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Thinking Reading: What every secondary teacher needs to know about reading

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Thinking Reading: What every secondary teacher needs to know about reading

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In this highly accessible book James and Dianne Murphy combine more than 50 years of experience to provide teachers with a thorough, easy to use introduction to the extensive research on reading and its effects on student achievement. Drawing on the work of experts from around the world, the authors explore how we learn to read, how the many myths and misconceptions around reading developed, and why they continue to persist.

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Despite the efforts of teachers and educators, every year secondary schools across the English-speaking world turn out millions of functionally illiterate leavers. The costs in human misery and in wasted productivity are catastrophic. What can schools do to prevent this situation?

In this highly accessible book James and Dianne Murphy combine more than 50 years of experience to provide teachers with a thorough, easy to use introduction to the extensive research on reading and its effects on student achievement. Drawing on the work of experts from around the world, the authors explore how we learn to read, how the many myths and misconceptions around reading developed, and why they continue to persist.

Building on these foundations chapters go on to examine how the general secondary school classroom can support all levels of reading more effectively, regardless of subject; how school leaders can ensure that their systems, practices and school culture deliver the very best literacy provision for all students; and what it takes to ensure that a racing intervention aimed at adolescent struggling readers is truly effective.

The overall message of this book is one of great optimism: the authors demonstrate that the right of every child to learn to read is entirely achievable if schools employ the best research-driven practice.

About the authors

Dianne Murphy is a secondary school reading specialist and designer of the research-evidenced intervention Thinking Reading. She spent nine years setting up and running Literacy Centres in NZ and UK secondary schools, for students reading significantly behind. For the last three years she has been training staff to implement Thinking Reading in their schools. She is an experienced teacher with a degree in education and linguistics, and post-graduate diplomas in Special Education. Professional interests: reading instruction, instructional design, applied linguistics.

James was formerly DP, AP and HOD English, and Learning Support Co-ordinator in New Zealand and the UK. He has a research-oriented MEd and a post-graduate SEN Diploma. He is currently School Partnerships Director, Thinking Reading. Interests: instructional design, research evaluation, teacher development. He is also a writer and blogs at: https://horatiospeaks.wordpress.com

Reviews

‘This book combines passion and pragmatism- it makes a compelling case that with the right approach all pupils can be successful in reading and then lays out practical steps that can help ensure teachers achieve that end. It will be a useful and motivating guide for all teachers.’Doug Lemov, Author (Teach Like a Champion, Reading Reconsidered, Practice Perfect), MD at Uncommon Schools

‘An evidence based treatise on how secondary school teachers and leaders should be approaching literacy difficulties. This book should be essential reading for all secondary school teachers to pave the way for changes to the way schools think about and plan for students who start secondary school with problems in reading and writing.’ Alison Arrow, PhD, Associate Professor in Literacy, University of Canterbury

James and Dianne Murphy intelligently tackle, head-on, an issue we have in secondary schools today: reading. With this book, they address the misunderstandings, the problems and the solutions as to why, and why not, students struggle to read in the classroom. Bravely, they uncover the lies and reveal to us what common strategies, we use daily, weekly and termly to support students, are pure snake oil. James and Dianne Murphy remove the romanticism of reading in favour of a clear, logical, reasoned and evidenced approach that speaks such common sense to teachers. ‘Thinking Reading’ is the catalyst we need in schools today. Leaders, middle leaders and teachers need to read this if they truly want to improve students and their academic potential and success. Every child should be a reader and I feel that this book is the starting point for making sure every child will be a reader. No child should be left behind and ‘Thinking Reading’ works hard to stop that happening.’ Chris Curtis, English teacher

‘Dianne and James Murphy offer us a book about the most important academic act in secondary school: reading to learn. It really is an essential aspect of learning that every secondary school teacher needs to know and understand. This book packs in an array of evidence into a compact book for busy teachers and school leaders. The 'reading wars' are typically strongly contested, but Dianne and James offer a powerful voice in the debate.' Alex Quigley, author, Closing the Vocabulary Gap

'There is a powerful moral mission at the core of 'Thinking Reading': to ensure that no child leaves school unable to read. From the start of this important book, readers know they are in the hands of experts who can bridge the gap between extensive research and what we can do as teachers and leaders in our school contexts. We are left both informed and inspired to move beyond superficial quick fixes to reading. Essential reading for anyone involved in education.' -- Jamie Thom, English teacher, author of 'Slow Teaching: On finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom'

'This book is a call to arms to any secondary teacher who wishes to empower their students through effective reading instruction. The authors have combined a vast catalogue of research with clear, practical classroom application, employing empirically supported strategies to offer teachers a ‘best bet’ in helping students learn to read with proficiency and pleasure.' -- Claire Hill, head of English, author of 'Leading from the Middle: A Guide to Effective Middle Leadership'

‘James and Dianne Murphy bring together research and teaching experience to address reading difficulties in secondary school. Secondary reading is a much neglected topic and there is rising awareness that appropriate strategies and resources are sorely needed. The book fills this gap and is essential reading for any secondary teacher who is concerned about their pupils’ reading abilities but does not feel equipped to support them.’ Dr Jessie Ricketts, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London


Additional Information

Author James Murphy and Dianne Murphy
ISBN 9781911382683
No of pages 202
Format Paperback
Publication Date 5 Mar 2018

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