Why Johnny Can't Read Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_Johnny_Can't_Read

Why Johnny Can't Read
AuthorRudolf Flesch
SubjectLiteracy, American education
PublisherHarper and Brothers
Publication date

Why Johnny Can't Read—And What You Can Do About It is a 1955 book-length exposé on American reading education by Rudolf Flesch. It was an immediate bestseller for 37 weeks and became an educational cause célèbre.[1]

In this book, the author concluded that the whole-word (look-say) method was ineffective because it lacked phonics training. In addition, Flesch was critical of the simple stories and limited text and vocabulary in the Dick and Jane style readers that taught students to read through word memorization. [2] Flesch also believed that the look-say method did not properly prepare students to read more complex materials in the upper grade levels.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hall 1956, pp. 310–311.
  2. ^ "The Victims of Dick and Jane".
  3. ^ "Reading with and Without Dick and Jane: The Politics of Literacy in c20 America".
  4. ^ "Why Johnny Still Can't Read -- and What to do About It". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018.


Further reading[edit]