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ERIC Number: ED326840
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Creating a Disabled Reader: A Father's Perspective.
Phillips, Jerry
A father describes how the public school system made his daughter, Charlie, into a disabled reader. Charlie had experienced early reading success both at home and in kindergarten, and enjoyed reading. Placed in the low reading group in first grade, Charlie resisted the dull, structured exercises of remedial reading instruction which she received throughout her elementary school years. Considered an unmotivated troublemaker, Charlie turned away from the standard curriculum and developed interests in other directions. In middle school she began a drive toward athletic acceptance; by this time, Charlie's father regularly received letters telling him that his daughter was "dumb." To recapture the good reading times at home, he introduced her to the Judy Blume books. She read them all, but would not perform for the public schools. Apparently, Charlie viewed middle school reading as a difficult decoding game having little to do with the meanings she found in the Blume books. In high school, Charlie participates in coursework in order to remain eligible for athletics, and it seems likely that she will graduate. Enrolling in graduate reading studies, Charlie's father found ways of learning to read other than drill and repetition, and attempted to turn Charlie from the school's ways of learning to more natural ways. In retrospect, he believes that he placed too much trust in the school system and in its grouping practices, and should have tried to intervene sooner. Charlie's problems are rooted in social separation, standardized test scores, and isolated, skill-based remedial instruction. The schools Charlie attended tracked her too early, and left her on track too long. Charlie and her father eventually shut down all accountability schemes offered by a sterile school system dominated by quantitative views of learning and replaced them with a view of knowledge as something to understand and analyze with the experiences children bring to their activities. (Forty-one references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A