An interview with Peter Afflerbach about his new book Teaching Readers Not Reading conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

An interview with Peter Afflerbach about his new book Teaching Readers Not Reading conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

When I first saw the title of Peter’s new book, Teaching Readers Not Reading, I was intrigued. I anticipated that the book would fit nicely into centrist’s views about reading- and I was not disappointed. Follow the child, not the program, check! Look at all the research, check! Empower teachers by teaching them about the keys to a successful reading program using a variety of teaching methods, check. I could go on and on. I think my readers will find this book to be a treasure trove of ideas about how to teach reading in a way that will promote the creation of lifelong readers (and writers!). Those will be lifelong readers who learn to read with understanding and to think about and evaluate what they’ve read. In my opinion, Peter’s book can help teachers to teach kids not just what to think (content) but also how to think (process). Metacognition and self-regulation are at the heart of what he promotes. Before listening to what Peter had to say about his book and its ideas, let’s look briefly at his biography, taken from the Guildford Press website.

The things that jumped out at me were that he was elected to the International Reading Association’s Hall of fame and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. In addition to being one of the nation’s top researchers, he also has run reading clinics and has teaching experience as a Chapter 1 (Title 1) remedial reading and writing teacher. What a solid set of credentials he has for writing this book! Let’s now look at the interview and what was discussed.

Questions 1 & 2 What motivated you to write this book? What impact did you hope that it would have in the professional world?   You write about the need for a shift from “science” of reading to “sciences” of reading. Can you explain this idea—why the plural “sciences”?  02:00
Question 3   You focus on the sciences of reading that include metacognition, motivation and engagement, and self-efficacy. Can you describe how these operate and why they are central to reading development and reading achievement?   Thoughts about the Reading Rope- includes necessary components, but it needs a wrap around.  06:55  
Questions 4 & 5   Do you believe that current reading instruction reflects the breadth and depth of our knowledge of how students’ reading develops? What explains the phenomenon of understanding reading development broadly, but teaching reading narrowly?   From a developmental perspective, what else matters for student reading success besides strategies and skills?  19:16
Final Thoughts27:00  

Here is a link to Peter’s book LINK

Peter will be doing keynotes at two major conventions. These will happen in January of next year. Both keynotes will focus on his book. Here are links to each of those events.

LITCON, January 2023, Columbus, Ohio LINK

Florida Reading Association January 2023 (BTW- Nell Duke is doing the opening Keynote at this conference) LINK

Dr. Sam’s Upcoming Summer Blogs- Over the next few weeks, I am continuing to arrange for additional interviews with authors of some of the many professional books that have been published lately. Near the end of summer, I hope to talk to you about my plans for my push-ins this fall at the school where I serve as a pro bono reading consultant in grades K-3. I’ll be going in for two full days a week doing large group, small group, and individual sessions. Talking about what I’ll be doing will allow readers to see how I adapt my instruction to the many ideas I’ve gotten from this summer’s interviews. In the meantime:

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito, aka the centrist who uses ideas from all sides to inform his teaching

Copyright 2022 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the author’s view and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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