The International Reading Association recently posted, “What’s hot for 2008.” Each year IRA surveys literacy leaders to determine the hottest topics in literacy for that year. They write:
Unlike last year, when everyone agreed that adolescent literacy was the hottest topic, there was no “extremely hot topic”this year. However, there were nine “very hot”topics: adolescent literacy, English as a second language/English-language learners, early intervention, fluency, high-stakes assessment, informational/nonfiction texts, literacy coaches/reading coaches, response to intervention, and scientific evidence-based reading research and instruction.
Most of these “very hot”topics were on the “very hot”or “extremely hot”list last year. response to intervention moved from “hot”last year to “very hot”this year; the reverse was true for the topic direct/explicit instruction. The surprise “not hot”topic was phonics! For most of the past 12 years, phonics has been very hot. This year, for the first time, phonics moved to the “not hot”column.
See the results of the survey on this chart. I found it interesting to compare the “what’s hot” column with the “should be hot” column. For example, while 75% of respondents thought that preservice teacher education for reading should be hot, it didn’t make the what’s hot list for 2008. On a slightly different note, phonemic awareness has gone down in the rankings–75% of respondents thought it should not be hot. While my education training and experience puts me in the “balanced” camp, surveys such as these are amusing to say the least! I was happy to see that vocabulary and comprehension were heavy in the should be hot area–two areas of content the FreeReading development team are working on for the FreeReading site. Expect to see more content in these areas of literacy on FreeReading by midsummer!
What do you think is hot in literacy this year?