Literacy instruction

History of Literacy

  • Jan 1, 1000

    Mental Discipline Theory

    Mental Discipline Theory
    400 B.C.E.
    "The mind lies dormant until it is exercised," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 19).
    Drill and practice, repetition, memorization, sequentially organized skills from easiest to hardest
  • Jan 1, 1000


    350 B.C.E.
    "How events or ideas can become associated with one another in the mind, to result in a form of learning," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 20)
    Three kinds of associations:
    Contiguity -occurring together in time or space
    Similarity - similar features
    Prior knowledge is important
    Contrast - opposites
  • Period: Jan 1, 1000 to

    Early Literacy Theories

    400 BCE - 1899
    Theories providing earliest foundation: Mental Discipline Theory, Associationism, Unfoldment Theory, and Structuralism
  • Johan Amos Comenius

    Johan Amos Comenius
    "First fully illustrated reading book and the beginning of the word method in teaching reading," (Sadoski, 2004, p. 16).
    Decoding and comprehension
  • New England Primer

    New England Primer
    Colonial America
    Religious content
    "Along with the Bible, it was one of the most common books in colonial America," (Sadoski, 204, p. 18).
  • Unfoldment Theory

    Unfoldment Theory
    Natural unfolding of the mind based on individual couriosity and interest
    "Educators should follow children's lead regarding what and when they want to learn," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 24).
    Child-centered learning
    Montessori model
    Literacy centers
  • American Spelling and Behavior Book

    American Spelling and Behavior Book
    Noah Webster
    Mental Discipline Theory
    Most widely used textbook
    "Designed to introduce spelling and reading, teach grammar, and provide lessons for advanced reading and elocution," (Sadoski, 2004, p. 20).
  • McGuffy Readers

    McGuffy Readers
    Carefully graded leveled readers
    Increased emphasis on meaning and comprehension
  • Horace Mann

    Horace Mann
    Visited European schools and disagreed with teaching in America
    New readers were developed with concern for interests and attitudes of children
  • Structuralism

    Wilhelm Wundt
    "Structuralism sought to explain the structure of the mind through the study of perception," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 28).
    No attention to comprehension
  • Sentence Method

    Sentence Method
    George L. Farnham
    "Sentences were taught as wholes and later analyzzed into words and letters," (Sadoski, 2004, p.25).
  • Synthetic Method

    Synthetic Method
    Rebecca Lollard
    Sounds of letters should be taught first using songs and mental images
  • Story Method

    Story Method
    Chalres W. Eliot
    "Children would memorize, dramatize, and finally read the stories," (Sadoski, 2004, p.27)
    Used childrens literature to teach reading
    "The Little Red Hen"
    "Three Billy Goats Gruff"
  • Period: to


    Behavioralism dominant Perspective
  • Activity Approach

    Activity Approach
    Francis Parker
    label the names of objects of interest to children
    "reading is thinking, not the pronunciation of words," (Parker as cited in Sadoski, 2004, p. 26).
    Emphasized meaning and comprehension
  • Behaviorism; Classical and Operant Conditioning

    Behaviorism; Classical and Operant Conditioning
    Watson, Skinner, Pavlov
    focuses on observable changes in behavior
    "Behaviorism changed the depiction of reading from one of perceptual processing to one of reading as a behavior composed of isolated skills, each of which could be reinforced to increase students achievement" (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.41).
    Emphasized direct instruction
    Classical Conditioning - positive/negative consequences shape behavior
    Operant Conditioning - Instruction broken down into small successive steps; basal readers
  • Standardized Tests

    Standardized Tests
    1915 First standardized tests in reading
    Gray's Standardized Oral Reading Paragraphs
    Found silent reading was superiorto oral reading in both speed and comprehension (Sadoski, 2004, p. 29)
    1917 Thorndike's Measure of Reading Comprehension
  • Period: to

    1920 - Present

  • Constructivism

    Dewey 1930s
    "Theory of learning that emphasizes the active construction of knowledge by individuals," (Gunning as cited in Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 57).
    Individuals integrate new knowldege with existing knowledge
    Learning is a result of hypothesis testing experiences by the individual
  • Basal Readers

    Basal Readers
    William S. Gray
    New Basic Basal Reader
    Dick and Jane
    Controlled introduction of sight words
  • Transactional Theory

    Transactional Theory
    Rosenblatt (1930s, 1970s)
    Every reading experience is unique to each individual
    "The meanining does not reside ready-made in the text or in the reader but comes into being during the transaction between reader and text," (Rosenblatt, 2005, p.7)
    "Efferent responses are fact oriented while aesthetic responses are personally and emotionally based," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 66)
  • Cognitive Development

    Cognitive Development
    Piaget (1930s, 1970s)
    "Provides educators with a general understanding of hte ways in which children at different levels of maturity are likely to think, and of the relationship between cognitive and literacy development," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 200).
    Four stages:
    concrete operational
    formal operational
  • Period: to

    Theories of Literacy Development

  • Maturation

    Morphett and Washburne
    Followed Unfoldment Theory
    Advocated that reading instruction should not take place until the age of 6.5 years.
    Dominent theory from 1930-1950, but no longer followed.
  • Period: to


  • Operant Conditioning

    Operant Conditioning
    B.F. Skinner
    "Programmed learning"
    "Instruction is carefully broken down into small, successive steps," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 46.
    Positive and negative cosnsequences to shape behavior
  • Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do About It

    Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do About It
    Rudolf Flesch
    Condemned the look-say approach and called for a return to phonics
  • Inquiry Learning

    John Dewey 1930s - 1960s
    based on Unfoldment Theory
    "emphasized growth of the individual, the importance of the environment, and the role of the teacher in students' learning," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 59)
    Emphasized problem based learning approach
  • Information Processing Theories

    Information Processing Theories
    Atkinson and Shiffrin
    "Information moves through different stages, or storage systems, as it is processed, reflected upon, learned, saved, and retrieved," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 152).
  • Period: to

    Social Learning Perspectives

  • Emergent Literacy Theory

    Emergent Literacy Theory
    Marie Clay1960s - 1980s
    "refers to a period in a child's life between birth and when the child can read and write at a conventional (approximately third-grade) level," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.99).
    Home factors effect reading
    "Children's development in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are all interrelated," (Morrow as cited in Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 99).
  • Psycholinguistic Theory

    Psycholinguistic Theory
    Goodman and Smith, Late 1960s - 1970s
    "The study of relationships between linguistic behavior and psychological processes, incuding the process of language acquisition," (Stevenson & Lindberg, 2010 as cited in Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 68).
    Assumes reading is a lanugage process
    "Readers rely on language cueing systems to help them rapidly read text," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 68)
    Analyzes miscues
  • Engagement Theory

    Engagement Theory
    Guthrie and Wigfield 1970s - 2000s
    "Engaged readers are those who are intrinsically motivated to read and who therefore read frequently," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 75)
    Contains elements of Metacognitive Theory
    Themes, student choice, hands on activities, text genres, social collaboration
  • Sociolinguistic Theory

    Sociolinguistic Theory
    Bernstein 1970s
    "Believe that oral lanugage is the foundation upon which children's reading and writing achievement is built," (Apel & Masterson; Snow, Burns, & Griffin as cited in Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 119)
    Emphasizes rold of individual's language in reading ability
  • Critical Literacy Theory

    Critical Literacy Theory
    Freire 1970s
    Considers political aspects of literacy instruction
    "Concept of power in relation to literacy learning," ( Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.134).
  • Social Constructivism

    Social Constructivism
    Vygotsky 1970s
    Zone of Proximal Development
    "Belief that children learn as a result of their social interactions with others," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.127)
    Advocates scaffolding
  • Social Learning Theory

    Social Learning Theory
    Bandura 1970s
    "People learn more from observing others than they do from the consequences of experiencing things themselves," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.130)
    Promotes literacy centers and modeling
  • Period: to


  • Whole Language Theory

    Whole Language Theory
    Goodman and Smith 1970s
    "Reading is a natural process that children will acquire if immersed in high-quality literacy environments," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 70)
    Authentic, high-quality literature
    promoted active, social interactions
  • Metacognitive Theory

    Metacognitive Theory
    Flavell (1976)
    Brown (1978)
    Durkin (1978-1979)
    Thinking about one's thinking
    "self monitoring, self regulating activities, focussing on the proecess and product of reading," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 71).
    Explicit instruction of metacognitive techniques
    "To model a literacy concept, skill, or strategy, we must show children how it is to be done, using lots of talking out loud about our thinking as teachers (Oczkus as cited in Morrow & Gambrell, 2011, p, 417).
    Gradual release of responsibility
  • Transactional Theory

    Transactional Theory
    Rosenblatt 1930s -1970s
    Every reading experience is unique to each individual.
    Making connnections
    Efferent response - "is centered predominantly on what is to be extracted and retained after the reading event," (Rosenblatt, 2005, p.11)
    Aesthetic response - "perception through the senses, feelings, and intuitions," (Rosenblatt, 2005, p.11).
  • Literacy Development

    Literacy Development
    "Learning to read begins in the home when children first see their parents read and have stories read to them," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 95).
    Advocates peer interaction, big books, shared reading
  • Sociocultural Theory

    Sociocultural Theory
    "Emphasizes the role of social, cultural, and historical factors in the human experience," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 123).
    Four spheres 0 microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem
  • Stage Models of Reading

    Stage Models of Reading
    "As children's reading skills develop, they increase both the number and type of strategies that they can use during reading experiences," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.97).
    Four Stages
    Alphabetic (logographic) Stage
    Partial Alphabetic Stage
    Full Alphabetic Stage
    Consolidated Alphabetic Stage
  • Period: to


  • Family Literacy Theory

    Family Literacy Theory
    "The ways families, children, and extended family members use literacy at home and in their community," (Morrow as cited in Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 102).
    Emphasizes parental involvement and positive parent/teacher interactions
  • Schema Theory

    Schema Theory
    Bartlett (1930s)
    Anderson and Pearson (1984)
    Readers have schemata for reading processes
    "People organize everything they know into schema, or knowledge structures," (Gunning as cited in Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p. 62).
    Teaching applications include brainstorming, building background knowledge, and monitoring comprehension
    Schema are individualized
    Webbing, brainstorming, KWL
  • Third Space Theory

    Third Space Theory
    Lefebvre and Soja 1990s
    First space - knowledge of home, family, and peers
    Second space - knowledge of school, work church
    "Individuals also construct a "third space" for themselves that result from the intersections of the influences fo first and second spaces," (Tracey & Morrow, 2012, p.135).
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