ERIC Number: ED313497
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Sep-13
Illiteracy: An Incurable Disease or Education Malpractice?
United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, Washington, DC.
The major theory examined in this paper is that the increasing problem of illiteracy in the United States may be due to a faulty method of teaching reading. The causes of the illiteracy problem and possible solutions are explored using evidence from reading research and classroom results. The following topics concerning the teaching of reading are covered: (1) why America has a reading problem; (2) historical evidence that everyone can be taught to read; (3) two ways to teach reading--whole language and the "code" approach; (4) historical aspects of the way reading is taught; (5) Blaise Pascal, the inventor of modern systematic language instruction; (6) the 19th century "look and say" style of teaching reading introduced; (7) the 20th century "look and say" style of teaching established as the norm; (8) the basal reader; (9) research studies that show the phonetics approach is better than the whole language approach; (10) responses of reading professionals to research findings; (11) why faulty methods continue to be used; (12) additional obstacles to reading reform; (13) how teachers feel about reading methods; (14) the Reading Reform Foundation; and (15) which federal programs impact illiteracy. Overwhelming evidence is presented that the antidote to illiteracy is the restoration of the instructional practice of intensive, systematic phonics in every primary classroom. A list of 30 sources is included. (JS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, Washington, DC.