What are the key ingredients of an effective program to improve children’s literacy? Why is developmentally appropriate assessment of young children’s language and literacy development important? The Language Diversity and Literacy Development Research Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is releasing a series of one-page memos designed to answer these and other questions about the critical ingredients needed to children’s literacy. (See Lead for Literacy.)
The research group is led by Professor Nonie Lesaux, author of “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success,” which Strategies for Children commissioned in 2010 and which informs the memos. “Each memo,” the group’s website states, “revisits assumptions that guide current policies and practices, outlines common pitfalls, and presents feasible solutions to pressing issues.”
The research group began releasing memos in September and will continue releasing them through November. I’ll write later about individual memos. These are the memos that have been released so far:
Professor Lesaux has conducted research in five large U.S. school districts. She has served as senior research associate of the National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Youth and also served on the Reading First Advisory Committee for the U.S. secretary of education. In 2007, the WT Grant Foundation named her as one of five WT Grant scholars and awarded her a five-year, $350,000 grant to study English language learners in urban public schools. Lesaux has also received a Presidetial Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor the federal government offers to recognize young professionals beginning their research careers.