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Greg McVerry

Exploring the History of Reading Research in 30 minutes

2 min read

bunch of religions wanted some folks to read and wouldn't let others. Books mad expensive. Literacy always been about power and reading a tool to both take and give.

then a bunch of psychologist looked into reading brought in garbage with us today from Kantian humanism, positivism, and other crap that gets education in the way of learning

Then the computer ushered in the era of information processing and people thought the brain was like a file system and you had to move stuff from short term memory to long term memory.

Skills and strategy instruction formulated.

through the 1970's-1990's reading as skill and strategies was a big thing.Β  Vygotsky and Piaget start to have their mark.

Metacognition becomes a thing in 19770-1978

Palisncar and Brown come with reciprocal teaching which really ushers in strategy instruction. All the studies have a ceiling effect and a lack of transfer. Shocking, when you have students practice how to summarize a text they are really good at summarizing THAT text. Give them a book on astrophysics...not so much...summarizing as strategy use did not exist.

The reading wars were a thing with bunch of folks fighting over how to teach reading between phonics and whole language. It was (is) stupid. Toxic masculinity seeping into higher ed. Shocking.

Then around 1994-1995 multicultural education became a thing for a hot minute (this was before cultural proactive pedagogy, responsive teaching, restorative justice....people were way more open with their racism then.Β 

Dr. Au started doing amazing work in anthropology and reading. Psychology began to look as activity theory. Post modern literary and post structural theories took root.

Folks sometimes call these socio-cultural views of learning. I stick with being human.

So from 1994-1999 everyone had to read a book with a black kid in it. Waaay important but unrelated to what Dr. Au wanted us to take away about local pracies

We started talking learner agency, inquiry and out of school literacies? What is the difference between literacy and literacies? Dunno but folks wrote books on it, naming things pays bills.

Then the web came and changed everything and nothing.


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