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Reading Instruction: A Historical Timeline

1700s–Mid-1800s: Children are taught to read through memorization of the alphabet, practice with sound-letter correspondences, and spelling lists. The prevailing texts used for teaching reading are the Bible and political essays. Mid-1800s: Inspired by Jeffersonian democratic ideals, some educators attack phonics and urge a meaning-based approach to learning to read. Late 1800s: All-purpose reading materials are replaced by…

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