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.

August 24, 2020

Teacher question: I’ve read what you’ve written about the instructional level. You claim that there is no such thing. Haven’t you ever heard of the “zone of proximal development (ZPD)?” Shanahan's response:

August 18, 2020

Reading instruction is a faddish thing. We reading teachers can be as passionate and fickle as a gaggle of teens cooing over Billy Eilesh or TikTok.

August 11, 2020

Teacher question: Over the past two weeks, I’ve received several questions about distance learning and remote instruction. Here is just one example: “I may not be face to face with students for the entire year. Any help you can provide will be sincerely appreciated.” Shanahan’s response:

August 6, 2020

This entry was first posted on March 8, 2014 and was re-posted on August 1, 2020. This posting dealt with perhaps the biggest issue facing all of us today: the amount of reading instruction that students receive. I've long been convinced that amount of teaching is one of the three major tools that we have to improve reading achievement.

July 28, 2020

Teacher question: I know you advocate the idea of teaching reading with more complex text. But what about motivation? Won’t this approach discourage students? Shanahan's response:

July 20, 2020

Parent question: As a parent, I’m worried about my children being out of school during the pandemic. Our district still hasn’t decided whether or how to open again this fall, so it isn’t even clear if they will be going back to school.


"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller