Top Early Childhood Literacy Experts Provide Recommendations for Improving Literacy Instruction Based on Research Findings

Early Childhood Literacy: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond book provides decision-making insight that leads to actionable teaching

BALTIMORE, MD – September 5, 2012 – The federally-funded National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) Report (January 2009) analyzed hundreds of studies published in peer-reviewed research journals in order to determine what matters in early literacy instruction. The report showed that to improve early literacy skills and outcomes in all children, administrators, curriculum developers, and early literacy specialists must work to strengthen practices and change the way literacy is addressed in early education. However the report’s findings could be deemed as too complex for practical application by literacy educators, and newer research on literacy instruction conducted since the publication of the report offers additional ways to strengthen practice and improve outcomes for all children.

To help provide a clear, accessible understanding of the NELP Report and the ramifications of these findings on policy and practice, as well as insight into new research and issues not addressed in the report, Brookes Publishing Co. has released Early Childhood Literacy: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond. Edited by two of the nation’s top childhood literacy experts and NELP panelists, Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D., and Christopher J. Lonigan, Ph.D., this companion guide to the NELP offers preschool program directors, school administrators, school district curriculum developers, and early literacy specialists key recommendations for improving literacy instruction education. The book goes into detailed discussion on:

  1. important skills like print knowledge and oral language
  2. the need for assessment of early literacy skills
  3. instruction techniques and how they impact interventions
  4. the effectiveness of current preschool curricula
  5. response to intervention
  6. the need for more research to further improve early childhood literacy

Early Childhood Literacy: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond is already garnering positive reviews from early literacy experts.

“This book has gathered the most important information about early literacy development into one easy-to-read book. It will be a valuable resource to researchers and other literacy professionals,” says Diane Haager, Ph.D., a professor at California State University, Los Angeles.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to endorse this edited book that includes chapters by outstanding researchers in the field of early literacy,” says Lesley Mandel Morrow, Ph.D., a professor of literacy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. “[It is] a very scholarly and reader-friendly document that should be read and kept in the professional library of all who are in the field of early childhood.”

For more information on Early Childhood Literacy: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond, visit

About the Authors

Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of urban education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is Director of the UIC Center for Literacy. He has been director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools, serving 437,000 children. His research focuses on the relationship of reading and writing, school improvement, the assessment of reading ability, and family literacy. He has published more than 200 research articles, chapters, and books on literacy.

Christopher J. Lonigan, Ph.D., is Distinguished Research Professor of psychology and Associate Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. He has been the principal investigator for numerous research projects and programs funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Lonigan’s area of expertise concerns the development, assessment, and promotion of preschool early literacy skills. He has authored or coauthored more than 70 research publications.

About Brookes Publishing

For more than 30 years, Brookes Publishing has been a leading provider of professional resources and assessments in disabilities, autism, inclusion, and education. Some of their most well-known literacy authors include Marilyn Jager Adams, Ph.D., Catherine Snow, Ph.D., and Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, Ph.D. Brookes Publishing is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, please visit