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ERIC Number: ED364828
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
The Whole Language Approach: Panacea or Myth?
Taylor, George R.; And Others
The "whole language approach" has generated much controversy among educators, who have agreed on the importance of language in the early years but have not reached consensus on the most effective approach to employ. Whole language is viewed as a developmental process. Research, conducted since the mid-1980s, has shown that whole language is an approach to teaching language arts which makes language more meaningful, purposeful, and whole. A review of the literature on whole language indicates that there is no step-by-step recipe for implementing whole language in the classroom. Implementing a child-centered curriculum, immersing children in literature, building lessons around a theme-based unit, stressing language experience, and involving parents in the process are crucial elements in the whole language approach. Identification of critical issues will do much to clear up the many myths and misconceptions of the whole language approach. Teachers must invest in becoming skilled at the method if they plan to use it effectively. The preponderance of research indicates that the whole language approach appears to be a technique that promotes both social and civic competencies within children. In spite of the popularity of the whole language approach with school districts, few school districts have objectively evaluated the effectiveness of the approach. There is a need to conduct empirical and experimental studies to scientifically validate the usefulness of the approach. (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A