To name but a few.
I feel unbelievably privileged to know, or to know of, these pioneering greats. There are so many others, too, that I thought I would start a thread to which we can add further names and simple statements and links to their work.
Robert Sweet Jnr, that is, Bob Sweet, wrote this message below and I asked his permission to add it here as it summed up so succinctly some of the developments in America and his view on what is needed now:
I became aware of the NICHD research in the mid 80’s. It was before much attention was paid to it. I met Reid Lyon and others at Yale University where they had tested 40,000 students over 25 years. At that point I thought that would change the way Reading was taught.
Then I worked with Reid in 1999 to get the report of the National Reading Panel distributed to all school districts in the US.
Later I had the privilege in 2000 of writing Reading First under George W Bush. Again I had hopes that research would convince teachers that phonics instruction would change things.
More than $6 billion in federal funds were distributed to all 50 states to change to Phonics.
I had lots of contact with professors at major Universities about brain research and how the brain changes when taught Phonics rather than whole language.
Here we are more than 30 years later and we still are debating how many angels dance on the head of a pin.
How to teach Reading is settled science. Further debate is not needed. One can hope it won’t take another 30 years.
The way Reading should be taught and putting that into practice is the essential issue facing us.
We need to highlight how teachers can become successful and apply the reading science we know!
Bob told me, "I met Dave Boulton in 2001 when he interviewed me. I was then in the process of writing the “Reading First Law” that passed in January 2002 and provided about $6 billion funding for teachers all across the America".
Children of the Code interview: Robert Sweet - Phonics and the Evolution of Reading Policy
Bob Sweet is the founder of the National Right to Read Foundation (NRRF) in America:
See IFERI's 'Inform Factsheets':
Research Findings in Reading Instruction are Settled Science
http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... cience.pdf
How Children Learn to Read
http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... -Read2.pdf
READING RECOVERY Is it efficacious and effective?
http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... covery.pdf
The Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles
http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... ciples.pdf
Why Book Bands and Levelled Reader Books Should Be Abandoned
http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... oned-1.pdf
20th July 2019: We are very sad to learn of the loss of Bob Sweet. I have notified others via this link below:
Bruce Deitrick Price, another stalwart in promoting evidence-informed reading instruction in America, writes about the work and kind nature of Bob Sweet: