Skip to comments.Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy
Posted on 06/15/2018 7:40:56 AM PDT by reaganaut1
No cliché is more ubiquitous at teacher protests than signs that read, if you can read this sign, thank a teacher. That is, unless you disregard variations on the theme of pay us more. And yet, student performance on national and international tests suggest that the reading comprehension of most American students does not extend far beyond an understanding of nine-word sentences and basic signage.
In the United States, only a fortunate few acquire reading proficiency. Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have barely budged since 2002. On the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the U.S. average reading score for fourth-grade students trailed 12 education systems and was not significantly different than 15 others. PIRLS test scores have also seen no measurable improvement since 2001. Similarly, the average score of 15-year-old students on the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reading test was lower than 14 education systems and was not measurably different than the international averageor from the 2003 average score.
In Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Cant, And What Can Be Done About It, Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, takes these test results and other indicators of functional illiteracy seriously. Rather than dismiss the scores from reputable reading tests, he argues that they indicate deeply embedded and systematic shortcomings in how college teacher training programs prepare prospective educators.
It would be misleading to characterize the book as merely an examination of teacher education, pedagogy, or education policy. Seidenberg devotes much of Language at the Speed of Sight to discussing what he has spent a long and distinguished career researching: the science of reading.
(Excerpt) Read more at jamesgmartin.center ...
“If you can read this, it is in spite of teachers’ unions, associations and the DoEd.”
My parents taught us how to read before we went to kindergarten. Eff off NEA.
No public employee unions of any kind.
No FED control of education. State and Local control only. Don’t like your state policies? Get your fellow citizens to vote and change them, or MOVE.
And here’s a kicker for ya:
I’m all for General Tax Revenue for education. Every child, regardless of the parent’s financial status, should have a chance at a quality education including music, sports, art and civics.
And I’m not talking “It Takes A Village” BS.
This opens up lots of criticism: Look up East Ramapo school district and see what can happen with “Local Control”. Wait ill the Moose-Limbs want tax dollars for their Jihadi Madrasas.
These are all easy to teach. Somehow, the government schools have found a way to screw them all up. I worked at a Teachers college in the 1990s. I think it’s all deliberate. They don’t train teachers to teach anything. They train teachers to push an ideology.
And when the public notices how poorly educated the children are, that just becomes an excuse to funnel more money into the school system. Failure is rewarded. Therefore the educators fail. A lot.
>>Also, once they could read, is it The Lord of the Rings, or is it Twilight
As much of a LOTR fan as I am, Plutarch’s Lives might be a better choice. I note that the kindle version of the entire 5-foot shelf of Harvard Classics is currently selling for 99 cents on Amazon.
There are very few consequences for failure. School systems dont go out of business.
Teachers teach what the schools give them to teach. The materials they are using are garbage at the early grade levels. Our oldest children are grown and had very good reading foundations. I’m not sure if it was because we read to them more or if the curricula in their various schools were better. Our oldest had phonics taught to them in school and out of school.
Our youngest child has had the worst reading background as far as school goes. The school he used to attend had no reading program at all from kindergarten through second grade. In the second half of his third grade year, the school system adopted a reading program, but we moved. His current school is using that same program. This son’s reading scores in third grade went down. That continued into fourth grade. In the midst of this, we started having a family Bible study in which we forced our youngest to read to the family. He was able to read the words just fine. But no comprehension was happening. So over the last year and a half, we have read the Bible aloud and made all of our children answer questions about what we are reading. They sometimes sit and stare at us like they have no clue about what a particular passage says. But they are learning to think and discern so much better. The youngest had a reading test at the end of the year, and his reading scores went up for the first time in two years. It was like a lightbulb went off. My husband will say it is all because of what we have done at home. I do give son’s reading teacher credit as well because she pushed him in particular to put things on paper. He does not like to write long sentences or to explain things in writing. He is LAZY and does not take the time to read all answers on multiple guess tests. His critical thinking skills have improved such that he can see the differences in answers.
I’m not a fan of multiple guess tests in early grades. It breeds laziness.
The percent of people who are functionally literate - those actually able to read a paragraph and understanding its contents (i.e. being able to follow its instructions or paraphrasing it in your own words) is much lower than that. I would guess it to be around 80% at best, and rapidly falling thanks to changing demographics.
I work with grad students... most of them are functional illiterates.
They can barely make themselves understood while speaking or in writing.
They ONLY read their text books and social media BS
Liberals always bring up ever increasing numbers of college enrollment as proof that the education system they created is working. What it really proves is that college admissions standards are much lower now, and that colleges have to fill in the gaps to teach what should have been taught in high school or even in grade school - such as basic reading and writing skills.
Its easy to bash teachers and the NEA/AFT, say teachers are overpaid, and site nationwide statistics as if every single district is exactly the same. Its fun and provides a sweet emotional release. Lets get beyond that this time. American kids dont read well for a variety of reasons, and very few involve a justification that teachers should be compensated lower than those that perform comparable work. No Child Left Behind caused an inordinate amount of time and effort placed on the lowest-performing kids. Their low tests score MUST be raised by a certain percentage EACH year, and it doesnt matter how well the other kids are doing. This measurement quirk alone caused teachers to have to practically ignore 90% of the kids and focus mainly on those lowest-performing kids who may NEVER turn out to be proficient readers. Are you aware that teachers evaluations and thus their pay are directly tied to their students No Child Left Behind test scores? The way the measurements are set up, BY POLITICIANS by the way, not TEACHERS, is there is no extrinsic reward for ensuring that good readers become great readers, but the penalties for failing to get the lowest-performing kids to improve by a greater and greater percentage each year are substantial, including losing ones job within three years. Many teachers are worrying themselves to death right now over these lower reading (and math) scores for the rest. Teaching is a calling, but no one will do it for free. Reform how NCLB measures kidsand thus teachers— and youll see better tests scores for all as a result.
Another REALLY GOOD reason to homeschool.
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My parents taught me to read; just as my wife and I taught my children to read.
Yeah, I have worked with grad students off and on and saw the same thing. There are a lot of grad students who are great, but also a lot who just have me scratching my head and wondering how they got past 6th grade.
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