Adolescent Literacy: Putting the Crisis in Context

Spring 2008

Source: Harvard Educational Review, Volume 78, Issue 1, Spring 2008

In this article, Vicki Jacobs argues that as the nation strives to improve the literacy achievement of U.S. adolescents, educators must reframe the current “crisis” as a critical point on a continuum of historical efforts to address the particular challenges of postprimary-grade reading.
Specifically, Jacobs examines the definition of adolescent literacy in the context of reading stages, which explain the contiguous and continuous relationship between primary-grade and later reading.

She also discusses how historical relationships between skill and process instruction and between reading specialists and content-area faculty have contributed to the issues we face at this particular point on the continuum. Jacobs concludes by highlighting the opportunities ahead for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners who are positioned to respond to the adolescent literacy crisis and improve adolescent literacy achievement.

Updated: Jun. 16, 2008