“Reading maturity” is a construct that looks broadly at reading development encompassing not only basic reading skills but reading habits, attitudes, and dispositions. It has a rich history and this article calls for a need to make reading maturity a necessary part of the literacy curriculum. It offers a working description and reviews past history of the construct, discusses why reading maturity is important, and provides ideas about monitoring progress toward reading maturity. This article asserts that the reading field has developed a solid understanding of how students acquire basic reading skill and content area literacy abilities. However, a compelling and unified larger purpose for reading education seems absent, particularly for adolescent and adult readers. This article suggests that renewed attention to reading maturity could help address this. It contends that attention to reading maturity should involve more than general notions of becoming “well-read.” Instead, it should include a balanced social-science approach to intentionally and systematically monitoring student progress toward reading maturity. Suggestions are offered to help begin this process including free online access to a reading maturity assessment and planning instrument called The Reading Maturity Survey (Thomas, 2001).
Thomas, M. (2013). Looking Ahead With Hope: Reviving the Reading Maturity Construct as Social Science for Adolescent and Adult Readers. Reading Horizons, 52 (2). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol52/iss2/4