Reading Research and Practice Over the Decades

A Historical Analysis 1

Authored by: Patricia A. Alexander , Emily Fox

Theoretical Models and Processes of Literacy

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138087262
eBook ISBN: 9781315110592
Adobe ISBN:


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One of the evident transformations now marking the domain of reading, and more precisely, the teaching of reading, is its intertwining with other language domains, in particular writing and speaking. This transformation is chronicled in the retitling of leading professional organizations (e.g., from National Reading Conference to Literacy Research Association). It is likewise evident in the renaming of prestigious journals (e.g., from Journal of Reading Behavior to Journal of Literacy Research ) and even this publication (i.e., from Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading to Theoretical Models and Processes of Literacy ). In all instances, the singular identifier reading has been replaced by the amalgamated term literacy. In this chapter, we will discuss this repositioning of reading research and practice under the literacy umbrella within the context of recent historical developments. However, it is our intention in this historical analysis to remain focused specifically on reading research and practice as it has unfolded over the decades, beginning in 1956, when the International Reading Association (IRA; now the International Literacy Association) was founded.

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