Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

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Susan Godsland
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Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:06 am

One for Rosen's diary I think :mrgreen:

Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
Annual Conference
New College, Oxford
30 March – 1 April 2012

A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics: fantasies of
research-based teaching 'methods' versus real teaching

Mr Andrew Davis

http://www.philosophy-of-education.org/ ... /Davis.pdf

''Andrew Davis’s career includes eight years in primary schools''
He's presently a Research Fellow in the School of Education at Durham. big sigh....
http://www.dur.ac.uk/education/staff/?id=617

Regimen: any set of rules about food and exercise that someone follows, especially in order to improve their health :???:

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by volunteer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:08 pm

Oh I wish that first document had been in circulation when I did my first course assignment last Autumn, I'd have got a better mark I think for siding with that kind of argument.

Do you think there is someone somewhere philosophising, at public expense, about whether or not the Early Years framework should recommend that children are taught to recognise numerals and count outside the context of carrying out numerical calculations or solving algebraic equations?

It's amazing what people are paid to do as part of academic posts when there's a public funding crisis.

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by maizie » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:45 pm

Is this paper to be deliverd on 1st April, by any chance?

Has anyone else read it yet?

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by volunteer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:40 pm

Yes. It's a view.

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by maizie » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:59 pm

volunteer wrote:Yes. It's a view
You mean it is to be taken seriously? :shock:

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by volunteer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:34 pm

I assume so!! It's pretty similar I think to the kind of stuff that would help me get higher marks on my course.

Maybe it's all a good thing. Now that synthetic phonics is so strongly advised by the government for the initial teaching of reading, any arguments about that being a bad decision are also publicising the fact that it is what teachers are supposed to be doing. There are people who know when they are reading a one-sided argument, so it doesn't mean necessarily that people who should be finding out about phonics in order to teach well will be put off it. On the contrary, it could be good publicity ..... bit like Bennetton - all publicity is good publicity.

I suppose any academic who is pro-phonics should be able to meet his arguments with similar intellectual rigour!!

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:39 pm

TES: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics: fantasies of research-based teaching 'methods' versus real teaching

http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/629773/7890394.aspx

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by john walker » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:25 pm

I don't imagine that Andrew Davis will have it all his own way at Durham. Dr David Waugh, Director of Primary ITT Programmes, has just published Teaching Systematic Synthetic Phonics in Primary School with Wendy Jolliffe of Hull University and Angela Carrs, also at Durham.
I've just finished chapter 1 and it looks very interesting - plenty of references to Diane McGuinness, Torgensen, Johnston and Watson, M.J. Adams, and so on.
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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:43 pm

...and also promotion of THRASS despite the fact that this programme does not meet the Core Criteria!

And no mention of PI by name - and yet PI provides masses of free resources and free information!

Does this reflect a bias I wonder?

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by john walker » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:03 pm

You're right, Debbie. No mention of PI by name and, of course, no mention of S-W. But we're used to that, aren't we? I know, it doesn't make it any the less galling sometimes :roll:
As a matter of fact, the authors deal with THRASS in chapter 13, though it doesn't come out too well. A study comparing JP and THRASS is cited, with the JP school 'making greater gains' (p.170). Other than that, the treatment is pretty even-handed. Or, so it seems. I shall have to read more ;-) .
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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:12 am

It will certainly be interesting to see what you think of the whole book!? ;-)

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:10 pm

But at least three of the most effective programmes for the weakest, most vulnerable children aren't in the Catalogue. We have made huge strides with those children who just needed some decent SP teaching but we are still failing an awful lot of children. I would suggest that these three programmes would have strengthened the Catalogue hugely - and of course if so much space hadn't been given to the often tricksy, expensive, unnecessary 'additional' materials.

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:27 am

Wiley Education

COMING SOON: To Read or Not To Read: Decoding Synthetic Phonics by Andrew Davis :sad:

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:37 pm

It's out now

To read or not to read: decoding Synthetic Phonics
Andrew Davis

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract
In England, current government policy on children's reading is strongly prescriptive, insisting on the delivery of a pure and exclusive form of synthetic phonics, where letter sounds are learned and blended in order to ‘read’ text. A universally imposed phonics ‘check’ is taken by all five year olds and the results are widely reported.

These policies are underpinned by the claim that research has shown systematic synthetic phonics to be the most effective way of teaching children to read. Andrew Davis argues that there is a basic problem with this claim. Whatever it is that empirical researchers take themselves to be doing when they investigate synthetic phonics, they are not investigating a specifiable method of teaching reading. This is for two reasons. First, there are no such things as specifiable methods of teaching. Teaching is a vastly complex human activity involving contextual and reactive practical judgments that are responsive to the myriad contingencies of classroom life. The idea that teachers might proceed by way of prescribed methods rather than practical judgments is simply a fantasy.

Second, teaching children to correlate letter combinations with sounds, and to blend sounds into sequences, is not teaching them to read. Reading is a matter of grasping meaning conveyed by text. While sustained attention to letter-sound correspondences can be helpful to some novice readers, we should neither assume that it is helpful to all nor confuse mastery of such correspondences with the ability to read.

Davis's challenge to government policy on the teaching of reading, and to the empirical research that supposedly underpins it, is timely, radical and compelling. The zeal with which synthetic phonics is championed by its advocates has been remarkably effective in pushing it to the top of the educational agenda; but we should not mistake zeal for warrant.

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Re: Philosophy paper: A monstrous regimen of synthetic phonics

Post by kenm » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:01 pm

The idea that teachers might proceed by way of prescribed methods rather than practical judgments is simply a fantasy.
I would like to hear Andrew Davis and Zig Engelmann discussing this.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

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