researchED Home 2020

The Bridge Over The Reading Gap

Dianne & James Murphy

All over the English speaking world, there is a systemic problem of about 20% of secondary students failing to reach acceptable literacy standards before leaving compulsory education. This translates into millions of people whose lives have been unnecessarily damaged by aspects of their education. We will explore how this pattern became systemically embedded, its impact on individuals and society, and most alarmingly, how the research evidence showing how to resolve the problem has been studiously ignored for decades. We will look at this evidence, examine its ‘real-world’ applications to reading, and consider not only the direct impact of effective teaching on reading skills, but also its long-term influence on students’ confidence, self-esteem, motivation and life chances.