Robert B. Ruddell

By: Maria DelReal


Robert was born in May 1937 in a small West Virginia town.He spent his early life on a farm (Ruddell, 2011, p.1). He began his teaching career when he was only 18 years old in a one room school in a coal mining town ( In 1936 he became a professor at the University of California at Berkeley (Ruddell, 2011, p.3) Robert has fond memories of the time he spent reading with his father (Ruddell, 2011, p.1). He was inducted to the hall of fame in 1989.

Photo (Ruddell, 2011, p.1)

Research/ philosophy

His research focused on aspects of reading including; comprehension, thinking process of children, reader engagement, reader motivation, and word identification (Ruddell, 2011, p.3). Robert examined "whole language" and literature-based instruction" he stresses the importance of creating meaning-making through instruction "Carefully planned and orchestrated teaching is central to effective instruction in any reading-language program" (Ruddell, 1992, 612). Robert points out seven conditions for the development of language acquisition some are:

  • building, background knowledge
  • giving and using real world examples of language use
  • giving children choice
  • building positive classroom environment
  • providing individual, group, whole class feedback

Shared beliefs of influential teachers about teaching-

The following chart was identified by teachers and what they believed to be important in their teaching to motivate students (Ruddell, 1995, p. 456). " influential teacher is perceived as an instructional decision maker who develops clear goals and purposes and conducts daily learning through well formed plans and teaching strategies" (Ruddell, 1995, p.455).
Big image
"Influential teachers are those special teachers whom we recall in a vivid and positive way from our academic experience- kindergarten through college years- and who have had a major influence on our academic or personal lives" (Ruddell, 1995,p.454).

Do you have an influential teacher in mind (with characteristics listed above)?

Would your students think of you as an influential teacher?

Fun Tidbits

  • Robert's mother was his teacher in the one room school.
  • He finished high school at the age of 14 and started college at the age of 15
  • His starting salary was $1,800 per year!

(Ruddell, 2011, p. 2-3)


Robert B. Ruddell has had some of his articles featured in The Reading Teacher and Language Arts journals. Titles of some of his most recent books are:

-How to Teach Reading to Elementary and Middle School Students: Practical Ideas from Highly Effective Teahers ( Allyn & Bacon, publishers, 2009)

-Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading, 5th ed (published by the International Reading association)


Alverman, D.E., Unrau, N.J.,& Ruddell, R.B. (Eds.). (2013) Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed.) Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Robert B. Ruddell (nd) retrieved from

Ruddell, R. B. (1992). A whole language and literature perspective: Creating a meaning making instructional environment. Language Arts 69 (8), 612-620.

Ruddell, R. B. (1995). Those influential literacy teachers: Meaning negotiators and motivation builders. The Reading Teacher 48 (6), 454-463.

Ruddell, R. B. (2011). My life in literacy. History of reading news. Retrieved from