Handbook of Reading Research

By P. David Pearson | Go to book overview

18
BEGINNING READING
INSTRUCTION

FROM DEBATE TO REFORMATION
Rebecca Barr

How should children be taught to read? No other issue has piqued the interest and emotions of educators and lay persons as has this one. From the onset of literacy instruction, teachers have voiced strong and often opposing views about the proper way to teach reading (Mathews, 1966). In the United States, the alphabetical methods of colonial and revolutionary days gave way to two major alternatives in the mid-1900s. The first expanded on the previous approach by teaching the sounds of letters. The second, representing a distinct departure, initiated children into reading by having them learn whole words. This dichotomy in approach continued into the current century but with some changes. The phonics approach became modernized by abandoning an earlier emphasis on alphabet learning and spelling while incorporating blending practice. The word method became elaborated into sentence and story methods with analysis of larger units into their components (i.e., sentences into words, words into phonemes). At the same time, the hornbook of the early period gave way to graded readers and finally to basal series (N. B. Smith, 1934/1970).

A major dimension was added to the advocacy of reading approach with the advent of systematic study of educational practice. Although a few early reading studies were characterized by imaginative research questions and a richness of evidence (e.g., see Gates, 1927; Gates & Russell, 1938; W. E. Wiley, 1928), most investigations of the effectiveness of alternative reading approaches have involved the comparison of an innovative method with a traditional approach. But alternative methods were not examined to determine their features as used in classes; rather, they were characterized in a global fashion, simply

Marilyn Sadow, Chicago State University, served as editorial consultant during the preparation of this chapter. I would like to thank her for her helpful comments.

-545-

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Handbook of Reading Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Contributors ix
  • Foreword xix
  • Preface xxi
  • Part One - Methodological Issues 1
  • 1 - The History of Reading Research 3
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 2 - Current Traditions of Reading Research 39
  • References *
  • 3 - Design and Analysis of Experiments 63
  • References *
  • 4 - Ethnographic Approaches to Reading Research 91
  • References *
  • 5 - Examples from Word Recognition 111
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 6 - Assessment in Reading 147
  • References *
  • Part Two - Basic Processes: the State of the Art 183
  • 7 - Models of the Reading Process 185
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 8 - Word Recognition 225
  • References *
  • 9 - A Schema-Theoretic View of Basic Processes in Reading Comprehension 255
  • References *
  • 10 - Listening and Reading 293
  • References *
  • 11 - The Structure of Text 319
  • References *
  • 12 - Metacognitive Skills and Reading 353
  • References *
  • 13 - Directions in the Sociolinguistic Study of Reading 395
  • References *
  • 14 - Social and Motivational Influences on Reading 423
  • Notes 443
  • References *
  • 15 - Understanding Figurative Language 453
  • References *
  • 16 - Individual Differences and Underlying Cognitive Processes in Reading 471
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Part Three - Instructional Practices: the State of the Art 503
  • 17 - Early Reading from a Developmental Perspective 505
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 18 - From Debate to Reformation 545
  • Notes 575
  • References *
  • 19 - Word Identification 583
  • References *
  • 20 - Research on Teaching Reading Comprehension 609
  • References *
  • 21 - Studying 657
  • References *
  • 22 - Readability 681
  • References *
  • 23 - Classroom Instruction in Reading 745
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 24 - Managing Instruction 799
  • References *
  • 25 - Oral Reading 829
  • References *
  • Author Index 865
  • Subject Index 891
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