Reading Across International Boundaries

History, Policy and Politics

Edited by:
Roger Openshaw, Massey University
Janet Soler, The Open University

A volume in the series: International Perspectives on Curriculum. Editor(s): David Scott, Lincoln University - UK.

Published 2007

Reading Across International Boundaries, edited by Roger Openshaw and Janet Soler, clearly demonstrates these broader characteristics of debates about the teaching of reading. It sets the educational issues firmly in the context of the social, cultural and political dynamics that inform and animate them and give them their meaning. It does so by setting out to understand their historical and comparative dimensions. Establishing the historical context highlights the origins and also the longevity of the problems and conflicts that are now widely familiar. The comparative approach also gives purchase on the wide range of approaches taken to these issues in nations around the world. More than this, however, this collection takes us into the realm of international influences. It underlines how debates in this area are not simply national, but are international and global in their scale. Moreover this is the case not only in relation to the broad fabric of policy debate, but also in the everyday struggles of pupils, parents and teachers in schools, classrooms and homes.

Such an agenda is unsettling and provocative. It has the potential to challenge received opinion, to hustle preconceptions. It may also propose alternative visions for the improvement of teaching in this area that might be taken up and taken seriously in different localities or even more broadly. Most of all, it enables us to enrich and broaden our understanding of the learning and the teaching of reading at a time when awareness and vision are sorely needed. This collection of articles by leading scholars based in several different countries will be a significant contribution to the research field, but also a major resource when put to good use by policy makers and practitioners, as it should surely be.

Foreword, Gary McCulloch. Introduction, Roger Openshaw and Janet Soler. PART I. NATIONAL POLICY INITIATIVES. What Can the International Literary Community Learn from the New Zealand Experience with Reading? Roger Openshaw. What’s Wrong with New Zealand’s Literacy Strategy? William E. Tunmer, Jane E. Prochnow, Keith T. Greane,y and James W. Chapman. The Rose Report: One Step Further in a Managerialist Approach to the Literacy Curriculum in England? Janet Soler. Literacy Policy and Policy Literacy: A Tale of Phonics in Early Reading in England, Kathy Hall. PART II. PROFESSIONAL CONTEXTS. Curriculum Leadership and the Current Politics of U.S. Literacy Education, Rose M. Ylimaki and Leslie McClain. Constituting the Teacher of Reading in Contemporary Australian Literacy Debates, Barbara Comber and Phil Cormack. Literacy Debate in the Early Years: The New Zealand Context, Joy Cullen. PART III. WIDER IMPLICATIONS. The Digital Page: Crossing Boundaries of Print in California Social Studies, James A. LaSpina. Critical Asia Literacy: Othering, Orientalism, and Counterhegemonic Challenges, Yoshiko Nozaki. Mind the Gap: Continuities and Discontinuities in Young Children's Textual Experiences at Home and School, Jackie Marsh.

"...this collection of essays not only pinpoints similarities and differences across international boundaries, but also contributes new insights into critical literacy theories. To be sure, the astute reader will leave the book with a new arsenal of weapons for understanding the political and pedagogical nature of the reading wars, schooling, and education policies." Jerrie Cobb Scott in Education Review (Read full review)