Thursday, October 03, 2013

Why Jaydon can't read

Over the past few days there has been another breakout of the "reading wars" in the pages of The Australian. These articles are behind a paywall. Here are some extracts, with original links, from my delicious bookmarks.

Fortunately, the original and far better researched article by Jennifer Buckingham, Kevin Wheldall and Robyn Beaman-Wheldall is available: WHY JAYDON CAN’T READ: THE TRIUMPH OF IDEOLOGY OVER EVIDENCE IN TEACHING READING

The format of this wonderful article is that it asks and answers questions, makes assertions and backs up everything with evidence (72 endnotes to studies and further articles).

I'll just provide the subheadings which comprise the questions and assertions and encourage you to read the original:
  • What is effective reading instruction?
  • Why do so many children still struggle to learn to read?
  • Many teachers are not using the most effective methods for teaching reading
  • The ‘Peter effect’ in language skills—One cannot give what one does not possess
  • Teacher education does not prepare teachers to use effective reading instruction
  • Why are teachers not taught or required to use effective evidence-based reading instruction?
  • What can be done?
When reading this article, I shook my head frequently in amazement at the inability of those in charge to get it right. Then, later, I realised that part of this head shaking also represented admiration of the authors for their erudite explanation of effective reading instruction combined with a detailed analysis of why it's not happening.


Bernard Collings said...

Hi Bill,

This is a very interesting article which elaborates on a number of concerns I have had about education standards for quite some time.

I copied your blog containing the article to the Humanist Society of SA group page, accessed via Facebook. You might be interested in some of the comments and criticisms.



Bill Kerr said...

hi Bernard,

Thanks for the comment. I read the comments on facebook from Justin and Bruce and your reply. Unfortunately, it's not a real discussion because they can't be bothered to judge the original article on its merits. I have some more detailed thoughts on my wiki, here, about ideological mindsets that kick in, automatically and viscerally, and prevent people from examining the issues "objectively". All of our perception has to pass through our conceptual filters and unfortunately some filters prematurely become blinkers. If you want to discuss it further then send me a private email: billkerr (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll give you my phone number. I'd be interested to hear more from you about the Humanist Society and whether having a more detailed interactive public discussion on these issues would be worthwhile.