ERIC Number: ED463243
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb-26
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Reading by Preparing Teachers. Issue Brief.
Moats, Louisa Cook
About 38 percent of all fourth-graders have reading skills below the basic level and thus cannot read well enough to complete grade level assignments. Research clearly demonstrates that most reading failure is preventable and most high-risk students can improve their reading and writing achievement with expert instruction. Research also indicates that teachers who use proven methods and who are given high-quality professional development can teach all but 2-5 percent of children to read. Most teachers are not prepared to teach reading. The average teacher takes 3 semester hours or 1 course on how to teach reading. Teaching reading requires specialized knowledge about language, how children learn and acquire literacy skills, and a variety of instructional strategies. To ensure that teachers are adequately trained to teach reading, changes are needed in pre-service teacher preparation and professional development. Many states are taking legislative action on literacy-related issues that include provisions to improve teacher education and professional development. Policymakers wanting to improve reading instruction may want to consider maintaining the goal that all children will read at grade level by supporting research-based reading instruction and aligning teacher preparation, licensure, and professional development with effective reading principles. (SM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Governors' Association, Washington, DC. Center for Best Practices.