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On teaching reading and being a reader

Sue McDowall


In recent times a lot of attention has been focused on the importance of content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge for teachers of reading. This article presents the argument that while these forms of knowledge are essential, being an effective teacher of reading is as much about who you are, and how you act in the world, as it is about what you know and how you explain it. Teachers of reading, therefore, need to be readers and bring their reader identities into the classroom. This article provides some practical examples of how a group of teachers made changes to their classroom reading programmes to foreground their ‘teacher as reader’ identities. The focus here is on reading literature, but these ideas can just as easily be applied to other types of text.

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