Toward a Good or Better Understanding of Best Practices

David Reinking


This commentary argues that seeking best practices in literacy instruction is not a good pursuit for the field. Instead, it argues that it would be better for the field to identify good practice, better practice, and malpractice. Further, it discusses the possible meanings of best practice and why each meaning is inadequate, relatively meaningless, or potentially misleading when compared to the concepts of good and better practice. These possible meanings include best practice as relatively good practice, as what most or expert teachers do, as achievement of valued outcomes, and as scientific evidence. Lastly, this commentary discusses why focusing on good and better practice would be better for the field and suggests some implications of that shift in perspective.


reading, literacy, best practice

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