Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Profile

Joana Cruz

Contact Email: joanacruz@por.ulusiada.pt


Lusíada University
Porto, Portugal

Psychology for Development Research Center
Porto, Portugal


I am an Assistant Professor at Lusíada University (Portugal) and a researcher at Psychology for Development Research Center. I have dedicated significant time to research in the area of Educational Psychology, as part of various projects applied in school and municipalities contexts. My research focus on emergent literacy, reading, math and inclusive practices, with contributions to knowledge in measuring and in developing systematic interventions, combining theoretical Knowledge and evidence-based methodologies to respond to educational challenges.

Research Interests

  • Reach out and Read (ROR)
  • ROR in early infancy
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Shared Reading
  • Technology and Digital/Screen-Based Media
  • School Readiness and Educational Outcomes

Past Research

I have been involved in municipal teams namely in interventions to promote emergent literacy in public schools. Projects like “A Ler Vamos…” – the first Portuguese municipal project to promote emergent literacy using evidence-based strategies – and “Ler e Escrever a Valer,” which address literacy challenges in preschool and primary education through a municipal and holistic perspective.

Ongoing Research

I’m currently involved in a SWPBIS project, i’m the supervisor of two PhD projects in preschool education about emergent literacy interventions and I’m involved in a project about reading in middle schools.

Future Research

I’m preparing a new project that aims to characterize reading performance in 5th and 6th grades and understand the executive functioning and self-regulated skills of students with different profiles of reading performance. This project aims to create novel empirical evidence concerning universal reading interventions in middle school, targeting fluency and comprehension skills. The intervention impact will allow to gather evidence concerning the growth in reading skills but also to analyse if the improvements in reading performance will have impact in executive functioning and self-regulated learning.