• Twitter Social Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

April 27, 2020

With a quarter of ten and eleven year-olds in England unable to read to the expected standard (DfE, 2018), and with the majority of those children now having had phonics instruction for two years of their initial schooling perhaps Glazzard (2017) is correct when he asserts that if a child has received phonics instruction from aged five to seven and is still struggling to read then more phonics instruction is irrational; somethin...

April 27, 2020

Systematic phonics instruction has been described as the nearest thing to a silver bullet for the development of literacy.  With all the economic and social ills associated with illiteracy (detailed here), it would be a brave person who would deny the weight of research in its favour.  There remains considerable resistance to this form of instruction from the teaching profession (detailed here) but also a number of high-profile...

April 27, 2020

‘The question for teachers is no longer “look and say” or phonics. Instead, the question is which phonics programmes are most effective…’ (Gibb, 2018). The English Schools’ Minister’s assertion that the reading wars have been won by the relentless barrage of research undermining ‘look and say’ approaches may not be strictly true – the rear-guard anti-phonics battles being fought in Australia by academics, the pervasiveness of ‘B...

April 27, 2020

Although educational research was in its infancy in the early decades of the twentieth century there was sufficient concern and curiosity from both teachers and universities as to the veracity of whole word methods versus phonics that a number of rudimentary studies were conducted.  The majority of these studies compared phonic and non-phonic approaches to the teaching of reading and had little concern with the actual programmes...

April 27, 2020

By 1955, the American academic elite had come to an almost universal conclusion: phonics was dangerous. In that year the most eminent publication on reading instruction, ‘The Reading Teacher’ in its editorial penned by the ‘distinguished’ (Terman and Walcutt, 1958 p110) Emmett Betts concluded that children taught by a phonics approach ‘can call words but cannot read…’ (1955, p2).  Phonics instruction was almost completely discar...

April 27, 2020

Huey’s (1908) ‘scientific’ proof that phonic instruction was a superfluous, torpid stage of reading development resulted in a revival of whole-word reading methods.  Phonics was not entirely expunged from reading education but was exiled to the peripheries of instruction as a post facto analytical intervention.  Along with Dewey’s influential environment-driven approach to child learning, the course away from early phonics instr...

April 27, 2020

The word method of teaching reading dominated instruction methods for a century with its word lists and flash cards and repeated vocabulary and culminated in the seemingly rational mutation into Goodman’s (1971) whole language approach.  It was only the glaring, incontrovertible fact that the millions of children taught by this method were unable to read that finally brought this edifice crashing down – 60% of Californian nine a...

April 27, 2020

However, confused and ineffective the teaching of reading had become in the United States in the nineteenth century, at least there was national debate, rudimentary research and a desire to find the pedagogical El Dorado.  No such national debate occurred in Britain at this time. The enlightenment experiment of the United States that saw a well-educated and literate populace as a fundamental driver of democra...

April 5, 2020

Pressley and Afflerbach’s (1995) assertion that comprehension was a moment by moment process affected by complex interactions influenced by numerous factors led to concerns around strategies instruction.  There was a growing recognition that reading comprehension was a more context-sensitive and dynamic process that required a more flexible approach and a more complex view of teaching rather than the accepted strategy-based appr...

March 31, 2020

The eventual decline of the Roman empire resulted in a waning of the dominance of Latin across Europe as it retreated to Rome along with its armies, its legislators and its administrators.  Local, tribal languages that had been submerged but not overwhelmed by the Roman tongue were free to re-emerge, expand and dilute the dominance of Latin (Crystal, 1995). 

Their time in the sun was, nonetheless, short-lived. The retreat of...

Please reload

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now