Nila Banton Smith

Nila Banton Smith (1889-1976) was a teacher, administrator and specialist in reading instruction. For her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University she wrote An Historical Analysis of American Reading Instruction. In 1934 Silver Burdett published American Reading Instruction, an important contribution to the history of reading education in the United States. Smith's publishing career spanned the years from 1922 to 1976. A special edition of American Reading Instruction was reissued in 2002 which attests to the importance of the historical research Smith undertook. An added feature is a new final chapter on American Reading Instruction since 1967 authored by P. David Pearson, a leader in contemporary reading education.

To honor Nila Banton Smith the International Reading Association offers two grants in her name. One is an award to honor middle or high school teachers who have translated theory and research into practice ( The second award is to support a member of the International Reading Association working on a dissemination project for the educational community (

She published a popular reading guide in 1957 titled "Speed Reading Made Easy". It was reissued several times up until at least 1987. The practical approach goes beyond the mechanical practices of eye movements. The book includes advice on keywords, paragraph analysis, article types and skimming. This early work remains a useful guide to how to read more efficiently. [1]


  1. ^ Speed Reading Made Easy, NSmith, Warner Books Printing, 1987.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Johann Friedrich Herbart — (May 4, 1776 August 11, 1841) was a German philosopher, psychologist, and founder of pedagogy as an academic discipline.Herbart is now remembered amongst the post Kantian philosophers mostly as making the greatest contrast to Hegel; this in… …   Wikipedia

  • The New England Primer — Title page, New England Primer Enlarged, printed and sold at Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin, 1764 The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educationa …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.