Balancing Principles for Teaching Elementary Reading

By James V. Hoffman; James F. Baumann et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

The students in our schools are failing to learn to read, and poor teaching is at fault. Would you be surprised to read such a statement as a headline in the morning newspaper? Probably not. We write this book at a time when the crisis rhetoric about schools, teaching, and learning to read is extremely high. As educators, our instinctive reaction to this kind of criticism is to dig in our heels and loudly defend ourselves and our profession. Such a response does little to quiet the debate, nor do references to research documenting our growing successes in teaching reading serve to bring civility and reason to the discussion. We will never win this debate because this debate is not just about teaching reading. This debate has more to do with issues of power, control, economics, and politics than it does with reading pedagogy. But the reality is that we must continue to live and work in the context of this debate.

There are very real needs in our schools today. We are not as successful as we should be with literacy instruction in our work with minority children, children of poverty, and children for whom English is not a first language. However, let us not confuse this need with a general call for alarm and a portrayal of our

The work reported herein is a National Reading Research Project of the University of Georgia and University of Maryland. It was supported under the Educational Research and Development Centers Program (PR/AWARD NO. 117A20007) as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. The findings and the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the position or policies of the National Reading Research Center, the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, or the U.S. Department of Education.

-vii-

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Balancing Principles for Teaching Elementary Reading
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Notes x
  • I - Our Professional Stance 1
  • Notes 9
  • II - Our Principles and Our Practices 11
  • Notes 56
  • III - Our Past and Our Present 59
  • Notes 73
  • IV - Our Plans and Our Future 75
  • Notes 100
  • Author Index 103
  • Subject Index 107
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