Steps to Success: Crossing the Bridge Between Literacy Research and Practice provides a rich review of literacy instruction. With an initial focus on literacy research, and chapters spanning literacy development to adolescent instruction, it has a wide appeal. Additionally, the text addresses writing and English Language Learning, two areas commonly omitted from the conversation.
One strength of this text is that each chapter follows an accessible structure of stating the goals for the chapter, presenting a well-crafted image of the current state of research, and culminating with questions to consider. Each chapter affords the reader an overview of the aspect of literacy instruction; how it fits within the whole of literacy learning, key viewpoints, instructional methods and concerns. These considerations make an often daunting subject much more accessible.
While this textbook would be a valuable read at any stage in a graduate program, its broad scope, lends to using various chapters in separate courses such as Foundations of Literacy Development, Methods and Materials of Elementary Reading, Adolescent Literacy and Action Research. As an open textbook it provides rich resources for graduate and undergraduate instruction in education, literacy, and teacher research.
Sharon M. Peck is an associate Professor of Literacy in the School of Education at SUNY Geneseo. She teaches graduate coursework in literacy instruction and runs an urban literacy clinic. She actually misses teaching action research and strives to empower all teachers to be avid consumers of research. She enjoys working with in-service teachers, researching language arts, community place based education, storytelling and puppetry.