This widely researched comparative study addresses the critical issue of literacy crises around the world and questions their wider sociological and educational impact. The recurring literacy crises in England and English speaking countries such as the US and New Zealand are linked to wider issues of educational standards, concepts of teacher professionalism, debates over curriculum content and the whole purpose of schooling, in order for us to obtain a deeper understanding of specific national contexts and the political pressures involved.
The authors' comparative approach enables them to uniquely demonstrate how literacy crises in one country can actually stimulate and shape literacy crises in another, as well as illustrating that these crises frequently share common features across time and geographical boundaries.
Rather than championing any 'one best' method of teaching reading, central questions are addressed and discussed, which will make this ground-breaking book essential reading for policy makers, teachers and students in literacy and education studies.
1. Introduction 2. Re-emerging debates over methods and standards: 1945-1965 3. Reading debates and the Bullock Report: 1968-1975 4. Post-Bullock reactions to a literacy crisis: 1975-1983 5. The renewed reading standards debate of the early 1990s 6. The Advent of National Literacy Strategies 7. Reading Recovery: A comparative Case Study. Conclusion