Reading, Language, and Literacy: Instruction for the Twenty-First Century

Reading, Language, and Literacy: Instruction for the Twenty-First Century

Reading, Language, and Literacy: Instruction for the Twenty-First Century

Reading, Language, and Literacy: Instruction for the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

The impetus for this book emerged from a conference that brought together publishers, and reading researchers and educators for the purpose of examining the best available research evidence about what we know -- and what we have yet to learn -- about the teaching of reading and about how children learn to read. The goal of the conference was to contribute to a sound research base upon which to develop classroom practices that will ensure that every American child will become fully literate.

Because the field is still so deeply divided over the best ways to translate belief into classroom practice, the editors decided to highlight rather than gloss over these divisions. It is hoped that the papers in this volume will promote thought and discussion that will lead to action in improving reading instruction for children, now and into the new century.

Excerpt

The impetus for this volume came from a conference entitled "Reading, Language, and Literacy" held in 1989 in Chicago. Sponsored by the School Division of the Association of American Publishers, the International Reading Association, and the Center for the Study of Reading, the conference brought together publishers, reading researchers, and reading educators for the purpose of examining the best available research evidence about what we know-and what we have yet to learn-about the teaching of reading and about how children learn to read. The goal of the conference was to contribute to a sound research base upon which to develop classroom practices that will ensure that every child in America will become fully literate. The conference participants brought with them a commitment to the belief that, in the words of Marilyn Adams, "It is not just that the teaching of reading is more important than ever before, but that it must be taught better and more broadly than ever before" (Adams, 1990, p. 26).

As the presentations were made, the profound commitment of each researcher and practitioner to this belief became clear. At the same time, it was equally clear that the field is still deeply divided over the best ways to translate belief into classroom practice. And so, in preparing this volume, we decided to highlight rather than gloss over these divisions. We know that the problems children have in becoming literate will not go away if we adhere to the status quo. We stress these divisions because we understand that the passion with which proponents present their views indicates a passion for helping children -- all children -- become competent, enthusiastic readers. We hope that the chapters in this volume will promote thought and discussion that will lead to action in improving reading instruction for children, now and into the new century.

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