Blog-post by Debra Kidd

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Blog-post by Debra Kidd

Post by chew8 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:21 pm

An RRFer recently drew my attention to this: ... r-reading/

In its original form, it contained inaccurate statements about the Clackmannanshire 7-year longitudinal study, but corrections were made after I posted comments pointing this out. The last comment which I made has disappeared, however, so it looks as though I didn’t respond to Debra Kidd’s point about why ‘reduction’ in boys’ enjoyment of reading was a ‘bone of contention’. In case other RRFers also follow those blog-posts, I’d like to put on record that I DID explain, as follows:
If it’s a bone of contention’, it’s because I think that if factual errors creep into a debate, even if they are apparently small ones, they are often then recycled and even magnified. I am very familiar with the Clackmannanshire research and also with a number of other studies by Rhona Johnston. Her work has often been misrepresented in ways which hinder rather than help healthy debate, so I like to correct misrepresentation if I notice it.

There’s a book chapter by Johnston et al. where they say that they found boys' enjoyment of reading no lower in Clackmannanshire than in England under ‘Progression in Phonics’ and ‘Playing with Sounds’ (Johnston, R.S, Watson, and Logan, S (2009) Enhancing word reading, spelling and reading comprehension skills with synthetic phonics teaching: studies in Scotland and England. In Wood, C and Connelly, V, Contemporary Perspectives on Reading and Spelling. Routledge, London). I don’t have a copy of this, so can’t quote it exactly. ‘No lower than’ may still not be satisfactory, of course, and I agree that we should do all we can to improve things in this area. It’s worth noting that the present government that is promoting reading for pleasure as well as the phonics check.’
I’ve now got the chapter by Johnston et al. which I didn’t have when I wrote the above, so can quote from it:‘In terms of attitudes to reading, where a higher score indicates a more positive attitude to reading, the two samples did not differ, F(1, 211) = 1.8, p > .05.’

The group from England had been taught by the National Literacy Strategy’s ‘Progression in Phonics’, which was very similar to the type of analytic phonics approach common in Scotland at the time. It’s also worth mentioning that although there was no difference in attitude, the Clackmannanshire children were significantly better than the English children at word-reading, spelling and comprehension.

On the subject of misrepresentation, people may also be interested in my post of 28 December 2017 in the ‘Reading the Evidence’ thread.

Jenny C.
Last edited by chew8 on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blog-post by Debra Kidd

Post by SLloyd » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:13 pm

Thank you, Jenny. I greatly admire all your dedicated work. I know how careful and fair minded you are about all the research and information that you read. You are an example to us all. It really is important to get the facts correct, especially for those people in positions of power.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Blog-post by Debra Kidd

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:36 pm

Here is a direct link to the 'Reading the Evidence...' thread that Jenny mentioned above:


Re Debra Kidd's blog post:

Debra has many followers via Twitter and it is a great shame that she perhaps inadvertently, or otherwise, writes in such a way as to misinterpret or confuse the reality one way or another.

This is then worryingly and dangerously misleading - especially when misquoting people such as Rhona Johnston.

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