Is there a ‘Reading Crisis’? Hell yes!

shutterstock_96578866This post is in response to several comments on Linked In  where writers were denying that there was a Reading Crisis.

There is a crisis. The reasons are complex and stem from inappropriate teaching in infant grades. Inappropriate in that they ignore the cognitive and sensory development of infant students. Many fail at the outset – most are boys as their visual development in particular is one year behind that of girls in infant grades.

This means learning won’t ‘click into place’ till later – it may even be a late as 9 yrs – what a shameful waste of critical learning time and the repercussions? Who pays the price? Not the curriculum developers – the child pays, the family pays, the community pays & the country pays.

On the other hand – Many with a high visual processing capacity from the outset succeed and do very well … BUT begin to struggle in grade 4/5 … they go on to enter high school with arrested literacy skills (reading, spelling & written expression).

We also know we have many high achieving students.

The differenece between the early student failure & what is now recognised as the “4th year slump” students and the achievers is – dare I say it – phonic skills.

A lack of phonic skills, which Common Core & all of it’s Whole Language predicessors have deliberately refused to test, is at the root of the Real Literacy Crisis that has infected the entire English speaking world.

Until we hold Teacher Training colleges to account for teaching/failing to teach the body of knowledge connected to our powerful alphabetic system and weed out the education bureaucrats advocation a primarily visual approach to reading in infant grades, the ‘crisis’ will persist. See http://vasblog.com for short videos on the issues above.

Jean

One thought on “Is there a ‘Reading Crisis’? Hell yes!

  1. As the American education expert Marilyn Jager Adams has written, more than half of American students finishing first-grade (the second year of school) still can’t name and write all of the alphabet letters.

    Since things probably are no better in other countries, there certainly is a “Reading Crisis”. However, this will never change until teachers in the beginning grades understand the importance, the patience it takes, and the fluency required for literacy.

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