thumbie - I don't know whether I have misunderstood what you are endeavouring to say - but I don't 'trust children's ability to learn to read', I know. I can teach children to read and am confident about this. People like myself and Maggie have taken children that many other teachers have failed to teach children to read. How do we know that it is the teachers' failing (or you could say their methods)? Because over and again we take children who have reached staggering ages (so sometimes still older 'children' and sometimes adults) and we have taught them to read. Children's brains are designed to learn. If they do not learn, we have not taught them well enough. If their learning to read becomes muddled and lacking in confidence, then it is we who have muddled them. Of course, teachers would never want to believe that all their many efforts (methods plus many hours of teaching) are failing the children. And that is the biggest problem of all. What skews the picture, is that there are equally many children who succeed in learning to read no matter what - and that teachers who have had many classes of children with many 'successes' attribute this success to the methods they have used. It is hard for them to consider that the very same 'methods' have failed other children in their class. When we SP look at the methods of Reading Recovery (which is what this thread was originally about), we are horrified by their convoluted methods and contortions of how to teach reading and writing - which do not resemble what children need and the skills demonstrated by the most efficient readers and spellers/writers. More and more teachers and advisors are contacting me describing how they 'want' these slower-to-learn children to receive more intensive SP (e.g. more time or more one to one or small groups), but that these children are being whisked away to be given Reading Recovery. As more teachers do more SP, more teachers can see the simplicity and the success of it. I actually feel very sorry indeed for those teachers who are being swept up in the Reading Recovery methodology and machinery. And I feel desperately sorry, quite distraught for the children themselves. We have a chance to simplify and perfect our teaching of basic skills in literacy and the numbers of teachers who realise this are growing. This is not a fad of philosophy. It is simply a simple and much more direct method based on the code of our writing/reading system and how to use that code.