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Chall, Jeanne Sternlicht

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Born: 1921 AD
Died: 1999 AD, at 78 years of age.

Nationality: Polish
Categories: Educators

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1921 - Born in Poland. Jeanne Sternlicht Chall, a psychologist, a leading expert in reading research and instruction for over 50 years, and professor emerita at the Graduate School of Education (GSE).

         - Jeanne Chall was the founder and director for 20 years of the Harvard Reading Laboratory.

1941 - She graduated from the City College of New York with a B.A. (cum laude).

         - She became an assistant to Irving Lorge, who directed educational research at Teachers College, Columbia University.

1947-1952 - She then served as research assistant to Edgar Dale at the Bureau of Educational Research at Ohio State University, where she received an A.M. and a Ph.D.

         - Dale's and Chall's collaboration culminated in their Dale-Chall Formula for Predicting Readability, which combined vocabulary complexity with sentence length to evaluate text readability.

         - Chall rose from lecturer to professor at City College.

1958 - Her review for Dale of the existing research on readability led to her Readability: An Appraisal of Research and Application and a keen appreciation of the value of historical synthesis.

1961 - She served on the board of directors of the International Reading Association and on the National Academy of Education's Commission on Reading that resulted in the report Becoming a Nation of Readers.

1965 - Chall moved to Harvard University to create and direct graduate programs in reading for master's and doctoral candidates.

1967 - Her book Learning to Read: The Great Debate, brought research to the forefront of the phonics debate.

         - She also was the reading consultant for TV's Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

1991 - An excellent clinician herself, she founded the Harvard Reading Laboratory, directing it until her retirement.

1996 - She received many professional awards, the last given by the International Dyslexia Association.

1999 - Died of congestive heart failure at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 27th.

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Page last updated: 11:15pm, 21st Sep '07