''Shaping the Reading Field'' documents the lives and lasting contributions of early literacy leaders who helped shape the field.
Note from Dr. Susan Israel delivered at the RHoF annual meeting held on December 1, 2022 at the LRA Conference in Phoenix, AZ
It is with great pleasure, Shaping the Reading Field, is going to be shared. My co-editor, Jennifer Monaghan, was quick to respond to me in the early stages when I was inspired to do the book. She was unknown to me at the time I asked her, but when I spoke with her you could hear her enthusiasm for the project. Doing a volume on posthumously honored Reading Hall of Famers was a feat achieved due to the extraordinary diligence of the contributors who conducted what I now realize as Grounded Theory Historical Research. On several occasions, I would receive updates on chapter research with authors informing me they had to interview family members, travel to researchers professional universities to obtain documents, and gather more research from known associates.
This book is not just about Reading Pioneers but an instructional tool on conducting high quality historical research. The Appendix is a treasure trove of literacy knowledge. There is an entire road map to how to conduct historical research. Another treasure is in the matrix of professional lineage of Reading Pioneers that I gathered based on the suggestion of Jennifer. What is most important to me about the lineage is how Reading Pioneers were established with each other as contemporaries and students of many extraordinary Reading Scholars. In steering this book to completion, I want to give credit to Jennifer Monaghan for saying “yes” to my project and then becoming a very dear colleague and friend. Jennifer loved conducting historical research and was the scholar and advocate for reading and history.
I end by encouraging everyone to stay connected in research and in life. Thank you to anyone present who was a contributor to Shaping the Reading Field and thank you to everyone for sharing this book with future generations of reading scholars.
Lastly, I want to make a pitch for reading and literacy programs at institutions create a course on Historical Literacy Research. What you may not know about me is I have written more than 35 volumes mostly in Reading and Comprehension, I leave you with that not to draw attention to myself but to let young researchers know that in every book I did, it started with historical research on reading, theories and above everything else people. Reading Pioneers who went before me and who walk with you now among giants in the field.
Susan E. Israel