The Science of Reading Progresses: Communicating Advances Beyond the Simple View of Reading

Duke, N.K., and Cartwright, K.B. (2021). The Science of Reading Progresses: Communicating Advances Beyond the Simple View of Reading. Reading Research Quarterly 56(S1), S25– S44. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.411

The simple view of reading is commonly presented to educators in professional development about the science of reading. The simple view is a useful tool for conveying the undeniable importance of both decoding and linguistic comprehension for reading. Research in the 35 years since the theory was proposed has revealed additional understandings about reading. The authors synthesize research documenting three of these advances: (1) Reading difficulties have a number of causes, not all of which fall under decoding and/or listening comprehension as posited in the simple view; (2) rather than influencing reading solely independently, as conceived in the simple view, decoding and listening comprehension (or in terms more commonly used in reference to the simple view today, word recognition and language comprehension) overlap in important ways; and (3) there are many contributors to reading not named in the simple view, such as active, self-regulatory processes, that play a substantial role in reading. Research showing that instruction aligned with these advances can improve students’ reading. The authors present their theory of the "active view of reading" as an expansion of the simple view.

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