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Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:13 pm
by Debbie Hepplewhite
I've critiqued an article of Michael Rosen - his stance is truly mystifying - and also mystifying is why editor/s of primary magazines are prepared to feature such material!


http://www.phonicsinternational.com/for ... .php?t=865

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:47 am
by kestrel
Excellent critique, Debbie. I hope you are sending a copy to the magazine in question.

Rosen is a master of rhetorical technique, and the art of implying fallacious or unsupported ideas in a way that allows him a strategic retreat or sidestep if challenged. Most people simply don't recognise how they are being manipulated.

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:09 am
by volunteer
Great stuff, Debbie. I like his books but nothing else. Presumably he is in pre-election mode at the moment.

I still can't forget a few years back, around the time of the introduction of the phonics check, he was stating that there were headteachers who were throwing away real books because of the drive towards children being taught to decode using synthetic phonics. He was blaming this on the Government. I don't know whether this was one huge lie that this was going on or that he knows some particularly idiotic heads. Either way it is concerning.

Unfortunately, it's pretty much the norm that the press pick up on things in this rather superficial and unquestioning way and people believe it. e.g. UKIP promise- grammar school in every town. Everyone argues about whether or not this would be desirable but no journalist just goes --- how is it actually possible to make this happen even if a government actually tried to? It's just another vote catching lie. Michael Rosen is bound to be more outspoken at the moment with an election coming up. It's all political and disingenuous.

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:44 am
by kestrel
I don't know whether this was one huge lie that this was going on or that he knows some particularly idiotic heads.
I remember that. He used the word "some" headteachers, and was careful not to specify an actual number. Of course, given that there are 17,000 primary schools in England, it's quite possible that one or two did something like this, and that teachers wrote to him to report it. Alternatively, it could just have been old look and say books being disposed of.

This is a common rhetorical trick; often the writer will then drop the "some" and carry on then just referring e.g. to "headteachers" doing this, in order to give the impression that this is more widespread than it is. If challenged, s/he will retreat back to "some". This is called the fallacy of the quantifier shift.

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:44 pm
by Debbie Hepplewhite
Excellent critique, Debbie. I hope you are sending a copy to the magazine in question.
Yes, I've sent this:
Dear ............,

Thank you for alerting me to your forthcoming new magazine Teach Reading and Writing.

I sincerely wish your company well with it and look forward to reading it myself.

Sadly, it has caused some considerable dismay amongst a lot of people including people who REALLY know about teaching reading – unlike Rosen.

I have written a critique of Rosen’s article for your information.

Rosen, arguably, needs to stick to the subject of writing literature – not the teaching of reading – I am not convinced your company is wise to support his muddled understanding and vociferous attack on phonics teaching.

Here is my critique which is already gaining interest via Twitter:

http://phonicsinternational.com/forum/v ... =2229#2229

Both the Reading Reform Foundation and the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction committees have been alarmed by Rosen’s latest article – people who are already well-aware of his criticism of phonics teaching and criticism of Government policy on research-informed reading instruction.

I thought you should know about these concerns.

Kindest regards,

Debbie

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:45 pm
by Debbie Hepplewhite
I'm also building up my original thread with new information.

I've now included a blog posting by Kevin Wheldall (Australia) and a letter written by Sir Jim Rose himself in response to Rosen's protests back in 2012.

Both Kevin and Sir Jim are aware of Rosen's latest article!

;-)

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:46 am
by john walker
Well done, Debbie! This is an excellent point-by-point critique of Rosen's piece. I suspect Rosen doesn't have quite the same influence he had a few years ago; nevertheless, it is still absolutely vital that his views are challenged at every step in order to mitigate the pernicious effect he may have on the gullible.
I do also like Kestrel's laying bare of Rosen's rhetoric. I recognise it when I see it, but now I've been supplied with a name: 'the fallacy of the quantifier shift'. Lovely! :lol:

Re: Michael Rosen's 'understanding' and protestation mystifying!

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 11:18 am
by volunteer
Yes, Kestrel, I loved that too. It has so many applications I can see that I will be using it quite frequently.