• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Developing and supporting literacy is an absolute priority for all early years settings and primary schools, and something of a national concern. By presenting extensive research evidence, Rachael Levy shows how some of our tried and tested approaches to teaching reading may be counter-productive, and are causing some young children to lose confidence in their abilities as readers. Through challenging accepted definitions and perspectives on reading, this book encourages the reader to reflect critically on the current reading curriculum, and to consider ways in which their own practice can be developed to match the changing literacy landscape of the 21st century. Placing the emphasis on the voices of the children themselves, the author looks at: - what it feels like to be a reader in the digital age - children's perceptions of reading - home and school reading - reading in multidimensional forms - the future teaching of reading Essential reading for all trainee and practising teachers, this critical examination of a vital topic will support all those who are interested in the way we can help future generations to become literate. This book will encourage researchers and practitioners alike to redefine their own views of literacy, and situate 'reading literacy' within the digital world in which young children now live. Rachael Levy worked as a primary school teacher in both London and Cambridge before undertaking her doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge. She is Lecturer in Early Years Education, at the University of Sheffield.


Learning to read is generally regarded as a crucial component of early years education. In fact the term ‘starting school’ is often seen to be almost synonymous with the term ‘learning to read’. Teachers, parents and policy makers care about reading, and with good reason. As Byrnes and Wasik (2009: 171) point out, ‘there is a direct and strong connection between reading skills and the level of academic and professional success enjoyed by an individual in his or her lifetime’.

Yet the teaching of reading has remained a contentious topic over the years, and has been fiercely debated in terms of approach. While much of the research in the field has sought to explore certain strategies and understand ‘what works best’ (McGuinness, 2005) in terms ...

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