Austin, TX  78703

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Last Updated 8-7-03