LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

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Susan Godsland
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LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by Susan Godsland » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:54 am

http://londoncentreforpedagogy.net/

Phonics in the new National Curriculum for English: Pavlov’s dogs or Pavlov’s cats?

http://londoncentreforpedagogy.net/2014 ... lovs-cats/
With the advent of the new National Curriculum (2014) for English the sole method for developing word reading skills is systematic, synthetic phonics. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with synthetic phonics; and there is nothing wrong with teaching synthetic phonics in a systematic manner (why would you want to teach it unsystematically?).

However, there is something rather disturbing in how it is presented in the new curriculum. Basically, this states that those struggling with decoding in Year 2 should be provided with more phonics instruction, and if they are still struggling in lower Key Stage 2, they should be given even more phonics instruction, and if they are still struggling in upper Key Stage 2? Yes, even more phonics instruction.

This raises two important points. The first point is that the curriculum appears to acknowledge that some children are going to have difficulty with phonics, and this difficulty may last across the primary age phase. The curriculum itself implies therefore, that phonics is not going to work for all children.

The second point is a pedagogical one. If something is not working, and continues not to work, why would you continue with it? Isn’t it better to try something else?

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:25 pm

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukschools/archi ... ybird.aspx

Ladybird - jumping on the bandwagon of something the author doesn't really believe in?

I make this comment because somehow it seems disingeneous to throw the following comment into the blurb for a product which is on the back of practising for the screening check!
Whether you see the 'test' as a positive or negative introduction to a young child's school learning, there is no question that everyone will want the best outcome for each child.
Either these designers think phonics and the screener is good for the children - or they don't - or they're hedging their bets possibly?

A sign of the times sadly! :???:

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by yvonne meyer » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:03 pm

Dr Wayne Tennent, Programme Leader, University of East London says;
However, there is something rather disturbing in how it is presented in the new curriculum. Basically, this states that those struggling with decoding in Year 2 should be provided with more phonics instruction, and if they are still struggling in lower Key Stage 2, they should be given even more phonics instruction, and if they are still struggling in upper Key Stage 2? Yes, even more phonics instruction.
When prominent Education 'Perfessors' make statements like this I never know if they are coming from a place of ignorance or of malice.

Dr Tennent's comment that no one would teach phonics non-systematically would indicate that he doesn't know what analytical phonics is, so perhaps he also doesn't undertand the 3-tiered approach that Jim Rose advocated and which we in Australia and those in the USA call Response to Intervention (RtI).

A three tiered approach does not call for more of the same which didn't work in the first place. Dr Tennent is perhaps confusing this with Readig Recovery, the remedial arm of Whole Language, which does indeed require more of the same which didn't work in the first place.
Response To Intervention (RTI)

RTI is the three-tiered approach to the provision additional learning support to students having difficulty with learning that offers increasingly intensive, research-based instruction and intervention(s) based on early identification of individual student’s progress. The RtI process begins with high-quality instruction and screening of all children in the general classroom. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction. RtI is designed for use when making decisions in both general and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data.

See: http://www.ldaustralia.org/304.html and http://www.rtinetwork.org/learn


From LDA Glossary @ http://www.ldaustralia.org/glossary.html

RtI/3 tier approach usually fails in the first tier because the classroom teacher does not implement high-quality synthetic phonics instruction in the first place and does not closely monitor progress to determine which children require more intense instruction.

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:10 pm

RtI/3 tier approach usually fails in the first tier because the classroom teacher does not implement high-quality synthetic phonics instruction in the first place and does not closely monitor progress to determine which children require more intense instruction.
And/or - the teacher does not deliver the intervention nor supervise the intervention to make sure it is of high content and quality.

The teacher may not know what high content and quality 'looks like' in the first place.

This is my common observation.

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by john walker » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:07 pm

When prominent Education 'Perfessors' make statements like this I never know if they are coming from a place of ignorance or of malice.
My guess is that it's ignorance, Yvonne :cry: . Many of these people have no idea at all what it's like to teach children who have made a much slower start that others of their peers. For example, I have just completed my forty-fourth half-hour lesson with a child who has very serious language difficulties in addition to the fact that they also have problems with fine motor control. Every lesson is an inch of ground gained so that the child can always now read a word with three adjacent consonants accurately. This is a massive step when the child was barely able to read a CVC word when we started. And yet, the child still reverses letters in writing and sometime misses out the odd adjacent consonant when they're writing. I bet our Wayne has no idea how painstakingly hard it is to teach a child like this, nor how long it takes.
I did write a reply on the website linked above but one only has so much time and space to try and engage with the assumptions made in the posting. Anyway, thanks too to Debbie for pitching in as well :cool: . Unfortunately, Eddie Carrion (sorry for the misspelling, Jenny!) also alighted on the carcass to pick it over and deliberately misread and twisted what I'd written :roll:.
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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by chew8 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:53 pm

Fortunately, John, I can read for meaning in spite (or because??) of the misspelling!

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by john walker » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:40 pm

Fortunately, John, I can read for meaning in spite (or because??) of the misspelling!
:lol: Michael Rosen would be pleased!
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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by chew8 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:32 pm

Well, I've always been fully in favour of reading for meaning - if I hadn't stressed it with my A-Level English students they'd all have failed their exams. Like you and many others, John, I've always regarded an early emphasis on accurate decoding as helping rather than hindering children's chances of reading for meaning.

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by pjay » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:39 pm

Interesting to read John's post. As someone working day in day out with children with similar levels of difficulties I thought how useful it would be if there was a forum for those of us engaged in hands on tuition of such pupils. The academic arguments whilst interesting are so far removed from the day to day reality and the pontifications of intellectuals who have probably never engaged in this type of tuition make me see red! Does anyone know of such a forum- or is this what Purely Practical is for?

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 pm

Perhaps the easiest way to create a forum is to start an ordinary thread on this forum and put a 'sticky' on it so it is always easy to access and 'noticeable' to users of the forum.

Then, spread the word for anyone interested.

We occasionally send out an eNewsletter to a very large number of people so we could notify them of such a thread once it has a few postings on it to get it going.

Do start it off!

:grin:

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by maizie » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:13 pm

I think it might be better to use the 'Practical' forum. If you have too many 'stickies' they clog the first page of the forum.

Just start a thread on there pjay and see what happens. :smile:

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Re: LondonCentreforPedagogy blog: phonics in new NC

Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:22 am

Reid Lyon uses the term "disconnect" to describe this chasm between theory and practice.

Here's what he has to say about it to David Boulton in his excellent Children Of The Code interview series.



The Disconnect:

Dr. Reid Lyon: But here’s the disconnect, and this is ironic: we obviously work with a lot of colleges and universities and we’re on campuses doing a lot of studies. One of the things some of our studies do is look at the interactions that occur between moms and dads and kids. When you look at professors working with their kids from birth onward, they’re reading to those kids from day one, typically. They are not only reading, but as they read even at six months of age they’re pointing out the letters and the sounds. They’re getting the kids to see the relationships between letters and sounds and vocabulary and concepts; they’re extending language. They do it on the lap; they do it at bed time; they do it at the dinner table. They have magnetic letters on the refrigerator. What they’re doing is building not only a knowledge of language and print and how all of that goes together, but they’re building brain. We can see kids who don’t have these interactions and they show us brain development substantially different from kids who do have these interactions.

Now what is surprising is that a lot of these folks who interact with their kids in a very good nurturing environment and who do a lot of good systematic teaching from birth to five will then go into their undergraduate and graduate courses and teach their students never to do that. They teach their students never to do it because it’s not developmentally appropriate. That’s the disconnect.
http://www.childrenofthecode.org/interv ... disconnect

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