Misleading bias is alive, robust & prospering in our teacher training colleges – but is it teaching teachers to actively teach our children to become independent readers and writers? I think not.
After watching a series of videos advocating a Whole Language approach to primary teaching, I’m more seriously concerned than ever. I knew unsubstantiated bias in our teacher training collages was a serious impediment to our newly trained teachers but I hadn’t realised just how damaging that instruction is.
I’m frankly endebted to Andrew (the man behind the videos) for exposing the breadth and depth of the problem. If, as I suspect, the people conducting seminars in universities in US, UK, Australia & New Zealand are chosen on the basis of adherence to the “philosophy” no wonder we have such an entrenched problem.
In 1992 Marie Clay was elected president of the International Reading Association, which has over the years since then, endorsed all that Andrew is espousing. As far as eduction faculties are concerned there IS NO free thinking. Teachers are indoctrinated while in training, coerced once they are in the system and further influenced via biased professional development.
Thank heavens there are still education faculties here & there following the science – and free thinking teachers upholding quality teaching. These real educators provide a stark contrast between good teaching and the developmentally & cognitively inappropriate ‘teaching’ (‘facilitating’) conducted in today’s infant grades. No wonder so many children struggle to learn to read and so many others fail. As Derick points out – the fault is not in the child – nor is it in the teachers – it is in the misguided teaching methodology eminating from so-called teacher training institutions.
It isn’t easy to swim against the tide. We need to support these teachers by saying what they can’t say without fear of loss of job or tenure.
Parents quickly work out who the best teachers are and openly advocate to get their children into these classrooms. Parents haven’t suffered the sort of indoctrination that results in teachers advising worried parents not to seek a tutor, or teach their child at home as they will “Compromise all the good work we carry out at school.” Pah.