I'm back from a much needed break.
First, let me point out that I relied on three main references for my posts.
1. How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading
2. Successfully Decoding Unknown Words: What’s the Teacher’s Role?
3. Direct Instruction Reading, Fourth Edition
When I write "relied on," I mean "stole heavily from." I sacrificed lengthy quotations, block quotes, and a thousand ids. for readability. The people who wrote these articles are the experts, not me.
The How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading article is a very even-handed piece that everyone who wants to learn how humans read should take the time to go through. Reading is much more than phonological recoding and it's easy to see how teachers, like the whole language teachers, who aren't up to date on all the latest research might misunderstand what is going on when a person reads.
There are many more good articles on reading that I didn't reference due to timing. Some were referenced in the comments section. If anyone else has any good ones, leave a reference in the comments.
My tactic in the debate was to try to explain what is really going on when we read, rather than to get into a research pissing contest. That would not have been productive, in my opinion. half of the debate would have then consisted of my having to point out that that while much of the whole language "research" has all the trappings of research, it really isn't research at all, but someone's opinion.
I am surprised that more whole language advocates didn't chime in during the debate. They still haven't chimed in over at the tawl list. It's like they don't want to confront a viewpoint that is in opposition to their belief system. I suppose if someone told me that the laws of thermodynamics were all wrong, I'd be a little upset too.
I am not surprised how much the commenters who did chime in relied on anecdote to support their beliefs. There seems to be some mythical poor reader that is absent from the research. A reader with poor decoding skills, but somehow can read if he attends to the other whole language cues. I think a good experiment would be to round up all these identified by whole language teachers and thoroughly test their reading ability. I am willing to bet that all those people are poor readers with underdeveloped decoding skills.
Another popular point brought up is the "what's wrong with teaching more than phonics" argument. These commenters clearly didn't read my posts. The problem with teaching these alternate cues is that they are not used by skilled readers for word identification and they confuse beginning readers. More on that later.
I think that wraps up my post debate points.
Hopefully Edspresso will fix all the links in my posts that they broke. Here they are just in case they don't.
- Leaving the Land of Peevish Pets
- Whole language reading strategies
- Scholastic Guided Reading system -- leveled readers for balanced literacy classrooms
- Project Follow Through
That went rather swimmingly.
I'm too beat to write any more just yet, but I still have a few loose ends to clean up. A few unanswered questions. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow.
Looks like with Edspresso under new management that a wrench may be thrown into the moderated comments at Edspresso so feel free to leave your comments here.
I'll be back.