One of the most important aspects of understanding any issue or field of knowledge, I think, is to have nuanced historical perspective. That is vividly true about education and especially reading.
The current reading crisis, often referred to as the “science of reading” movement, and the incredibly chilling impact of curriculum bans, book censorship, and attacks on teaching and learning are not, I regret to emphasize, all that new (except the degree of the bans are in many ways unprecedented).
I am currently working on completing my online annotated bibliography of Lou LaBrant, and offer below some historical perspective on teaching reading and why censorship is always wrong for education and democracy.
Access my blog post on each work by clicking the hyperlink in the essay titles; many of her publications can also be accessed through JSTOR (links at end of bibliographies when available). I am including memes of key passages from LaBrant with the recommended works below.
Witty, P.A., & LaBrant, L.L. (1936, June). Aims and methods in reading instruction. Educational Trends, 5-9, 18.
LaBrant, L. (1939). The relations of language and speech acquisitions to personality development. In P.A. Witty & C.E. Skinner (Eds.), Mental hygiene in modern education (pp. 324-352). Farrar and Rinehart, Inc.
LaBrant, L. (1942, November). What shall we do about reading today?: A symposium [Lou LaBrant]. The Elementary English Review, 19(7), 240-241. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41382636
LaBrant, L. (1943, March). Our changing program in language. Journal of Educational Method, 21(6), 268-272.
Witty, P., & LaBrant, L. (1946). Teaching the people’s language. Hinds, Hayden, & Eldredge, Inc.
LaBrant, L. (1947, January). Research in language. Elementary English, 24(1), 86-94. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41383425
LaBrant, L. (1949, January). A little list. English Journal, 38(1), 37–40. https://www.jstor.org/stable/808110