Foundations & Frameworks began with a question posed by a seventh grade English teacher, Dr. Kevin Washburn, at Briarwood Christian School. The teacher requested that the superintendent of Briarwood, Dr. Byrle Kynerd, allow him to have a remedial reading class. The superintendent was surprised by the question since the achievement test scores in reading were above average.
Dr. Kynerd moved beyond the symptom and wanted to find out the specific problem and why the remedial class may be necessary. Students could memorize information and pass tests, but there was no critical thinking, transfer of knowledge and students could only restate information in the same way it was given. Students didn’t seem to have the ability to manipulate the knowledge making it useful.
For this reason Dr. Kynerd asked Dr. Washburn and an instructional support staff member, Dr. Cheryl Blackmon, to study the issue. During 1999-2001, Dr. Washburn and Dr. Blackmon reviewed research regarding reading instruction, instructional strategies, neuroscience, brain research, effective teaching and instruction and early childhood reading.
Through this process they pulled together the Best Practices of the program entitled, Foundations & Frameworks. They tried different ideas and practices in classrooms at Briarwood Christian School and Foundations & Frameworks became a systematic approach to reading comprehension instruction that included a scope and sequence as well as a specific method to teach reading comprehension and critical thinking.
The next step was to allow Briarwood Christian School teachers to be trained in the Foundations & Frameworks method. Dr. Washburn and Dr. Blackmon trained the teachers over a period of time during teacher inservices and summer trainings. Teachers began using this method as the sole reading comprehension program for kindergarten through sixth grades.
Although the program was created to meet the needs of Briarwood students, other schools that visited our campus began asking about the program we used for reading during classroom observations. As the program was explained, more and more schools wanted to adopt the program.
The program had not been formally written in published books; however, beginning in 2001, other schools began to be trained in the Foundations & Frameworks Instructional Reading Program using published course books and materials.
Foundations & Frameworks is now used in over 135 public and private schools and in countries including the United States, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Canada and Uganda.