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Suggested Articles and Chapters

We have found these articles to be especially informative and thought provoking. They are not listed in any particular order. Enjoy browsing! We'll add more titles periodically.

P. David Pearson's January 2024 Facebook post on the Science of Reading.  Fine commentary noting that professional debate on reading should not be seen as a "zero-sum game in which the only way one position wins is if another loses." As David says, "We gotta do it all!"  LINK

Compton-Lilly, C., Spence, L.K., Thomas, P.L. & Decker, S.L. (2023). "Stories Grounded in Decades of Research: What We Truly Know About the Teaching of Reading." The Reading Teacher 77(3):392-400.  A welcome review of established knowledge with full recognition of how reading is "complex, multidimensional, and mediated by social and cultural practices." LINK

Heller, R. (2022). "Taking Stock of the Science of Reading: A Conversation with Amanda Goodwin." Kappan 103 (8), 32-36.  Level-headed commentary on the Science of Reading from an editor of Reading Research Quarterly. LINK

Reinking, D., Hruby, G.G., & Risko, V.J. (2023). "Legislating Phonics: Settled Science or Political Polemics?" Teachers College Record 25 (1), 104-131.  A detailed critique of the ways the phonics-first perspective has influenced beliefs, classroom practices, and legislation. LINK

Valencia, S. W. & Buly, M. R. (2004). "Behind Test Scores: What Struggling Readers Really Need." The Reading Teacher 57(6), 520-531.  Not all struggling readers need the same kind of help. This research shows why. LINK

Scanlon, D.M. & Anderson, K.L. (2020). "Using Context as an Assist in Word Solving: The Contributions of 25 Years of Research on the Interactive Strategies Approach." Reading Research Quarterly 55(51), 19-34.   An informative summary of research into the use of context, and other strategies, along with phonics. As the authors say, this should not be an either-or matter. LINK

Pearson, P.D.; Madda, C.I, & Raphael, T.E. (2023). "Current Issues and Best Practices in Literacy Instruction. In L.M. Morrow, E. Morrell, & H. Casey (Eds.) Best Practices in Literacy Instruction (7th edition). Guilford Press.  A timely review of where we are; wise advice about the need for a comprehensive and balanced view as we look to the future. LINK

Strauss, S.L. & Altwerger, B. (2007). "The Logographic Nature of English Alphabetics and the Fallacy of Direct Intensive Phonics Instruction." Journal of Early Childhood Literacy (7)3:299-313.  A thorough discussion of phonics in the context of the characteristics of the English language. LINK

Krashen, S. (2019). "Beginning Reading: The (Huge) Role of Stories and the (Limited) Role of Phonics. Language Magazine An informative discussion of the relative value to beginning readers of listening to stories vs. receiving explicit phonics instruction. The explanations and research citations are highly useful. LINK

MacPhee, D., Handsfield, L.J. & Paugh, P. (2021). "Conflict or Conversation? Media Portrayals of the Science of Reading". Reading Research Quarterly 56(S1), S145-S155.  Media framing that foments conflict mitigates against the thoughtful conversations about literacy learning and teaching that we need to have in order to make real progress in helping children become fully literate. LINK 

Garan, E. (2001). "Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: A Critique of the National Reading Panel Report on Phonics." Phi Delta Kappan 82(7).  A must-read analysis of the research methodology and conclusions of the NRP that led to the influential report. LINK

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