KAPPAN May 2, 2022 By Teresa Preston

As Ullin Leavell wrote in these pages, in December 1943, “reading ability is a premier skill basic to an efficient participation in the American way of living” (p. 52). For our schools, teaching children to read is at the top of the list of essential tasks. And perhaps that’s why reading instruction has attracted so much controversy. Across several decades, advocates of phonics or whole language or balanced literacy or the science of reading have argued back and forth, often fiercely, armed with competing research findings, teaching models, and ideologies. And Kappan has provided space for all sides to make their case.

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