Book: Thinking Reading: What every secondary teacher needs to know about reading by @ThinkReadTweet via @JohnCattEd

Published by John Catt Education

Thinking Reading: What every secondary teacher needs to know about reading

15.00
9.6

Content

9.5/10

Accessible

9.5/10

Authority

9.0/10

Pedagogical

10.0/10

Value

10.0/10

Pros

  • The book is clear, effective and persuasive.
  • Packed with practical advice, ideas we could all do tomorrow.
  • Challenging whole schools practice, not just individual teachers.
  • Not just calling for action, but clearly and helpfully spelling out effective and productive ways to make a difference.
  • The quiet but capably confident voices of the authors shine through.

Review compiled by: Peter Hall

Supported by: John Catt Education Publishing

I ‘m sold.  Converted.  Persuaded.  And then worried.

If I can paraphrase from the introduction, quoting from a work of 1826, … reading, alone, is the most effective instrument of moral improvement… and yet most of us aren’t very concerned about it.

Several years ago I think I would have tried to excuse myself – I’m a maths teacher – so clearly reading isn’t my problem.  But recently we’ve all begun to realise just how much is withheld from those whose reading is not fluent.

Chapter 1: Why every teacher needs to know about reading- the authors patiently and carefully take us through key points, in a gentle and helpful way.  The chapter sets out the myriad of accumulating factors that combine to hold the weaker reader back.

Chapters 2 and 3 lead the reader carefully through challenges and misconceptions, and some careful explanations about how we learn to read.

For me – chapter 4 – Helping struggling readers in the secondary classroom – was a goldmine containing 15 ways I could improve my practice.  And then the book progresses to challenge the school leader and to offer support and guidance to those charged with reading interventions.

The bottom line?  “We can teach virtually all students to read.  This does not mean that they will all be equally good, but it should mean that after receiving an education, everyone will be able to read the newspaper, apply for a job, read the instructions on their medicine bottles, and read something for enjoyment.”.  I’m worried about the size of our failure, by the numbers of students coming through all our schools without being able to read.  But I’m also encouraged – this is not a lone voice crying out in the wilderness but part of what is being said by many people in many places.

This book is not just calling for action, but clearly and helpfully spelling out effective and productive ways to make a difference tomorrow.

Product details:

In this highly accessible book, James and Dianne Murphy combine more than 50 years of experience to provide teachers with a thorough, easy to use introduction to the extensive research on reading and its effects on student achievement. Drawing on the work of experts from around the world, the authors explore how we learn to read, how the many myths and misconceptions around reading developed, and why they continue to persist.

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About PeterHall 4 Articles
Assistant Headteacher, started teaching in 1995. Teaching Maths, Physics and IT. Writes timetable. In charge of school systems, aiming to help us be more efficient in these troubled financial times.

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