ERIC Number: ED253847
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Let's Stop the "Debate" and Consider the Theoretical Frameworks.
Walker, Rena M.
A teacher's theoretical viewpoint is pervasive. It determines not only the materials chosen and the way the materials are used, but also the perception the teacher holds of the reading process. It is important, therefore, for teachers to understand the theory on which their views are based so that they can understand why they have chosen a particular book or basal. Basically, teachers use two different approaches to teach children to read: the synthetic/analytic approach and the holistic approach. Underlying each is a theoretical, psychological assumption of how children learn and how teachers relate to children during the learning process. Teachers using the synthetic/analytic approach present reading to children one piece of information at a time (letter, letter-sound relation, word)--from outside the children's realm of knowledge. The intent in this approach is to work on meaning after children have learned to read. In contrast, teachers using the holistic approach begin with what is meaningful for children and work from the inside out. Print is used in stories, directions, announcements, and other written forms that hold meaning for children. Teachers and prospective teachers need to understand the theoretical bases of both reading approaches and then identify with one or the other. This would stop the debate about which approach is better and allow teachers to consider what effects their choices have on students' conceptualizations of reading and reading performance. (FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A