History of Reading: Resources

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Books

  • Cook, Wanda Dauksa. (1977). Adult literacy education in the United States
  • Fresch, Mary Jo. (Ed.). (2008). An essential history of current reading practices
  • Huey, Edmund Burke. (2009). The psychology and pedagogy of reading
  • Israel, Susan E., & Monaghan, E. Jennifer (Eds.). (2007). Shaping the reading field: The impact of early reading pioneers, scientific research, and progressive ideas
  • Padak, Nancy D.; Rasinski, Timothy V.; Peck, Jacqueline K.; Church, Brenda Weible; Fawcett, Gay; Hendershot, Judith; et al. (Eds.). (2000). Distinguished educators on reading: Contributions that have shaped effective literacy instruction
  • Robinson, Richard D. (2002). Classics in literacy education
  • Robinson, Richard D. (Ed.). (2006). Issues and innovations in literacy education: Readings from The Reading Teacher
  • Shannon, Patrick, & Edmondson, Jacqueline (Eds.). (2005). Reading education policy: A collection of articles from the International Reading Association
  • Smith, Nila Banton. (2002). American reading instruction
  • Stevenson, Jennifer A. (Ed.). (1985). William S. Gray: Teacher, Scholar, Leader

Articles/chapters, by topic

Adult literacy
Weber, Rose-Marie. (1993). Even in the midst of work: Reading among turn-of-the-century farmers’ wives. Reading Research Quarterly, 28, 292–302.

African American literacy
Willis, Arlette Ingram. (2002). Literacy at Calhoun Colored School 1892–1945. Reading Research Quarterly, 37, 8–44.

Children’s literature
Martinez, Miriam G., & McGee, Lea M. (2000). Children’s literature and reading instruction: Past, present, and future. Reading Research Quarterly, 35, 154–169.

College reading instruction
Stahl, Norman A., King, James R., & Eilers, Ulinda. (1996). Postsecondary reading strategies rediscovered. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 39, 368–379.

Content area reading instruction
Moore, David W., Readence, John E., & Rickelman, Robert J. (1983). An historical exploration of content area reading instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 18, 419–438.

High school, teaching reading in
Barry, Arlene L. (1997). High school reading programs revisited. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 40, 524–531.

History of literacy
Moore, David W., Monaghan, E. Jennifer, & Hartman, Douglas K. (1997). Values of literacy history. Reading Research Quarterly, 32, 90–102.

Cranney, A. Garr, and Miller, Janet. (1987). History of reading: Status and sources of a growing field. Journal of Reading, 30, 388-98.

Morocco
Ezzaki, Abdelkader. (1993). A changing literacy in Morocco: A contextual and pedagogical overview. Journal of Reading, 37, 142–145.

Reading achievement
Stedman, Lawrence C., & Kaestle, Carl F. (1987). Literacy and reading performance in the United States, from 1880 to the present. Reading Research Quarterly, 22, 8–46.

Reading instruction
Baumann, James F., Hoffman, James V., Duffy-Hester, Ann M., & Ro, Jennifer Moon. (2000). The First R yesterday and today: U.S. elementary reading instruction practices reported by teachers and administrators. Reading Research Quarterly, 35, 338–377.

Reading research
Alexander, Patricia A., & Fox, Emily. (2004). A historical perspective on reading research and practice. In Robert B. Ruddell & Norman J. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (5th ed.), 33–68. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Shanahan, Tim, & Neuman, Susan B. (1997). Literacy research that makes a difference. Reading Research Quarterly, 32, 202–210.

Reading Teacher, The
Pearson, P. David. (1992). RT remembrance: The second 20 years. The Reading Teacher, 45, 378–385.

Stahl, Norman A., & Fisher, Peter J.L. (1992). RT remembrance: The first 20 years. The Reading Teacher, 45, 370–377.

Russian reading instruction
McEneaney, John (1997). Teaching them to read Russian: Four hundred years of the Russian bukvar. The Reading Teacher, 51, 210–226.

Newsletters

IRA’s History of Literacy Special Interest Group has published a newsletter, History of Reading News, since 1976.

 

IRA resolutions

IRA’s Delegates Assembly has passed two resolutions in support of encouraging research into the history of reading and the publication of such research. The first of these was passed in 1981, the second in 1997.

1981: The History of Reading Instruction
The History of Reading News commented on the contested passage of this resolution: IRA passes history resolution (1981–1982, Winter–Spring), History of Reading News, 5(1).

1997: On the History of Reading/Literacy
In spring 1999 the History of Literacy News of the History of Reading SIG praised the passage of the resolution.

IRA meetings

Every year at the annual convention of the International Reading Association, the History of Reading SIG presents a program of historical papers.

Exhibitions on the history of reading at IRA conventions

1986: Exhibition of old readers at the 31st Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, held at Philadelphia, PA, May 1986, organized by Vincent Faraone and H. Alan Robinson.
Catalog: Faraone, Vincent. (1984). Teaching the ABCs in America, 1647–1934. (Catalog of an exhibition of selected material from the Nila Banton Smith Historical Collection in Reading at Hofstra University). Greenvale, NY: C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University.

1999: Exhibition of 74 old readers and spellers, with cutouts of Dick and Jane, at the 44th Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, held at San Diego, CA, May 1999.
Catalog: Monaghan, E. Jennifer, & Barry, Arlene L. (1999). Writing the past: Teaching reading in colonial America and the United States, 1640–1940. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

2005: Exhibition at the 50th Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, held at San Antonio, TX, May 2005. IRA mounted a mostly photographic exhibition devoted to the 50th year anniversary of the founding of the International Reading Association.

Other Sources

Research in the history of reading

Overviews of the history of reading
Monaghan, E. Jennifer, Hartman, Douglas K., & Monaghan, Charles. (2002). History of reading instruction. In Barbara J. Guzzetti (Ed.), Literacy in America: An encyclopedia of history, theory, and practice (pp. 224–231). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Pearson, P. David. (2000). Reading in the 20th century. In Thomas L. Good (Ed.), American Education: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (pp. 152–208). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

How to undertake historical research
Monaghan, E. Jennifer, & Hartman, Douglas K. (2002). Undertaking historical research in literacy. In Michael L. Kamil, Peter B. Mosenthal, P. David Pearson, and Rebecca Barr (Eds.), Methods of literacy research: the methodology chapters from the Handbook of reading research, volume III (pp. 33–45). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Stahl, Norman A., & Hartman, Douglas K. (2004). Doing historical research on literacy. In Nell K. Duke & Marla H. Mallette (Eds.), Literacy research methodologies (pp. 170–196). New York: Guilford.

How to undertake biographical research
Gray, Aviva. (2007). Searching for biographical sources: An archivist’s perspective. In Susan E. Israel & E. Jennifer Monaghan (Eds.), Shaping the reading field: The impact of early reading pioneers, scientific research, and progressive ideas (pp. 421–426). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Zimmer, Joseph E. (2007). Hints on gathering biographical data. In Susan E. Israel & E. Jennifer Monaghan (Eds.), Shaping the reading field: The impact of early reading pioneers, scientific research, and progressive ideas (pp. 417–420). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

How to undertake oral history projects
Stahl, Norman A., & King, James R. (2007). Oral history projects for the literacy profession. In Susan E. Israel & E. Jennifer Monaghan (Eds.), Shaping the reading field: The impact of early reading pioneers, scientific research, and progressive ideas. (pp. 427–432). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Stahl, Norman A., & King, James R. (1994). Preserving the heritage of a profession through oral history projects. In Elizabeth G. Sturtevant & Wayne M. Linek (Eds.), Pathways for literacy: Learners teach and teachers learn (16th yearbook of the College Reading Association, pp. 15–24). Commerce, TX: College Reading Association.

Examples of oral history
Brandt, Deborah. (2001). Literacy in American lives. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Clegg, Luther B. (Coll. and Ed.). (1997). The empty schoolhouse: Memories of one-room Texas schools. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Melchior, Tom. (1997). They called me teacher: Stories of Minnesota country school teachers and students from 1915 to 1960. Shakopee, MN: Melchior Publishing.

Sources for researching the history of reading
On its webpage, the History of Reading SIG offers hints on which libraries and historical societies might be helpful repositories of the sources you need for a historical project (Locating Data for Research on the History of Literacy); how to fund the project (Finding Funding for Research on the History of Literacy); which periodicals to aim at in order to publish the findings of your study (Disseminating Research on the History of Literacy); and how to link up with others undertaking historical research through the organizations they find helpful (Connecting to Others Who Do Research on the History of Literacy).

Course outlines on the history of reading and writing
The History of Reading SIG provides examples of syllabi used by reading professionals and others to teach courses on the history of reading/literacy. See also a Web course by Diane Lapp, “Notable Literacy Educators,” http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/dlapp/webquest/

Helpful library catalogs for researching literacy history
Of the libraries noted by the History of Reading SIG as “helpful repositories,” we have found the following Web catalogs particularly useful:

The American Antiquarian Society has an unusual collection of schoolbooks up to 1876.

The Hollis Catalog gives access to the holdings of the more than 80 libraries of Harvard University. The Monroe C. Gutman Library of the Graduate School of Education is probably the best single source within Harvard University for the historical study of education.

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library of the University of Kansas holds the Charles and E. Jennifer Monaghan Collection, which has some 1,450 literacy-related items from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Library of Congress has fewer series of readers than you might think, but it is always worth a try.

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