Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Teaching Reading

The comment below (in italics) is in response to an article from the following website http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/4584491.stm(2005). The article is about a reading program being trialed in a poor performing school in the UK. I thought the following response from Claire Platt summed  up the use of programs in schools beautifully - particularly the last sentence.

 I am an experienced teacher and literacy consultant for the Primary National Strategy. There is too much confusion regarding the teaching of phonics. The Ruth Miskin programme described above teaches phonics in the same way as Progression in Phonics, Playing with Sounds, Jolly Phonics, THRASS and other schemes. In my opinion, it is not the scheme that is important - but systematic, direct teaching. If you place too much trust in one scheme, you may not offer a balanced curriculum. Having seen Ruth Miskin's materials, I am concerned about the lack of teaching of writing and contextualised learning that is present. It is time that government and the media recognise that low standards in reading are not caused by a lack of a particular teaching method or scheme - but by a lack of teaching!Claire Platt, Newton Abbot

We should ensure our staff are trained to the highest level we can in the programs we use and the pedagogy required to ensure student learning.

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