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Burke and Elizabeth High Baker Professor of Child Developmental Psychology, Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis

Rebecca Treiman is Burke and Elizabeth High Baker Professor of Child Developmental Psychology at Washington University at St Louis.

She has a B.A. in linguistics (Yale University, 1976) and a Ph.D. in psychology (University of Pennsylvania, 1980). Her research and teaching encompass both psychology and linguistics.

In her research, she examines children's spelling and the reasons behind their errors. Other studies look at the skills and knowledge that children bring to the learning of literacy, including phonological awareness and knowledge about letters. Her research involves typically developing children, children with dyslexia, and deaf children; it includes those learning to read and write in English as well as those learning other languages, including Chinese and Portuguese. Other lines of research look at the processes involved in reading and spelling in adults and at the nature of spelling-sound relationships in English and other languages.

She teaches courses on developmental psychology, psychology of language, and language acquisition, and she advise students who are studying these topics.

Dr. Treiman's books include Beginning to spell (Oxford University Press, 1993) and How children learn to write words (Oxford University Press, 2014), written with her colleague Dr. Brett Kessler.


  • 2002–present
    Burke and Elizabeth High Baker Professor of Child Developmental Psychology, Washington University at St Louis
  • 2007–2008
    Leverhulme Visiting Professor, University of York
  • 1984–2002
    Associate Professor to Professor of Psychology, Wayne State University
  • 1992–1993
    Visiting Scholar, Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge


  • 2014
    Spelling development and disability in English, Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders
  • 2014
    How children learn to write words, with Brett Kessler, Oxford University Press