Harold Rosen

1919-2008
London Institute of Education, United Kingdom

Biographical Statement

Harold Rosen (1919-2008), became a leader in new insights about the learning of language (including literacy) in English education and influencing the teaching of English reading and writing in Great Britain and other English-speaking nations. He established understandings about the theory and practice of progressive teaching exploring relationships between thinking and oral and written language. He became an English teacher in the 1950’s and eventually head of the English department at a pilot secondary school, Walworth, in south London influencing the theory and practice of progressive English teaching. One principle the school established stated: The curriculum must take notice and respect the languages, cultures, interests and enthusiasms of students. The reader/learner makes meaning as an essential act – learning is a collaboration between teacher and learner and between learner and learner.  Dr. Rosen’s ideas became pervasive throughout the UK as he moved into teacher education at a teacher training college and then at the London Institute of Education where he became head of English collaborating with colleagues James Britton, Nancy Marten and others. He established the first organization for English education in the UK: National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) dedicated to the improvement of English teaching. His influences are represented in his impressive number of publications: memoirs, poetry, professional books and articles on English literature and language. A favorite text remains: The Language of Primary School Children (1973) coauthored with Connie Rosen.