WestEd Publishes New Edition of Classic Reading for Understanding

Research-Based Approach Has Benefited Thousands of Teachers and More Than One Million Students
San Francisco, California—July 25, 2012—When you work twelve years to update a landmark book on adolescent literacy, it had better be good.

WestEd, in conjunction with Jossey-Bass, recently released Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms, 2nd Edition.

Since 1995, Reading Apprenticeship® has helped more than 70,000 teachers and more than one million of their students develop deeper literacy skills in numerous subject areas. Currently, Reading Apprenticeship is the foundation for a U.S. Department of Education Investing In Innovation grant. This prestigious grant funds training in five states that will reach more than 400,000 students.

The second edition of Reading for Understanding lays out the research-vetted Reading Apprenticeship approach so that its theoretical rationale, deep research base, and classroom-tested approaches serve as a reassuring model for teachers, administrators, and school boards.

The book includes numerous, authentic classroom examples from a wide variety of fields including chemistry, geometry, U.S. history, biology, nursing, algebra, and anthropology. In the examples, readers meet students from middle school through college — including English learners and those enrolled in advanced placement, developmental, honors, mainstream, and technical courses.

The result is a rich picture of how to engage resistant readers, build students’ sense of themselves as literacy problem solvers, and integrate effective literacy instruction into rigorous subject area instruction.

Reading guru and University of California, Berkeley professor P. David Pearson calls the book “as elegantly practical as it is theoretically elegant. It is a guided tour, as one examines the tools of expert teachers as they engage students in a journey that is aptly dubbed Reading Apprenticeship — learning how to become a savvy, strategic reader under the tutelage of thoughtful, caring, and demanding teachers.”

Three federally funded, randomized controlled studies — the gold standard of education research — have found significant benefits for students exposed to the Reading Apprenticeship model. Benefits include improved attendance and grade-point averages, and higher achievement on reading comprehension and subject area standardized tests.

READING FOR UNDERSTANDING (Jossey-Bass, July 2012, ISBN: 978-0-470-60831-9, $29.95 / Paper / also available as an e-book)

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Matthew Spaur

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