University of Illinois, Becoming a Nation of Readers, P.O. Box 2774, Station A, Champaign, IL 61820-8774 ($4.50 ea., including postage; overseas orders, add $1.00).
Books; Reports - Descriptive
Fulfilling a need for careful and thorough synthesis of an extensive body of findings on reading, this report presents leading experts' interpretations of both current knowledge of reading and the state of the art and practice of teaching reading. The introduction contains two claims: (1) the knowledge is now available to make worthwhile improvements in reading throughout the United States, and (2) if the practices seen in the classrooms of the best teachers in the best schools could be introduced everywhere, improvement in reading would be dramatic. The first chapter of the report stresses reading as the process of constructing meaning from written texts, a complex skill requiring the coordination of a number of interrelated sources of information. The second chapter, on emerging literacy, argues that reading must be seen as part of a child's general language development and not as a discrete skill isolated from listening, speaking, and writing. The third chapter, on extending literacy, stresses that as proficiency develops, reading should not be thought of as a separate subject, but as integral to learning in all content areas. The fourth chapter concerns the teacher and the classroom and notes that an indisputable conclusion of research is that the quality of teaching makes a considerable difference in children's learning. The next two chapters note that standardized reading tests do not measure everything, and that teaching is a complex profession. The last chapter contains seventeen recommendations for conditions likely to produce citizens who would read with high levels of skill and do so frequently with evident satisfaction. In the afterword, Jeanne Chall comments on the history of the report, and three appendixes contain 260 references and notes plus lists of project consultants and the members of the National Academy of Education. (HOD)
1 - Available on microfiche
National Academy of Education, Washington, DC.; Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.