Barbara K. Gunn, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
Education & Training
California State University, Sacramento, CA
K-12 Teaching Certification, 1986
University of Washington, Seattle, WA
K-12 Teaching Certification
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Barbara Gunn is a senior scientist at Oregon Research Institute. She received a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Oregon in 1996, and has an extensive background in early reading instruction, curriculum development, and school-based intervention research. Barbara is the first author of a language and literacy program for children at-risk for reading disabilities, Pre-Kindergarten Literacy (Gunn & Vadasy, 2012), and a co-author of Read Well Kindergarten: Critical Foundations in Primary Reading (Sprick, Jones, Dunn & Gunn, 2004) , and Write Well Composition (Sprick, Howard, Bird, Watanabe, Jones, & Gunn, 2009). She has been a principal or co-investigator on 6 Institute of Education Sciences funded projects and 3 National Institutes of Health funded projects. Her current research focuses on the prevention and remediation of reading disabilities, and the observation of teaching behaviors and their effects on student achievement.
07/01/15 - 12/31/20
Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
Active and Not Recruiting
07/01/11 - 06/30/14
United States Department of Education
09/01/09 - 06/30/14
United States Department of Education
06/01/09 - 05/31/13
United States Department of Education
Gunn, B., Marquez, J. Compton, N., & Smolkowski K. (2021). Curriculum, training and coaching to support the development of emergent language and literacy skills. NHSA Dialog, 24(1), 67-72.
Gunn, B., Marquez, J. Compton, N., & Smolkowski K. (2021). Helping young children develop emergent language and literacy skills: The roles of curriculum, training, and coaching. NHSA Dialog, 24(1), 21-36.
Gunn, B., Smolkowski, K., Strycker, L. A., & Dennis, C. (2021). Measuring explicit instruction using Classroom Observations of Student-Teacher Interactions. Perspectives on Behavior Science, 44(2-3), 267-283. https://doi.org/doi:10.1007/s40614-021-00291-1
Gordon, J. S., Andrews, J. A., Hampson, S. H., Gunn, B., Christiansen, S. M., & Jacobs, T. (2017). Postintervention Effects of Click City® Alcohol on Changing Etiological Mechanisms Related to the Onset of Heavy Drinking. Health Education & Behavior, 1090198116683678. doi: 10.1177/1090198116683678
Andrews, J. A, Gordon, J. S., Hampson, S. H., Gunn, B., Christiansen, S. M., & Slovic, P. (2013). Long-term efficacy of Click City®: Tobacco: A school-based tobacco prevention program. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16(1), 33-41.
Smolkowski, K., & Gunn, B. (2012). Reliability and validity of the Classroom Observations of Student-Teacher Interactions (COSTI) for kindergarten reading instruction. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 316-328.
Andrews, J.A., Gordon, J. S., Hampson, S. E., Christiansen, S. E., Gunn, B., Slovic, P., & Severson, H. H. (2012). Short-term efficacy of Click City®: Tobacco: Changing etiological mechanisms related to the onset of tobacco use. Prevention Science, 12, 89-102.
Gunn, B. K., Smolkowski, K., & Vadasy, P. (2011). Evaluating the effectiveness of Read Well Kindergarten. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 4(1), 53-86.
Gunn, B., Vadasy, P. F., & Smolkowski, K. (2011). Instruction to help young children develop language and literacy skills: The roles of program design and instructional guidance. NHSA Dialog, 14, 157-173.
Sprick, M., Howard, L., Bird, H., Watanabe, A., Jones, S., & Gunn, B. (2009). Read Well First Grade: Composition. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.
Gunn, B., Feil, E., Seeley, J., Severson, H., & Walker, H. M. (2006). Promoting school success: Developing social skills and early literacy in Head Start classrooms. NHSA Dialog, 9, 1-11.
Gunn. B., Smolkowski, K. Biglan, A., Black, C., & Blair, J. (2005). Fostering the development of reading skill through supplemental instruction: Results for Hispanic and non-Hispanic students. Journal of Special Education, 39(2), 66-86. Abstract
Sprick, M., Jones, S. V., Dunn, R., & Gunn, B. (2004). Read Well Kindergarten: Critical foundations in beginning reading. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.
Gunn, B. (2003). Supplemental reading instruction to develop second language literacy. In E. Durán (Ed.), Systematic instruction in reading for Spanish speaking students. Springfield, IL: Charles. C. Thomas.
Barrera, M., Jr., Biglan, A., Taylor, T. K., Gunn, B. K., Smolkowski, K., Black, C., Ary, D. V., & Fowler, R. C. (2002). Early elementary school intervention to reduce conduct problems: A randomized trial with Hispanic and non-Hispanic children. Prevention Science, 3, 83-94.
Gunn, B., Biglan, A., Smolkowski, K. & Black, C. (2002). Supplemental instruction in decoding skills for Hispanic and non-Hispanic students in early elementary school: A follow-up. Journal of Special Education, 36(2), 69-79.
Gunn, B. (2002). Teacher education for teaching reading in the California State University System. Prepared for the National Council on Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C.
Smith, S. B., Simmons, D. C., Gleason, M., Kame’enui, E. J., Baker, S. Sprick, M., Gunn, B., Thomas, C., Chard, D., Plasencia-Peinado, J., & Peinado, R. (2001). An analysis of phonological awareness instruction in four kindergarten basal reading programs. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 17, 25-51.
Gunn, B. K. (2001). Comprehension instruction: A synthesis of the research. Prepared for the Packard Humanities Institute. San Francisco: CA.
Gunn, B. K. (2001). Emergent literacy: Research bases. In Consortium on Reading Excellence (Ed.), Reading research anthology. Novato, CA: Arena Press.
Gunn, B. K. (2000). Review of the Maryland Statewide Assessment of Reading. Prepared for the Abell Foundation. Baltimore: MD.
Gunn, B. K., Biglan, A., Smolkowski, K., & Ary, D. V. (2000). The efficacy of supplemental instruction in decoding skills for Hispanic and non-Hispanic students in early elementary school. Journal of Special Education, 34(2), 90-103.
Kame’enui, E. J., & Gunn, B. (1999). Open Court Implementation Study. Prepared for the Packard Humanities Institute. San Francisco: CA.
Metzler, C. W., Taylor, T.K., Gunn, B., Fowler, R.C., Biglan, T., & Ary, D. (1998). A comprehensive approach to the prevention of behavior problems: Integrating effective practices to strengthen behavior management programs in schools. Effective School Practices, 17(2), 8-24.
Gunn, B. K., Simmons, D. C., & Kameenui, E. J. (1998). Emergent Literacy: Instructional and curricular basics and implications. What Reading Research Tells us About Children with Diverse Learning Needs: Bases and Basics Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 51-59.
Gunn, B. K., Simmons, D. C., & Kame'enui, E. J. (1998). Emergent literacy: Research bases. In D. C. Simmons & E. J. Kame'enui (Eds.), What reading research tells us about children with diverse learning needs: Bases and basics (pp. 2-50). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Biglan, T., Metzler, C. W., Fowler, R. C., Gunn, B., Taylor, T. K., Rusby, J., & Irvine, B. (1997). Improving childrearing in America’s communities. In P. A. Lamal (Ed.), Cultural contingencies: Behavioral analytic perspectives on cultural practices (pp. 185-213). Westport, CT: Praeger.
Kame'enui, E. J., Simmons, D. C., Baker, S., Chard, D., Dickson, S., Gunn, B., Lin, S. J., & Sprick, M. (1995). Effective strategies for teaching beginning reading. In E. J. Kame'enui & D. W. Carnine (Eds.), Effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners (pp. 45-70). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Simmons, D. C., Gunn, B., Smith, S. B., & Kameenui, E. J. (1994). Phonological awareness: Applications of instructional design. Learning Disabilities Forum, 19, 7-10.
Simmons, D. C., Chard, D., Dickson, S., Gunn, B., Landsom, D., & Kameenui, E. (1993). Integrating reading comprehension and writing: Applications of curriculum design principles. The Oregon Conference Monograph, 5, 26-35.
2015 - Present
Senior Scientist, Oregon Research Institute
2007 - 2015
Research Scientist, Oregon Research Institute
2001 – 2006
Associate Research Scientist, Oregon Research Institute
1996 - 2001
Research Associate, Oregon Research Institute
1995 – 1996
Research Assistant, Oregon Research Institute
1995 – 1995
Instructor, University of Oregon, College of Education
1994 – 1995
Field Experience Coordinator, University of Oregon, College of Education
1992 - 1995
Research Assistant, University of Oregon, National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators
1986 – 1991
Elementary School Teacher:
Fifth Grade - Pleasant Hill Elementary, Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Fourth Grade - Pleasant Hill Elementary, Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Third Grade - Cottonwood Elementary, Bremerton, Washington
First Grade - Seabeck Elementary, Seabeck, Washington