Systematic Phonics Confusion

rsvp step by stepThere is just too much confusion in the educational community concerning the teaching of phonics. Many studies have been made over the last 40 years which prove that early systematic training in phonics puts children on the right track to success in reading, One would think that fortified with this information, parents, school board members, taxpayers, lawmakers, school administrators, teachers, and concerned citizens would rise up and demand THAT WE DO IT RIGHT. Yet, many of those in high places in education seem to stand in the way of the systematic teaching of phonics. They may feel like one of my professors in the Master’s Program who disdainfully referred to phonics as the “grunt and groan method”. Surely they must realize that along with a good systematic phonics approach the students deal with whole words throughout the program- in single words focusing on sounds and patterns, in spelling dictated words containing the new pattern, in sentences using words which contain the currently studied sound and pattern and in paragraphs which review concepts just taught. I don’t know how you feel, but it pains me that this distinguished former professor of mine feels that our beautiful American English language sounds to her like “grunting and groaning”. Anyone who is entrusted with the formidable task of preparing young college students to teach reading must include in the college curriculum the teaching of systematic phonics. And I cannot understand how universities can bestow Bachelor, Master and Doctor Degrees in The Psychology of Reading on college students and not include in the curriculum the important first step in the teaching of reading-how to teach Explicit Phonics. Herein, in large measure, lies the reason for the many failures and drop-outs in our American School System. Students are not properly taught the skills in beginning reading and this failure on the part of the school systems is deftly blamed on the innocent school students. How much longer is this going to go on?

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