While teachers cannot travel back in time to visit their students at earlier ages, they can draw on the rich sets of experiences and knowledge that students bring to classrooms. In her latest book, Catherine Compton-Lilly examines the literacy practices and school trajectories of eight middle school students and their families. Through a unique longitudinal lens—the author has studied these same students from first grade—we see how students from a low-income, inner-city community grow and develop academically, revealing critical insights for teachers about literacy development, identity construction, and school achievement.
Based on interviews, reading assessments, and writing samples,Reading Timeadvocates for educators to:
Provide opportunities for students to develop long-term relationships with teachers and administrators.
Allow children and parents to share their stories to identify obstacles that students encounter as they move through school.
Collaborate and learn from students’ former teachers, as well as inform their future teachers.
Develop portfolio systems and longitudinal records that highlight children’s emerging interests, abilities, and potential for the future.
Catherine Compton-Lillyis an associate professor in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has taught in the public school system for 18 years. Her books includeReading Families,Re-reading Families, andBedtime Stories and Book Reports.
“The analysis here runs deeper than other contemporary critiques of accountability regimes and standardization, inviting us instead to consider how time, schooling, and literacy have always been co-constructed....Reading Timefeatures compelling examples of literacy practices that traverse generations, which could only be understood through interviews and observations extending over time.”
—Kevin Leander, Vanderbilt University