Scott Foresman has been publishing books for elementary education since 1896. There was not a single founder named Scott Foresman, but rather one Mr. Scott, and two members of the Foresman family. The initial product of the Foresman publishing company was a highschool Latin textbook, published in 1889. After forming the Scott Foresman partnership, one of the first books they published was the famous “Roberts Rules of Order”. The book is still widely used today as the standard for running parliamentary meetings.
In 1897, Scott Foresman secured their first governmental contract, selling a series of eight textbooks to the state of Kansas. The following year, the company began their focus on the elementary school text market.
The famous “Dick and Jane” reading primers were first published by the company in 1930. These books were part of a new “look and say” method of teaching simplified reading skills by memorizing individual words. This method has lost favor in modern times, and has been mostly replaced by the phonics method of reading instruction.
Scott Foresman has a flagship offering known as “Reading Street“, a PreK through sixth grade training program used in many school systems. It is designed to help teachers develop reading skills through engaging literature, scientific instruction, and a full set of interactive digital elements. The program uses classic children’s literature, and upcoming modern offerings in a blended learning environment.
The Reading Street program is very open ended, leaving the daily planning activities up to the individual teacher, rather than supplying a strict calendar of events. There are many flip charts, worksheets and CDs supplied to keep the students occupied as their reading materials ramp up in difficulty.
Their curriculums also extend beyond the languages arts into textbooks for social studies and science. Updated every year with online and disk based interactive supplements, these programs are used in schools around the world. Many of the programs are quite complex for teachers to use, which can cause concern, but some instructors blend in elements from other books to give their students variety.
The textbook company has been acquired by many other companies through the years, including Time, Inc. and Harper Collins, and was even on the public stock exchange for a few years. This only lasted a short time and the company was taken private again in 1985. In 1998, the company was purchased by Pearson PLC, to form the current corporation, Pearson Scott Foresman. Often identified mainly by the parent company name of “Pearson”, they are deeply involved with building entire school curriculum programs in pilot schools across the United States.
Scott Foresman continues to provide the elementary school portion of Pearson’s programs, continuing their tradition of over 100 years of textbook publishing.