Dick and Jane books are among the most popularly collected school books. This is because the series of books was used for over 40 years in American schools. Gray, a renowned educational psychologist and reading authority from the University of Chicago, and pitched to him her philosophy that children are more receptive to reading if the books contained illustrations related to them and their lives. Gray was impressed enough to hire Sharp.
Dick and Jane Primers - Collectible Children's Books | Loganberry Books
Once a beloved teaching tool, Dick and Jane was later denounced as dull, counterproductive, and even misogynistic. A former teacher from Laporte, Ind. Gray with an idea that would change the face of American literacy. So Sharp proposed a collection of short stories that would each introduce a handful of new words. And—critically—these characters would appear in simple illustrations designed to help connect a given word with its definition.
A Back To School Primer On Collecting Vintage Dick & Jane Books
These books taught a couple generations how to read, crafted dreams of gentle suburban bliss, and in the process became immediately recognizable cultural icons. When people get all excited about the Dick and Jane series, you know it's nostalgia and long-lost memories they're after. While these books also chronicle an era, I'll bet most customers want them for memories of the little light bulb that clicked as they learned to read with Dick, Jane, Sally, and Spot. Aside from the educational nostalgia, these primers reflect a society now past and are as remarkable for this depiction as for their influence on American education.
American educators, politicians, and parents have been fighting for a long time over the best way to teach children how to read. William McGuffey's phonics-based primers, which emphasized the sounding out of words by learning letter-sound associations, dominated American primary education from the middle of the c19 until the early c During the Progressive Era, some educators and social scientists began to believe that McGuffey's moralizing texts were too complex for young readers, and they argued for a simpler approach, one that used a carefully limited vocabulary and story lines that were more relevant to the lives of contemporary children. In particular, illustrator Zerna Sharp worked with the Scott, Foresman publishing company and with William Gray to devise a series of basic primers that would include his suggestions.