Professional Development and Teacher Education for Reading Instruction

Authored by: Deborah R. Dillon , O’Brien David G. , Mistilina Sato , Catherine M. Kelly

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780805853421
eBook ISBN: 9780203840412
Adobe ISBN: 9781136891427


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Research in reading teacher education and ongoing professional development for practicing teachers has continued to grow in quantity and sophistication since the turn of the 21st century when the last Handbook of Reading Research was published. The previous handbook chapter on this topic, “Teaching Teachers to Teach Reading: Paradigm Shifts, Persistent Problems, and Challenges” (Anders, Hoffman, & Duffy, 2000), presented a review of the literature organized around both historical and current perspectives on what we know about preparing teachers of reading and helping them to continue their learning. To accomplish the historical task the authors provided a “Review of Reviews,” that revealed “reading researchers have overwhelmingly devoted attention to the process of reading and to the learning of reading (p.723).” By contrast, Anders et al. suggested that attention should be focused on “how teachers learn and how that learning is enacted in their professional responsibilities” (p. 723). Duffy (2004) also argued that reading researchers need to think differently about what we teach teachers and how we prepare them; he also noted that we need to think differently about when they are prepared—particularly the time they need to learn to be effective teachers. The need for high quality research on reading teacher preparation and development has been heightened in today’s policy context, where the question of what constitutes teacher quality is hotly contested (Cochran-Smith, 2004; Levine, 2006; National Council on Teacher Quality or NCTQ, 2006) and public concerns about whether teachers are well-prepared sometimes leads to policies and legislative initiatives that ignore research findings.

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