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Sensible approach to literacy teaching

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mashabell, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. No it hasn't, eddie, and it isn't in universal use now.
    The only thing that has been in practically universal use is the Searchlights strategy and that is not SP.
    Well have to agree tio disagree about that.I believe that more schools now have Jolly Phonics, Lettera nd Sounds etc than any other strategy
    Now, where are your examples of 'eureka strategies', adopted on good research evidence(as detailed by milliebear), which have 'failed'?
    I have already named some of those which I belirve have failed - Peter and Jane (looksay) - Reading Recovery - Breakthough to Literacy - Searchlights - Synthetic Phonics none of these had any effect of reducing the 20% leaving schooli illiterate for decades and including the most recently published data.
    You dont believe that and I unreservedly accept that your views are sincerely held but I do not share them. I am trying to provide concrete proof of what I claim - all of these named strategies were supported ny 'evidence' - none of them by the kind of repeatable proof I am seeking to provide..
    Good Night
  2. My children's school used Letters and Sounds. Several others in my town use JP. In my experience, all are using them as part of a Searchlights strategy. Searchlights itself includes large amounts of phonics - but it is most definitely NOT a synthetic phonics programme.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    They don't automatically add vocabulary from technology but they can and do when there is interaction with another person. Research shows children (and adults) focus on the visual when watching TV.
    so if you have read my full post you would know that is exactly how it is developed by the adults in my school ...perhaps quote

  4. so if you have read my full post you would know that is exactly how it is developed by the adults in my school
    I did read the post fully - but I cannot of course comment on how it is used in your school or indeed in any other school - I am not criticising anyones approach to language development - only commenting in passing on the fact that I regard language and not reading as the foundation literacy skill.
    Unfortunately I am trying, probably unsuccessfully, to address a number of issues raised by you and others off-forum
    I have been practicing as a researcher for a little over twenty years and my focus is and always has been on the bigger picture ie. he 20% who leave school unable to read or write confidently. My aim is to try to reduce this virtually static number. Achieving just a one percent drop on this figure would mean another one thousand fewer children leaving school less than functionally literate.
    This will remain my aim despite all antagonism or opposition. I abhor the teacher's preference for the kind of unverifiable 'evidence' which has alway surrounded the 'eureka stragies' because I know that it has served to maintain for decades a status quo which I regard as unacceptable. . Ulltimately, i know that my work can only have a significant impact if I can secure a credible sample of participating schools. I am now up to about 100 schools using the approach in the UK but they are all types of schools,including secondary schools. If I am successful in securing the co-operation of a full LEA for next year's efforts I feel that my thesis will be more credibly tested.
    What the outcome will be remains in the lap of the Gods.
  5. They don't automatically add vocabulary from technology but they can and do when there is interaction with another person
    That is precicely why my approach is interactive - in addition to reading on a daily bais - the pupils read rouitnely either to an adult or to their peer in table reading sessions. That is an esential and integral part of the approach which you seem keen to ignore. You seem to be a little fixated on the 'computer' aspect which although essential to the effective management of the approach, is not its 'active ingredient.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Eddie it really doesn't matter what anyone says you are very passionate about your programme (understandably so) and don't like anyone criticising any aspect.
    I have to say I agree with milliebear about the rigour of your research methods which would be laughed at if submitted as a piece of action research.
  7. I have to say I agree with milliebear about the rigour of your research methods which would be laughed at if submitted as a piece of action research.
    Well, that would be true if I wanted to publish my work in a conventional way but a solution to the UK's literacy problems will not be found in any conventional strategy.
    If I am successful in securing the co-operation of just one LEA for an LEA wide project - the 'conventions' will all miraculously become irrelevant. Imagine an LEA that historically had never acheived results higher than 81% suddenly soared to being the highest achieving UK LEA with something like 95% over all of its schools. The pilot and current projects positively indicate that that what its results would be .
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    In my experience LEAs want very rigous data before sanctioning such projects but good luck.
  9. In my experience LEAs want very rigous data before sanctioning such projects but good luck.
    Well, What they''ll get is the 'before and after' KS 2 results from every school in my project and in my most hopeful school they will include two of their own schools with very highly regarded heads who were formerly LEA advisory teachers both of whom have become very enthusiastic supporters after using the strategy for just one term.
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    As a SENCO I need to provide more than that when judging the impact of any intervention ...
  11. As a headteacher, such evidence would have been enough for me - the promise of massive improvements in my KS 2 literacy outcomes backed by verifiable and significant improvements from named and approachable schools would have been enough for me, especially if it was going to cost me nothing.
    I already have a Scottish LEA willing to conduct a 50% participation,making the other 50% controls to compare results but from my point of view, since Scottish schools don't do the KS 2 tests, all I would get is 'before and after' standardised reading-ages and that does not appeal to me as much as a massive and highly significant jump in KS2 results. All standardised scoring systems are based on an 'average' child. 'Average' is a mathematical concept which I regard as valid only when describing hat sizes, weights, heights etc never as a descriptor for human beings. The thing is that this LEA has made this decision based on some of its schools having seen and used the suite - your decision is made on not having used it.
    I am still hopeful of the co-opertion of a particular LEA which does do KS2 tests and has two of its schools currently participating in my Y6 research project and of course in July, i will be able to add the results for about 100 schools.
    I daresay that if I succeed in securing the co-opertion of a couple of LEA and they both secured unprecedent literacy gains taking them to the top of the UK literacy league tables- SP supporters would devote their efforts, not seeking to reduce the number of illiterate school levers but to rubishing my objective and verifiable research efforts - I think 'Mickey Mouse' would be one of least negative descriptors they would use - this is not uncommon among people whose cup is always half empty rather than half-full. I know my approach is unconventional and swims against the current tide of fashion which is synthetic phonics but like all unproductive fashions, I know that that will change - pity about the vast number of children who are paying the price for their closed minds..
    The reality is that I support and often recommend SP as the most effective initial reading teaching strategy but never as a remedial strategy for children who are destined to form the 100,000 who will leave school again this year, illiterate. It simply does not work as a remedial strategy and these 100,000 children are the awful living proof that it does not work.
    Time and objectively verifable KS2 results will tell.
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    but it wouldn't be enough for the LEA who wanted detailed stats when we piloted an intervention programme a few years ago.
  13. In reality there is no such thing as an 'LEA' What you have is individual education officers - some are 'time servers' and 'clock watchers' waiting for their pensions whose motto is 'If you dong nothing and take no chances - you can't make a mistake' Others are enthusiasts who will try anything if there is good evidence to back it.
    A small number of Education officers look at proposals and make thier judgement on how it will make them look personally. Will it get them into then national press as the person who solved the UKs awful illiteracy problems. People who rise to senior education officer are rarely adventurous types - they are mostly (but not always) successful administrators rather than successful teachers.
    Thats why things change so slowly in the UK.

  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I am not talking about individuals Eddie
    I'm talking about Heads and SENCOS from all the choosen schools in the LEA being assigned an EP and a Specialist teacher indentifying pupils and monitoring them carefully over a school year. Recording how much time each pupil spends actually using the intervention, who supports the pupils, what other teaching they receive in and out of the class. All data being submitted and number crunched and analysed carefully before being shared.
    I've also conducted small scale action research for academic study and the same kind of rigour was expected.
  15. and the same kind of rigour was expected.
    I have no doubt that that is true and that why nothing changes.
    It is the individual education officer that really matters.
    Imagine for a moment an LEA did decide to use my strategy with Y6 pupils in half of its schools and the non-anticipating half as'controls' Suppose also that in the non-participating half, the results were as predicted and conformed to the national norm at 80% achieving L4 or L5 English (the predictabla and most likely outocmes)
    Suppose also that the participating half of the LEA schools achieved not the expected 80% passes but 95% with a massive increase in the proportion achieving L5.
    Only a very committed pedant with their head lodged very firmly in their own personal and very large bucket of sand would suggest that such an outcome would be proof of nothing? Yet this is precisely the likely outcome indicated by my pilot project and forget not that I have results to come in July form 100 schools in total.

  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Still very off topic, but these days could an LEA "sign up" its schools for anything like this? Wouldn't it be the individual school's decision, maybe depending on the type of school (VA, voluntary controlled, community, academy etc etc)?
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    There is often an "incentive" to participate
  18. Wouldn't it be the individual school's decision, maybe depending on the type of school (VA, voluntary controlled, community, academy etc
    Absolutely but the right education officer could relate the proven stats from the pilot and later studies and encourge heads to participate - half of an LEAs schools (perhaps the half with the worst KS2 history) would be likely to respond positively. I can get large numbers to take part with no influence whatsoever but it wouldbe more indicative if the schools were all from a single LEA - half of an LEA would be both a statistically credible and valid sample by any professional, statistical standard.
  19. There is often an "incentive" to participate
    I would hope the incentive would be a deesire to send ALL of their pupils to secondary school as fully literate children. I would certainly never provide or support the idea of an extrinsic incentive because that owould invaliday the outcome data in my view.
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    That's normally the "incentive" to <u>avoid</u> getting involved in pilots

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