Dr. Richard L. "Dick" Allington

Presented by: Annette Ketter

About Dr. Allington

Dr. Richard L. "Dick" Allington studied at Western Michigan University and Michigan State University. Since his first professional publication in 1974, Dr. Allington has shared his research on literacy. Most of his research focuses on effective literacy instruction and interventions for struggling readers. He previously worked at the State University of New York and the University of Florida (Padak et al., 2000). Currently, Dr. Allington serves as a professor of education at the University of Tennessee (web.utk.edu, n.d.; www.teachersread.net, n.d.).

Image from: http://www.teachersread.net/about-dr-allington

Philosophical Beliefs

Dr. Allington believes that "every child can and must be literate" (McGill-Franzen & Allington, 1991). Allington also believes that, for the most part, middle school students do not receive effective reading instruction (Allington, 2011). Allington also posits "students cannot learn much from books they cannot read accurately, fluently, and with understanding" (as cited in Allington, 2011, p. 12). In addition to presenting students with texts they are capable of reading, Allington also recommends "presenting students with texts they might want to read" (Allington, 2011, p. 13). Allington also believes that "the quality of classroom instruction the students receive is the most important aspect of schooling" (Allington, 2011, p. 13). Allington advocates for more time for children to read in school. He wrote, “Children too rarely spend any sustained school time just reading (by sustained I mean 30-60 minutes or more)” (Allington, 1994, p. 171).

Contribution to the Field/Influence on Reading Instruction

Dr. Allington's research has shaped the way we approach interventions for struggling readers (Allington, 2011; Allington 2007). For example, in respect to effective interventions at the middle school level, Allington notes that "decoding instruction is rarely useful for older struggling students" (Allington, 2011, p. 14). Allington's research has also "contributed to the understanding of reading and learning disabilities" (Padek et al., 2000, p. 162).

Dr. Allington demonstrates his leadership in literacy through his involvement in several literacy organizations. He was President of the National Reading Conference and the International Reading Association. He has also served on the editorial advisory boards for several professional reading journals (www.teachersread.net, n.d.).


About Dr. Richard Allington. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.teachersread.net/about-dr-allington

Allington, R. L. (2011). Reading intervention in the middle grades. Voices from the Middle, 19(2), 10-16.

Allington, R. L. (2007). Intervention all day long: New hope for struggling readers. Voices from the Middle, 14(4), 7-14).

Allington, R. L. (1994). The schools we have. The schools we need. In Padak, N. D., Rasinski, T., Peck, J. K. (and others). (Eds.). (2000). Distinguished educators on reading: Contributions that have shaped effective literacy instruction (pp. 164-181). Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.

McGill-Franzen, A., & Allington, R. L. (1991). Every child’s right: Literacy. The Reading Teacher, 45(2), 86-90.

Padak, N. D., Rasinski, T., Peck, J. K. (and others). (Eds.). (2000). Distinguished educators on reading: Contributions that have shaped effective literacy instruction (pp. 162-163). Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.

Richard Allington, Ph.D. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://web.utk.edu/~tpte/faculty/rallington.html