G. Michael Pressley, one of the nation’s foremost reading researchers and a prolific writer and speaker on the subject, died on May 26 from complications of cancer. He was 55.
Mr. Pressley, a professor of education and psychology and the director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing, was particularly known for his work in the area of comprehension. He was known as well for his insistence on scientific rigor in research and was an outspoken critic of state and federal reading policies that he thought drew only selectively from the research literature.
An author for the Open Court Reading series published by the McGraw-Hill Cos., he objected to what he saw as the narrow research focus of the influential National Reading Panel. Mr. Pressley, who was an adviser to several states and districts in implementing the federal Reading First program, also questioned some of the instructional approaches used in schools receiving the grants.
Mr. Pressley published more than 350 articles, papers, and books. In March, he was named editor of the journal Scientific Studies in Reading. He had also served as editor of other publications, including the Journal of Educational Psychology.
A version of this article appeared in the June 07, 2006 edition of Education Week