ABC and 123: What's Hot/What's Not in Literacy Education: A Very Informal "Research Project"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's Hot/What's Not in Literacy Education: A Very Informal "Research Project"

The International Reading Association puts together a yearly survey, to be completed by top literacy researchers and scholars, to suggest the hottest topics in literacy education.  From year to year theses hot topics evolve and as most educators agree even after they appear to be "gone" they will likely come back around eventually. When I was a college student the raging debate was phonics vs. whole language - no longer even a topic of discussion.  So, what are we talking about in our literacy conversations today?  Digital Literacy? Comprehension? Early Literacy?
Are you curious what the hot topics have been in the past?  Here is the 2011 Results and Discussion. The 2012 survey results have also already been published {no peeking until you've played along though}.
In the spirit of kicking off 2012, we'd love a little informal research project of our own. Below is a list of the literacy subjects included on the 2012 survey.  With your teacher hat on, how would you rate each item on the list? 
Somewhat Hot  
Not Hot 
Should be Hot
We would love if you would take a few minutes to run through the list and rate them for yourself.  Share your thoughts in a comment or post your list on your blog and link back in the linky below.  If you would also include the age/grade level of the students you are teaching that would be great! Let's see what we come up with in our professional opinions ;).
~Adolescent literacy
~Adult literacy
~Core learning/literacy standards
~Critical reading and
~Disciplinary/content area literacy
~Early intervention
~English as a second language/English language learners
~High-stakes assessment
~Intertextuality/reading multiple texts
~Literacy coaches/reading coaches
~New literacies/digital literacies
~Phonemic awareness
~Political/policy influences on literacy
~Preschool literacy instruction/experiences
~Professional development (inservice
~Response to Intervention
~Scientific evidence-based reading research and
~Struggling/striving readers (grade 4 & above) (–)
~Teacher education for reading (preservice)
~Vocabulary/word meaning

Are there any topics not on this list that you think should be included?  

Looking forward to reading your "What's Hot" lists and compiling our cooperative results!


  1. Ok, here is my opinion. I've worked with K-5 students for 17 years and have a literacy background.
    ~Adolescent literacy- NOT HOT

    ~Adult literacy- NOT HOT

    ~Comprehension- SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Core learning/literacy standards- HOT

    ~Critical reading- SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Curriculum-based- SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Disciplinary/content area literacy- SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Early intervention- SHOULD BE HOT

    ~English as a second language/English language learners- NOT SO HOT

    ~Fluency- NOT SO HOT

    ~High-stakes assessment- SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Informational/nonfiction- SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Intertextuality/reading multiple texts - SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Literacy coaches/reading coache- HOTs

    ~Motivation/engagement- NOT SO HOT

    ~New literacies/digital literacies-SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Phonemic awareness - SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Phonics - NOT HOT

    ~Political/policy influences on literacy - SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Preschool literacy instruction/experiences - SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Professional development (inservice- SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Response to Intervention - HOT

    ~Scientific evidence-based reading research and - SOMEWHAT HOT

    ~Struggling/striving readers (grade 4 & above) (–) NOT HOT

    ~Teacher education for reading (preservice)SHOULD BE HOT

    ~Vocabulary/word meaning SHOULD BE HOT


    Now, I'll look at the list and see where I compare!

  2. I'm no longer in the professional world, but homeschooling. I don't know what's "hot" in the public schools, but here is my take from talking with home school parents around here:

    ~Adolescent literacy - Not hot
    ~Adult literacy - Not hot
    ~Comprehension - VERY HOT
    ~Core learning/literacy standards - Not Hot
    ~Critical reading and - Not hot
    ~Curriculum-based - Very hot
    ~Disciplinary/content area literacy - Very hot
    ~Early intervention - somewhat hot
    ~English as a second language/English language learners - Not hot
    ~Fluency - hot
    ~High-stakes assessment - hot
    ~Informational/nonfiction - hot
    ~Intertextuality/reading multiple texts - hot
    ~Literacy coaches/reading coaches - not hot
    ~Motivation/engagement - very hot
    ~New literacies/digital literacies - very hot
    ~Phonemic awareness - very hot
    ~Phonics - very hot
    ~Political/policy influences on literacy - VERY, VERY, VERY HOT
    ~Preschool literacy instruction/experiences - very hot
    ~Professional development (inservice - not hot
    ~Response to Intervention - not hot
    ~Scientific evidence-based reading research and - very hot
    ~Struggling/striving readers (grade 4 & above) (–) - not hot
    ~Teacher education for reading (preservice) - not hot
    ~Vocabulary/word meaning - hot
    ~Writing - hot

  3. I teach 1st grade Reading/Phonics and have taught 3rd grade as well and here's my opinion

    ~Adolescent literacy Somewhat Hot
    ~Adult literacy Not so Hot
    ~Comprehension VERY HOT
    ~Core learning/literacy standards VERY HOT
    ~Critical reading and HOT
    ~Curriculum-based Somewhat Hot
    ~Disciplinary/content area literacy HOT
    ~Early intervention VERY HOT
    ~English as a second language/English language learners HOT (I work with bilingual students)
    ~Fluency Somewhat Hot
    ~High-stakes assessment Somewhat HoT
    ~Informational/nonfiction HOT
    ~Intertextuality/reading multiple texts HOT
    ~Literacy coaches/reading coaches HOT
    ~Motivation/engagement HOT
    ~New literacies/digital literacies Somewhat Hot
    ~Phonemic awareness HOT
    ~Phonics HOT
    ~Political/policy influences on literacy HOT
    ~Preschool literacy instruction/experiences HOT
    ~Professional development (inservice HOT
    ~Response to Intervention HOT
    ~Scientific evidence-based reading research and HOT
    ~Struggling/striving readers (grade 4 & above) (–) HOT
    ~Teacher education for reading (preservice) HOT
    ~Vocabulary/word meaning HOT
    ~Writing Very HOT