Broken Promises: Reading Instruction in Twentieth-century America

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Penn State Press, 1989 - History - 186 pages
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The book has more fire--more call to arms' gusto--than anything I've read on reading education.

"Richard Abrahamson, University of Houston"

"Broken Promises" is an important and powerful book precisely because it provides the opportunity for us all to experience the kinds of insights and construct the kinds of understandings that we need to grow professionally and to be a profession.

"Reading Research & Instruction Journal"

The volume provides a cogent critique of majority practice. This is one of the few volumes that relate critical pedagogy, ' as exemplified by the work of Giroux, Apple, and others, to specific examples of school practice. Because reading instruction is a central school activity, this connection is significant and the content is of value to anyone interested in public education. "Choice"

Shannon argues that a combination of psychology, science, and capitalism has transformed reading from a means of personal and social empowerment into an ability to perform well on tests and has transformed learning from a human transaction between teacher and student into an exchange between things--commercially packaged reading materials--and students. To rationalize reading instruction according to these principles, he says, is to silence the voices of readers and teachers. These compelling new ideas, carefully grounded in research, show how popular solutions to problems in reading instruction--mastery learning, merit pay, and school effectiveness research--actually work against improving teachers' instructional behavior and children's learning ability. A rallying call for teachers of reading, a tool for change, and a most provocative text for students of reading at all levels.

 

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Contents

Early Attempts to Reform Reading Instruction El
16
The Rise of the Reading Expert and Commercial
28
The Role of the Teacher El
45
IOBUlb
97
Resistance to the Management of Reading Instruction 3
113
1
148
l
162
Index I
180
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About the author (1989)

PATRICK SHANNON, currently Professor of Education at University of Minnesota, Duluth, has taught and worked with teachers in New York, Minnesota, Texas, Indiana and Canada and is co-author of The Report Card on Basal Readers (1987).

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