Whole language and other aspects of constructivist theory swept through the education schools, starting with the flagship Columbia Teachers College, where Dewey's progressive influence had never waned, where courses on reading pedagogy to this day concentrate on erecting a "theoretical framework" for instruction rather than teaching teachers what actually works in classrooms, and where the school's publishing affiliate, Teachers College Press, churns out dozens of constructivist treatises every year. Smith and Goodman crisscrossed the country on the ed-school lecture circuit, where they were welcomed with open arms and standing ovations by professors and students alike. Whole language clearly appealed because it allowed teachers to do essentially what they liked in their reading classes, and it relieved them of the arduous work of ensuring that their students had mastered specific literacy skills.Good stuff.
July 16, 2007
Read It and Weep
The Weekly Standard has a very long and thorough article on teaching reading and Reading First that you need to read: