While parent-child reading sessions are at the core of innumerable city and state literacy programs, a report by the federal What Works Clearinghouse finds common approaches show mixed results.
During shared book reading, an adult generally attempts to engage a child or children by pointing to illustrations, discussing word meanings or the sequence of events, and other approaches.
In an analysis of six studies, covering 791 children ages 3 to 6 in 10 locations, federal researchers found mixed effects of shared book reading on comprehension and language development for preschool children. No effects were found for alphabet recognition or general reading achievement.
A version of this article appeared in the April 22, 2015 edition of Education Week as Early-Childhood Education