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Sensible approach to literacy teaching

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

  1. ''There are plenty of SP enthusiasts who continue to push SP as a remedial
    strategy in spite of any proof that is it even vaguely effective''.
    This is the synthetic phonics intervetion programme that I use. It's incredibly effective and can be used with all ages. There's empirical research to back up its effectiveness which is why it got included on the Dysexia-SpLD website.

  2. I tried to get into that site with no joy at all!
    There's 'empirical research' into just about everything under the sun - what there isnt is 'proof' If something works, producing proof that it works repeatedly in a vaild and credible sample of schools is simple and straightforward. That's what proper professions require before introducing 'remedies.'
    As long as 100.000 c hildren leave school every year illiterate, we can be confident that there is no 'proven' strategy out there which will resolve illiteracy.
  3. What do you think 'empirical research' is, eddie?
  4. What do you think 'empirical research' is, eddie?
    I think it is evidence produced by any logical strategy. That is very different from Proof. In any debate, the difference between 'evidence' whch might suggest something and evidence which proves something. Proof puts the thing beyond doubt - evidence frequently creates more doubt. I like the kind that proves because proof is a repeatable experiement - not something is dependent of who administers it but which words whoever adminsters it.
    The fact that 20% of the annual school populations leave and for many decades has left school unable to read or write confidently. To me that constitutes, not empirical evidence but proof positive that we are making no progess is resolving the illiteracy problem in spite of 'evidence based strategies'.. which have been around for an awful long time..
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Isn't that what your pilot will provide Eddie?
  6. I have seen evdence to support the view that putting square wheels or cars will reduce the annual toll of road deaths.
    I will be impressed when the number of illiterate school leavers begins to fall and continues ot fall until virtually all childen are literate. When that begins to happen, I iwill not need to see or read about the ' empirical evidence' The governments annual stats will be sufficient for me.
    There is no sign of it falling at the moment - none at all.
  7. Isn't that what your pilot will provide Eddie?
    NMo. No pilot study produces proof of anything. In my Y6 KS2 pilot virtually every child predicted to achieve L3 achieved an L4 or higher. All that that proves is that it was worthwhile move the project to a larger, credible sample of schools. Tha tis happening right now as we speak.
    My Y2 pilot intervention (which 'scares' some teachers) is taking place in 20 schools whichis ten more than I originally planned and only about 20% of the number of schools that wanted to take part. There is no way I can or ever would predict the outcome. That';s not how research works. Although the approach has a logical basis, it is experimental. I tried it in the one school while I was writing and developing the content but whether or not I ever take it forward depends on the reactions of the teachers and children involved.
    If the outcomes are encouraging and I decide to take the project forward, I know that there will be no shortage of head teachers wishing to take part. I know also that if the head teachers were to be extremely enthyusiastic about its impact there would be no shortage of naysayers who would rubbish it without even knowing what it involved. I think some of the posts on this site prove that quite conclusively!
  8. Do you not prove something by gathering empirical evidence? And is not something 'proved' if results can be replicated by other people/researchers?
    I am entirely failing to see why the three different studies which I have linked to you do not constitute 'proof'.
    I'm afraid you completely lost me here, eddie. What are you trying to say?

  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm assuming it is the same as you kindly sent me last year?
  10. I'm assuming it is the same as you kindly sent me last year?
    No. the Y2 approach is completely different. I did describe the approach in an earlier post.
    The Y6 package is similar but has moved forward quiote a bit based on the outcomes of last years work.
  11. Do you not prove something by gathering empirical evidence?
    No. You TRY to prove something by gathering empirical evidence. The debate is becoming one of semantics. As I have said ,many times - the proportion of children who leave school unable to read and write confidently remains static. That is the ultimate test and when that number starts to fall the debate will become irrelevant.
    My primary concern is not the illiteracy but the emotional damage inflicted on children by years of failure which were entirely unnecessary. I regard the impact of this as being much more debilitating than the impact of being unable to read or write.
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Sorry I should have made it clear it was the Y6 version I was referring to

  13. Sorry I should have made it clear it was the Y6 version I was referring to
    The underlying principle in the Y6 package is the same. It seeks to promote literacy skills to higher levels by routinely reading sessions and not by learning grapheme/phoneme correspondences. I do not believe that we read by serially decoding graphemes. i believe we read by retrieving meaning from words we recognise either because the exist in or sight vocabularies or because the are constructed similarly to words in our sight vocabs. I believe in adding to our sight vocabs by the simple expedient of reading - nothng else - just reading and I have ample evidence - (not proof) that this really works. I am now seeking to change this evidence into proof via the one hundred schools currenlty using it - I anticipate that instead of 80% of children achieving L4 orL5, virtually all of them will. That would convince me but not aof course everybod y and particulary not SP enthusiasts.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We already achieve considerably more than 80% level 4 for reading and the occasional child who doesn't quite get there has usually arrived just before the tests
  15. So, what are you doing that consitutes 'proof' not 'trying to prove'?
    Well, there's some truth in that, eddie, because you don't seem to be using the English language in the same way that most people do. You have pooh poohed 'empirical evidence' yet offered nothing in its place but 'proof'. What are we meant to judge the 'proof' on? Your say so?

  16. The children who were identified as falling behind got extra help on top.
    The assistants giving the help thought that this was what made the biggest difference.
    I agree with Eddie that after the basic stage, with regular phonics, children learn to read mainly by reading, by adding more and more words to their stocks of words which they can read instantly, without the need for decoding.
    The parents who help with this do a wonderful job. It is difficult for schools to provide the same amount of practice if there isn't much of it at home. I can imagine that anything like Eddie's programme that gets children to read more regularly has a chance of of being helpful.
    For a proper evaluation of his approach, however, it would be better if it was done by someone other than him. Everyone with a new method tends to think that they have evidence for their approach, but this often turns out flimsy when looked at objectively by others.
    I wish him the best of luck. I can imagine that with intensive intervention it might be possible to reduce the 20% level of functional illiteracy among school leavers and adults a bit, but I suspect that the inconsistencies of English spelling will always prevent it being pushed down to less than 15%.
  17. [​IMG] <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="post"> We already achieve considerably more than 80% level 4 for reading and the occasional child who doesn't quite get there has usually arrived just before the tests
    I do not doubt that for a moment but can you not see that if the national average is 80% (and it is) tgthen for every 1% above the national average your school scores, another school must be achieving 1% below the national average. Surely that is the point unless you think we should each of us only be concerned with our own personal situation and the 100,000 children who leave school unable to read or write confidently are unimportant.
    To me they are the most important, not as I have said, for their illiteracy but for the emotional damage done to them is schools by our failure to successfully confronted their difficulties. It is not their responsibility to respond to the needs of our chosen teaching methods - it is our responsibility to respond to their needs.
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Due to the steps in teaching phonics, we are able to offer support earlier by utilising
    our support staff in activities modelled in class by teachers. We have found that for
    some children this "catch-up" group situation whereby they have additional 10
    minutes support time regularly is all that is required to support their learning.

    Yes. Support for Learning is involved in providing support for those pupils who
    require extra reinforcement or who have had a period of absence (necessary
    because of pace of programme) in flexible groups from November of P1 onwards.
    Previously Support for Learning intervention would have been at the beginning of
    P2 because pace of teaching was so slow in P1. The "catch up" was delivered in groups for 10 mins a day

  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    surely that is exactly what we are doing with year on year high reading standards

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