Sarah Cunnane

#ToYouFromTes: Harry Potter and the half-baked theories

In line with many teachers, self-confessed Hogwarts addict Sarah Cunnane believes in the power of Potter to get people reading. So, 20 years after the first of JK Rowling’s novels was published, she talks to a number of muggle teachers and experts – including reading specialist Daniel Willingham – to find out if the bestselling series has the magic touch when it comes to improving literacy rates

Magazine article image

It was on a coach journey to Boulogne in 1997 that I first got to go to Hogwarts. I was 10 years old and bored, so my friend Madeleine lent me a book that she hadn’t stopped raving about. From the first page, I was hooked. It wasn’t the medieval walls and towers of a northern French city that I spent the next few hours exploring but the wonderful world inhabited by a boy wizard called Harry Potter.

Six more books and an estimated 450 million worldwide sales later, we have arrived at the 20th anniversary of when JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published. Little ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues