Blogs About Reading

Shanahan on Literacy

Timothy Shanahan

Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan shares best practices for teaching reading and writing. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs. All posts are reprinted with permission from Shanahan on Literacy.

March 12, 2023

John Carroll (1963/1989) proposed an innovative model of academic learning. According to Carroll, learning was a function of five variables: student aptitude, opportunity to learn, perseverance, quality of teaching, and ability to understand. It wasn’t the list of variables that was so provocative, but how Carroll defined each.  

March 7, 2023

Recently, I wrote about the science of reading. I explained how I thought the term should be defined and described the kind of research needed to prescribe instruction. Today I thought I’d put some meat on the bone; adding some details that might help readers to grasp the implications of a scientific or research-based approach to reading.

February 21, 2023

The literacy field has long been beleaguered by generic terms that no one seems to understand — or more exactly, of which nobody agrees on the definitions.

February 6, 2023

Recently, I posted commentary on Emily Hanford’s reporting and the critical response it received from some in the literacy community.

January 16, 2023

Teacher question: I’m interested in whether personal grief trauma and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) affect reading comprehension or learning to read. Over the years, I have had students who have lost parents or siblings, and some who are witnesses to (or victims of violence).

January 9, 2023

Teacher question: Our school district is all abuzz about “Sold a Story,” a documentary about reading instruction, and the response it is getting from some reading experts. We’ve been surprised that you haven’t written about this. We’re sure you have an opinion. Would you be willing to share it? Shanahan’s response:


"Reading is not optional." —

Walter Dean Myers