Jon Shapiro

Dr. Jon Shapiro

Professor Emeritus


Jon Shapiro is currently a Professor of Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. He has served the Faculty as Dean pro tem (February 2010 to March 31, 2011) and he served as Senior Associate Dean for 14 years. Jon has also served the Faculty as Acting Associate Dean for Graduate Programs & Research and as the Director of the Institute for Early Childhood Education and Research. His university service includes his role as the initial faculty member chosen to head the Sexual Harassment Office, which later became part of the Equity Office.

Jon received his B.A. and M.Sc. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from the State University of New York (Fredonia), and his Ph.D in Reading Education and Early Childhood Education from Syracuse University. He has taught at the elementary school, resource room, and university levels in both the United States and Canada.

Jon’s research interests are in the areas emergent literacy, with a special emphasis on affective dimensions of reading, and parents and literacy. He has over seventy publications that include three books, book chapters, and research and professional articles in such journals as Canadian Journal of Education, Reading Research & InstructionJournal of Reading BehaviorThe Reading TeacherThe Clearing HouseChildhood EducationReading PsychologyJournal of Research and Reading (UK), First Language, and Applied Psychology. He has been a frequent presenter at national and international conferences as well as being a keynote speaker for Provincial and State Reading Associations.

Jon has extensive involvement in professional associations. He is a Past-President of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER), the oldest United States organization of literacy professors and he is the first President from outside the U.S. He has also served as an elected member of their Board of Directors and Chair of the Doctoral Award Committee. Jon has served the International Reading Association (IRA) as the Chair of their Publications, Parents and Reading, and International Development committees. For the National Reading Conference (NRC) he served as their Regional Field Representative. Currently Jon continues to serve on the Program Committees and the editorial advisory boards of the journals and Yearbooks of most major reading associations. He is also an elected member of the National Conference on Research in Language & Literacy. Jon serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE), an NGO/NPO devoted to improving literacy and access to libraries in developing countries.


  • Young Children’s Informational Literacy: An Investigation into the Effects of Instruction on Informational Reading and Writing in Grades 1 and 2 (with M. Chapman, SSHRC)
  • LISTENing to Diverse Learners: The Effectiveness and Appropriateness of a Computer-Based Reading Tutor for Young Canadian Language Learners (with K. Reeder, M. Early, M. Kendrick, SSHRC)

Selected Publications

Reeder, K., Shapiro, J., Early, M. & Kendrick, M. (2009). A computer-based reading tutor for young language learners. In F. Zhang & B. Barber (Eds.), Handbook of Reearch on Computer-enhanced Language Acquisition and Learning. Hershey, PA: IGI, pp.159-188.

Lynch, J., Anderson, J., Anderson, A., & Shapiro, J. (2006). Parents beliefs about young children’s literacy development and parents’ literacy behaviors. Reading Psychology, 27, 1-20.

Anderson, J., Moffatt, L., & Shapiro, J. (2006). Reconceptualizing language education in early childhood: Socio-cultural perspectives. In B. Spodek & O. Saracho (Eds.), Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children 2nd Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp.135-151.

Anderson, A., Anderson, J., & Shapiro, J. (2005). Supporting multiliteracies: Parents’ and children’s talk within shared storybook reading. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 16, 5-26.

Anderson, J., Anderson, A., Lynch, J., & Shapiro, J. (2004). Examining the effects of gender and genre in shared reading interactions. Reading Research and Instruction, 43, 1-20.

Anderson, J., Anderson, A., Lynch, J. and Shaprio, J. (2003). Storybook reading in a multicultural society: Critical perspectives. In A. van Kleeck, S.A. Stahl, and E.B. Bauer (Eds.), On Reading to Children: Parents and Teachers (pp. 203-230). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Shapiro, J., Anderson, J. and Anderson, A. (2002). Storybook reading: What we know and what we should consider. In O. Saracho and B. Spodek (Eds.), Contemporary Perspectives in Early Literacy (pp. 77-97). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Anderson, J., Anderson, A., Shapiro, J. and Lynch, J. (2001). Fathers’ and mothers’ book selection preferences for their four-year-old children. Reading Horizons, 41, 189-210.

Shapiro, J. and Whitney, P. Factors involved in the leisure reading of upper elementary school students. Reading Psychology, 1997, 343-370.

Shapiro, J., Anderson, J. and Anderson, A. (1997). Diversity in parental storybook reading. Early Childhood Development and Care, 127, pp. 47-59.

Shapiro, J. (1996). Home literacy environment and meta-literate awareness. In K. Reeder, J. Shapiro, H. Goelman and R. Watson (Eds.). Literate Apprenticeships: The Emergence of Language and Literacy in the Preschool Years. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, pp 29-52

Shapiro, J. (1994). “Research Perspectives on Whole-Language”. In V. Froese (Ed.). Whole-Language: Practice and Theory, 2nd Edition, Scarborough, ON.

Shapiro, J. and White, W. (1991). Reading attitudes and perceptions in traditional and non-traditional reading programs. Reading Research and Instruction, 30, 52-66.

Shapiro, J. (1990). Sex-role appropriateness of reading and reading instruction. Reading Psychology, 11, 241-269.
Watson, R. and Shapiro, J. (1988). “Discourse from home to school”. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 37, 395-409.

Doiron, R. and Shapiro, J. (1988). “Home literacy environment and children’s sense of story”. Reading Psychology, 1988, 9, 187-202.

Gunderson, L. and Shapiro, J. (1988). “Whole language instruction: Writing in 1st grade”. The Reading Teacher, 41, 430-439.

Shapiro, J. and Gunderson, L. (1988). “A comparison of vocabulary generated by grade one students in whole language classrooms and basal reader vocabulary”. Reading Research and Instruction, 27, 40-46.

Shapiro, J. and Doiron, R. (1987). “Literacy environments: Bridging the gap between home and school”. Childhood Education, 63, 262-269.