Skip to comments.Reading: a Teacher's Epiphany
Posted on 01/16/2016 1:30:21 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
If you want to create an illiteracy crisis such as the one we are living through, you have to do two things. First of all, adopt ideas that do not work. Second, you have to brainwash young teachers into thinking these flawed ideas actually do work. In this way, you can manipulate your teachers into doing a bad job but they never know it.
A public school teacher sent me this brief history of her decades in the classroom:
"I began to notice students in the intermediate grades intermixing sight words. They would read words like âisâ as âtheââ¦If I think back to my time in the classroom, I spent way too much time trying to address comprehension. This is what was tested and this is what I thought was needed because all of my data pointed to deficits in these areas. I did not notice reading errors in the way I do now because I did not understand the nature of the well-hidden details of what I was looking for.
If I could only go back. Now, I will fast-forward to the time I met a 70-year-old Montessori veteran who re-taught me what I thought I knew about literacy. I watch my children flourish and realize what my students whom I taught years before were missing, foundational skills needed for reading. Today, in my work, I check letter sounds and listen to a child read while tracking miscues on a running record. I have been shocked by what I have noticed.
Overall, what I found is that as a childs letter/sound knowledge increases, his/her reading accuracy increases. I thought this would help a student in the intermediate grades who was barely reading. I did not think it would be helpful for those who seem stuck but it has been helpful for those students as well."
First of all, please note that she is talking about children who are 10 or 12 and cannot read the simplest words in the English language, kids that have been taught by these flawed methods for many years! Nothing captures the essential craziness of Whole Word than 12-year-olds who read 'is' for 'the,' or anything similar to that.
Now here is what this teacher is saying reduced to the basics. She was using the usual gimmicks â picture clues, pre-reads, context, and many others - to help the children guess what the words meant. But none of that is reading.
You need to have what she calls 'foundational skills' You see a 'b' and you say 'buh.' That is reading.
This woman is honestly telling something that she is deeply embarrassed about. Due to her inferior training, she knew very little about teaching children to read. She did not know what every phonics teacher knows. As a result, she was crippling hundreds of children over many years. And here is what is really horrible. There are another million teachers just like her.
Please dwell on the malfeasance of an Education Establishment that creates failure by forcing teachers to use the wrong methods. The funniest word in all of the discussion above is the word 'comprehension,' also known as 'finding meaning.' In this sophistry, if there is a picture at the top of the page of an animal and the child reads 'horse' but the actual word on the page is 'pony,' the teacher exclaims, 'Oh, you got the meaning. You comprehend the word. You are a good reader.'
Nothing could be more absurd but this is the essential sophistry of our Education Establishment. Teachers need to understand that reading is not first about meaning but about sounds. Once the word is spoken, even if silently, then the brain finds meaning in the sounds. (Think for a moment about that instant when another person says the word 'horse' to you. You hear the sound only; you do not see a picture or letters on the page. And that sound is sufficient. You know completely what the person is saying. Similarly, when your brain sounds out the word 'horse,' you know immediately what the writer is saying.)
This teacher for many years was evaluating a childâs guessing skills, not the childâs reading skills. This is the great swindle that people like Frank Smith and Ken Goodman pulled off and the Education Establishment promotes to this day.
Please look at this short YouTube video 'Reading Is Easy' which shows what phonics experts think should be the norm. Everybody is reading in the first or second grade, versus a system that has children illiterate in middle school.
The simplest way to save our K-12 schools is to eliminate all variations of Whole Word, and insist that children learn in the one way that always works: systematic phonics.
(Bruce Deitrick Price / Improve-Education.org)
Imhocket oone fonikz
It’s a mistake to let teachers off the hook with excuses about how they were misled or deluded into implementing failed educational practices. After all, these people were graduates of educational programs who would have been expected as professionals to discern what was effective and legitimate practice and what wasn’t. Would you excuse a doctor who implemented quack medical practices whose bad judgment led to permanent illness or death of his patients? I don’t think so!
I teach 11th grade ELA (formerly American Literature) and this is quite true. My students are functioning illiterates. They were taught to read using a Title I program called Success for All (SFA). The elementary teachers love it because it is completely scripted. They need only run copies and maintain order. Teachers don’t even really have to interact with the kids since all of the work is done in groups.
Phonics is the only way to teach reading.
What does ELA stand for?
Will I wince?
Overall, what I found is that as a childs letter/sound knowledge increases, his/her reading accuracy increases.
This might be considered common sense, but, then again, maybe not.
English language arts
I’m going to guess “English Language Arts.”
What they are learning from each other is where to find funny videos of people falling off their skateboards.
Having taught my three teens to read, I say a parent can teach their own kids to read after school, after dinner and weekends while the public school teachers have their day time.
It was really really fun and easy. Seton Home Study.
People do not function successfully as totally interchangeable parts if some are smarter than others or some are less ignorant than others. Education is primarily to make those differences disappear. Everyone has to be made to perform as if everyone had the same level of intelligence and the same knowledge. There is only one way to do that.
In other words, the old methods of letter-sound recognition works and whole word doesn’t.
Yes, home school.
The silent letter rules and the substitute letter rules.
I just tried to post them here, but it didn't work out in a readable form, so I'll link to a part of one of my websites, where I have them in "cheat sheet" form:
They are free for anyone to use.
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