ERIC Number: ED423516
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Beginning To Read and the Spin Doctors of Science: The Political Campaign To Change America's Mind about How Children Learn To Read.
Suggesting that the contention that phonemic awareness must be taught directly and that children need explicit systematic instruction in phonics is less of a scientific "fact" than an exercise in political persuasion, this book presents the story of the political campaign that is taking place to change the minds of Americans about how young children learn to read. The book begins with a close look at the empirical research being used to support a massive shift in the national understandings about language, literacy, and learning and concludes by revealing the ways in which research studies on early reading instruction are being used by the federal and state governments to support a new methodology that has turned early reading instruction into "a massive business of unprecedented commercial worth." The chapters in the book are: (1) In Which We Are Told Training in Phonemic Awareness Is the Key to Reading Success; (2) In Which Phonemic Awareness Research Is Analyzed from an Experimental Psychological Perspective; (3) In Which Phonemic Awareness Research Is Analyzed from a Sociocultural Perspective; (4) In Which We Find Foorman's Research Does Not Support the NICHD [National Institute of Child Health and Human Development] Proposition That "Phonological Processing Is the Primary Area Where Children with Reading Difficulties Differ from Other Children"; (5) In Which Teachers Are Turned into Clerks and We Discuss Power, Privilege, Racism and Hegemony; (6) In Which Governor Bush's Business Council Holds a Pre-Summit Meeting in Texas; (7) In Which We Have an"If-They-Say-It's-So-It-Must-Be-So" Attitude toward Experimental Research; (8) In Which the Kindergarten Children in North Carolina Are No Longer Expected To Try To Read and Write; (9) In Which I Become the Documentation on Which I Build My Case; (10) In Which We Are Told That in America We Are All Equal. Are We or Aren't We?; (11) In Which We Find the Desks and Chairs Are Broken and the Toilets Don't Work; (12) In Which We Ask: Do You Think America Likes Children?; (13) In Which We Consider If We Are Comfortable Mandating Reading Programs based on Neuroimaging Research and Genetic Studies of Reading Disabilities; (14) In Which California Politically Reinvents How Young Children Learn To Read; (15) In Which California Ends Local Control and the State Board of Education Leads the Jihad; and (16) In Which We Enter the Central Chamber of the Hegemonic Labyrinth. (Contains approximately 250 references; an appendix that offers a response to preliminary statistical analyses used to support the nationally publicized findings of the NICHD Houston reading studies, and an appendix that offers "late-breaking" news about the NICHD Houston reading studies are attached.) (RS)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Elementary Education, Phonemic Awareness, Politics of Education, Reading Instruction, Reading Research, Research Utilization
National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096 (Stock No. 02751: $19.95, members; $26.95, nonmembers).
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL.
Identifiers - Location: California