Flinders CCC Reading for Life

The Major Players

This Reading Wars story is long, complicated and continuing. There is much further reading that can be done to help understand its intricacies. Rather than re-hash the entire thing, I have provided a table to help readers see at a glance who is who. The table contains some biographical details and key ideas/publications by the major players in the story.

Throughout my career, the same names have appeared over and over again, and I’ve often wondered who these people are. They are listed here in alphabetical order in the table below.

Thousands of research documents on reading are written every year in dozens of languages. This chart is by no means an exhaustive list of every single contributor to the field. It has been checked by various highly knowledgeable editors for glaring omissions, but omissions are inevitable. Appeals for inclusion of anyone I’ve missed in subsequent editions would be welcomed.

The people on this list have had long and distinguished careers that defy limitation to one or two paragraphs, but nonetheless I have tried to pinpoint the concepts that they are best known for coining and/or developing.

Similarly I have had to limit their major publications to one or two. Some have authored and co-authored dozens of books and papers.

Throughout my career, the same names have appeared over and over again, and I’ve often wondered who these people are. They are listed here in alphabetical order in the table below.

Government inquiries into the teaching of reading

The three major government inquiries into the teaching of reading in the USA, the UK and Australia are outlined below. Do take some time to read their history, and the documents that came out of them.

Robert Sweet Jr. (pictured left), one of the major drivers behind the push for higher quality literacy instruction in schools in the USA, left us in 2019. Bob was a generous, kind, passionate educator who mentored much of the creation of this book and program. His memorial page is here. RIP, Bob.

The National Reading Panel (USA)

The first document below is the history of the USA inquiry. The second is the actual report itself. Please take the time to read both, if you can.

National Reading Panel (USA) Report

In 1997, Congress asked the “Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to convene a national panel to assess the status of research-based knowledge, including the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read.” The panel was charged with providing a report that “should present the panel’s conclusions, an indication of the readiness for application in the classroom of the results of this research, and, if appropriate, a strategy for rapidly disseminating this information to facilitate effective reading instruction in the schools. If found warranted, the panel should also recommend a plan for additional research regarding early reading development and instruction.”

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/nrp/documents/report.pdf

The Rose Report (UK)

The first document below is the history of the UK inquiry. The second is the actual report itself. Please take the time to read both, if you can.

The “Rose Report”: Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading

“…the Review has drawn upon three main sources of information: the findings of research and inspection; wide- ranging consultation, including practitioners, teachers, trainers, resource providers and policy makers, and visits to settings, schools and training events.

It is no surprise to find that the main ingredients for success in the teaching of beginner readers are: a well trained teaching force; well designed, systematic programmes of work that are implemented thoroughly; incisive assessment of teaching and learning, and strong, supportive leadership.”

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130321055757/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/0201-2006PDF-EN-01.pdf

The National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (Australia)

The first document below is the history of the Australian inquiry. The second is the actual report itself. Please take the time to read both, if you can.

National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (Australia)

Ontario Human Rights Commission Right to Read Public Inquiry (Canada)

TORONTO – On October 3 2019, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched Right to Read, a public inquiry into human rights issues that affect students with reading disabilities in Ontario’s public education system.

The link below will take you to the Commission’s announcement and further links. We look forward to hearing developments on this and wish all our Canadian friends the best of luck in getting their voices heard!

http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/ohrc-launches-right-read-public-inquiry

Lyn Stone

Is there anyone you feel we haven’t mentioned as key players in the Great Debate? Leave your thoughts below.

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