ERIC Number: ED370074
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
The Schools We Have, the Schools We Need. Report Series 1.12.
Allington, Richard L.
After nearly a century of expecting schools to develop the basic literacy abilities of most students, but expecting advanced literacy to be learned only by some, American schools today have been challenged, or expected, to develop advanced literacy in virtually all students. But for schools to accomplish such adaptations, several confusions about literacy teaching and learning must be resolved. When children begin school with few experiences with print, educators generally confuse the children's lack of experience with a lack of ability. Expectations for literacy learning in such children are then lowered. Schools have become places where readers in trouble are assessed, sorted, labeled, and then segregated from their peers. Debates over curriculum matters dominate the professional literature of remedial reading, debates which ignore the critical features of instructional interventions and environments. Reading and writing still occupy less than 10% of the American school day. Children need more models, explanations, and demonstrations of how reading is accomplished, not more assignments without strategy instruction. Children's attention is focused primarily on remembering what they have read rather than facilitating or evaluating their understanding. American schools are better organized to sort children than to support them. Steps to accomplish change include: (1) reemphasize the importance of the classroom teacher and literacy lessons; (2) reorganize the school day; (3) replace the broad curriculum with a deep curriculum; (4) replenish the classroom and the teacher; and (5) reformulate the evaluation of students. (Contains 55 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY.