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SharpReading Theory

Action Research at NZGSE



Cognitive Load Theory

Explicit Instruction

Fullan Change Theory

Action Research at NZGSE

SharpReading has its origins from 2000-2010 at the New Zealand Graduate School Of Education(an internationally recognised private teacher training institution in Christchurch. Hilton Ayrey was employed as a tutor at the and given responsibility for developing a teacher training programme in Reading. He was late joined by Brian Parker and together they researched effective teaching and learning approaches in reading and gradually pieced together what has now become SharpReading collected data on the impact of their approach to reading instruction. 7 weeks out of every term was spent in the classroom observing and giving feedback to teachers across the curriculum with a view to developing effective teaching and learning methodologies. In that time over 1000 teachers were trained in what has now become the SharpReading approach to reading instruction. 

By 2010 we had developed an approach to reading instruction (our SharpReading routines) that, with a minimal amount of initial training and supervision, could be successfully in classrooms from Year 1-Year 8 by trainee teachers. In their 7 week teaching block it was not uncommon for groups of students being taught using SharpReading to make 6 months progress.

Michael Pressley

A significant impact on our work has been the research of Michael Pressley. Two quotes have become the foundation for SharpReading.

"When ....

This plus other work on developmental learning convinced us that, rather than promoting a holistic approach to reading strategy instruction, it made much more sense to view strategy acquisition as a developmental continuum. This lined up nicely with our working knowledge of Bloom's Taxonomy and lead the the development of our one page Developmental Progression which is the basis for our reading stages.

"Comprehension strategy instruction..." This became the thesis for our approach to comprehension Strategy Instruct, the need to establish routines and processes which moved the teacher away from being the locus of control and allowed the student to feel in charge of the process. This has been a huge factor in the overwhelming feedback we have had from teachers, pupils and parents about the rediscovered enthusiasm, enjoyment and confidence that learners are experiencing when teachers successfully implement the SharpReading routines.

Tom Nicholson - Comprehension

Tom's work on Comprehension was my first inspiration to do something about comprehension. His work on text analysis is the foundation for Stage 5 of SharpReading. In my own classroom I spent years implementing Nicholson's 


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