Evidence-Based Instruction in Reading: A Professional Development Guide to Culturally Responsive Instruction

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Incorporate a multi-tiered approach to literacy instruction using a culturally responsive approach!

Literacy experts, Robin Wisniewski, Gay Fawcett, Nancy Padak, and Timothy Rasinski, explore the major components essential to creating an effective literacy program that supports all students. The authors present teachers with easy-to-implement instructional strategies and research-based practices to assess students' cultures and reading skills, as well as teachers' instruction and diversity readiness. In particular, the authors focus on identifying effective elements of instruction and offer suggestions for instructional modifications in the classroom.

The series, Evidence-Based Instruction in Reading, is a professional development program designed to help teachers meet the literacy instruction guidelines as identified by the National Reading Panel (2000). Each of the books in the series focuses on one key component: learners with special needs, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension and offers recommendations for incorporating appropriate reading materials, fostering productive home-school connections, and promoting a desire for students to learn to read and write throughout the five part series. This coverage makes this series the perfect professional development resource for teachers in the elementary classroom!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A literal treasure trove of amazing resources...especially the technology resources. The authors clearly have a grasp on what teachers need. I am very excited to share these with the teachers at my school!

- Kristen Steis, Reading Specialist, Cedar Forest Elementary School, Fredericksburg, VA

This book will be a terrific and timely tool for teachers who work in schools with any number of ELL students. I would both buy and recommend this book to others because the instructional strategies are not very different from what we use with all students. They key is in the chapter on assessment–which is getting to know the students before planning the instruction. We don’t do that often enough for any of our students.

- Tracy Hendrix, Academic Coach, Carnesville Elementary School, Carnesville, GA

This book is unique in its approach–how refreshing!

It addresses a much-needed segment of our learning community.

This is an important book which all teachers of EL’s should read because it encourages us to be not just culturally sensitive, but culturally reflective.

There is much in this book which would be useful to me as a classroom teacher, particularly since, like many of today’s teachers, many languages are represented in my classroom.

- Judy Mazur, 5th Grade Teacher, Buena Vista Elementary School, Walnut Creek, CA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137022151
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 2/18/2011
  • Series: Evidence-Based Instruction in Reading Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,244,377
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Wisniewski is an Assistant Professor of Education at Baldwin-Wallace College where she directs the Leadership in Higher Education graduate program. As a licensed psychologist and nationally certified school psychologist, her major interests, specialties, and teaching areas are in the psychology of learning and leadership. She frequently works with teachers and school leaders, and has taught and led over 100 courses and workshops in various areas such as standardized and authentic assessment, program evaluation and research, diversity and cultural responsiveness, identity development, counseling, K-12 and college literacy, educational intervention, and curriculum development. A graduate of Kent State University, Dr. Wisniewski earned bachelor's degrees in business and psychology, graduate degrees in school psychology, a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus in literacy, and equivalency doctorate in school psychology awarded by the Ohio State Board of Psychology.

Gay Fawcett has been in education for over 36 years as a teacher, principal, language arts consultant, and curriculum director. She also directed Kent State University’s Research Center for Educational Technology. She currently teaches online and face-to-face courses for four major universities and provides curriculum consultation for schools and school districts. She has authored and/or co-authored more than 90 articles, books, and book chapters for educational publications including the Kappan, Educational Leadership, Language Arts, The Reading Teacher, and others. She served with Rasinski and Padak as an associate editor of The Reading Teacher. Dr. Fawcett earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in reading from the University of Akron. She was awarded a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in literacy from Kent State University. Her dissertation on middle school literacy received three awards, including ASCD’s Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Nancy Padak recently retired from Kent State University, where she was a Distinguished Professor in the College and Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services, Director of KSU’s Reading and Writing Center, and teacher in the area of literacy education. She is the Principal Investigator for the Ohio Literacy Resource Center, which has provided support for adult and family literacy programs since 1993. Prior to her arrival at Kent State in 1985, she was a classroom teacher and district administrator. She is an active researcher, author, and consultant. She has also served in a variety of leadership roles in professional organizations, including the presidency of the College Reading Association and (with others) the Editor of The Reading Teacher and the Journal of Literacy Research. Dr. Padak’s academic degrees were awarded by the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University.

Timothy Rasinski is a professor of education in the Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy education. His major interests include working with children who find reading difficult, phonics and reading fluency instruction, and teacher development in literacy education. He has published over 100 articles and 10 books on various aspects of reading education. Dr. Rasinski is past editor of The Reading Teacher and the Journal of Literacy Research. He has served as president of the College Reading Association and the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. In 2010 Tim was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. He earned bachelor degrees in economics and education at the University of Akron and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His master's degree in special education also comes from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Rasinski was awarded the Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

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Table of Contents

Series Introduction: Evidence-Based Instruction in Reading — A Professional Development Guide

The National Reading Panel Report

Professional Development in Literacy

Using the Books

Introduction: Culturally Responsive Instruction

CHAPTER 1: Culturally Responsive Instruction: Definitions, Research, and Considerations

What is Culturally Responsive Instruction?

Is Culturally Responsive Instruction Just a New Name for Multicultural Education?

What Does the Research Say About Culturally Responsive Instruction?

How Can You Be Culturally Responsive?


Book Club: Professional Development

CHAPTER 2: Assessing Reading Instruction for Cultural Responsiveness

Big Ideas of Assessment

Assessing Student Cultures

Assessing Reading Skills

Assessing Your Instruction

Assessing Your School’s Readiness for Culturally Responsive Instruction

Plans for Change


Book Club: Professional Development


Effective Literacy Instruction for Diverse Students

Guidelines for Instructional Planning

Evidence-Based Strategies for Culturally Responsive Instruction

Participation Strategies


Book Club: Professional Development


Book Club: Professional Development



Print Teacher Resources

APPENDIX A: Book Club Ideas

APPENDIX B: Cultural Interview

APPENDIX C: The Essential Primary Grade Sight Word List

APPENDIX D: Graphic Organizer Templates


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