I began my career in education as a teacher in Southern California in 1949. I taught a self contained eighth grade. As a victim of the Mcarthy period, I worked as a social group worker for the Los Angeles Jewish Community center and ran day camps for them for several years. While I worked on my EdD at UCLA I taught in a small private secondary school in Beverly Hills with children of the rich and famous.
In 1962 I began teaching at Wayne State University and immediately began my research in reading in the public schools of Detroit and Highland Park Michigan. I developed miscue analysis in that reaearch.
I studied urban white and black children of a full socioeconomic range . Later I did funded reserach with second to eighth grade readers in eight different language or dialect groups.
I taught at Wayne for 15 years and then moved to the University of Arizona for the next 30 plus years. I was active in many parts of the country and the world in staff develoment and the whole language movement. My small book What's Whole in Whole Language sold 250.000 copies in several languages.
In the so-called "Reading Wars" I was frequently attacked in the popular media as a whole language "guru" I published In Defense of Good Teaching and Saving our Schools in opposition to what I believe is a campaign to privatize education.
I remain active in speaking, writing and research and attend professional conferences regularly though I am retired and living in an academic retirement coummunity in the Tucson desert.I published several books:
with Yetta Goodman, Making Sense of Learners Making Sense of Written Language Part of a Taylor and Frances Distinguished Educationalists series,
with Robert Calfee and Yetta Goodman for the Reading Hallof Fame Whose Knowledge Counts in Government Literacy Policies, Routledge
And new in 2016 with Peter Fries and Steven Strauss, Reading - The Grand Illusion, How and Why People Maake Sense of print Routledge