The National Reading Panel (NRP) Report (2000) (page 2)
The NRP was convened in 1997 in response to a congressional directive to review the scientific literature and determine the most effective ways to teach children to read. Leading scientists in reading research, representatives of colleges of education, reading teachers, educational administrators, and parents served on the NRP. The panel identified approximately 100,000 studies published since 1966 and 15,000 studies published before that time. From those studies, they selected for further review the experimental and quasi-experimental studies that met rigorous scientific standards. The panel's conclusions were based on the evidence from those scientific studies.
NRP identified five essential components of effective reading instruction:
- Phonemic awareness instruction
- Phonics instruction
- Fluency instruction
- Vocabulary instruction
- Text comprehension instruction
The NRP report (2000) contains comprehensive reviews of the scientific research within each of the five domains along with succinct summaries of the conclusions drawn from the research. To make this evidence-based reading research available to educators, parents, policy-makers, and others with an interest in helping all people learn to read well, a summarizing document titled Put Reading First (2001) was developed and disseminated. Put Reading First (2001) was published by the Partnership for Reading, a collaborative effort of the National Institute for Literacy, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Department of Education. Put Reading First can be downloaded by going to the National Institute of Literacy website at www.nifl.gov. The complete NRP report can be downloaded or ordered from the NRP website at www.nationalreadingpanel.org. Drawing from the NRP report and Put Reading First, we constructed tables of major conclusions about each of the five essential components of effective instruction. Those tables are included in relevant chapters of this textbook.
The most promising overall conclusion from the NRP report was captured by Duane Alexander, Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:
For the first time, we now have guidance—based on evidence from sound scientific research—on how best to teach children to read … the panel's rigorous scientific review identifies the most effective strategies for teaching reading.
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