Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-30-2023, 08:27 AM
 
7,075 posts, read 3,380,176 times
Reputation: 13529

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by stone26 View Post
Do educators really push back on phonics? I’ve worked in schools for 30+ years and haven’t experienced that. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m just genuinely curious if it does, and why.
When you say you worked in schools for 30+ years, were you an actual teacher in a classroom?

As to why, I have my suspicions, but you are/were closer to the issue so I'd like to get your point of view.

From my perspective, educational publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and McGraw Hill, among many others, make their sales pitches to school districts regarding new material. No sales rep is going to earn a commission by saying in effect, "You know those Phonics programs you have sitting in the warehouse? Just pull them out and dust them off; don't buy anything new."

Even though the anecdote is old, I particularly like Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman's first-person recount of his experience being on an educational materials selection committee for the public school system while he simultaneously was on the faculty at CalTech; the anecdote is published in his memoirs.

Feynman described how various academic publishers came to pitch their new educational textbooks and support materials to the school district at various off-site publisher-funded receptions that resembled social gatherings with passed hors d'oeuvre and cocktails rather than strict butts-in-seats formal presentations. The publishers focused discussions on the educational support systems rather than the actual student textbooks. At some point during the lengthy selection process, according to Feynman, he insisted on seeing the actual proposed new textbooks that children would use, and the academic publishers promised to send them to him and to the other members of the selection committee; they arrived several weeks later at his home in large, heavy boxes.

At some point, after having ample time to peruse the offerings, according to Feynman, there was a more formal committee meeting at which each of the committee members recounted the plusses and minuses of each publisher's offerings. Each academic publisher vying for the business was in the audience, of course. Each committee member had their individual time allocation to report on their individual impressions, and each committee member's presentation seemed much more of a summary of what the publisher's sales people had discussed during the cocktail parties.

Then it was Feynman's turn.

Feynman rose, went to the lectern, and said "There is some problem in the printing process. Mine were defective. I opened each textbook sent to me, and all the pages were blank. There was no ink on any page. The textbooks had their cover art, of course, but the interior pages were blank. So I was unable to review any books." He turned to the other committee members, in particular those who had given positive reviews, and asked them "Did any of your books have manufacturing defects?"

It turns out Feynman was the only committee member who actually had opened a book to look at it. Confronting the academic publishers, he then discovered why his copies were defective. The publishers said they were not defective - they were blank on purpose. Why? The publishers said the textbooks had not yet been written. The publishers would only commission the work to write the textbooks AFTER the school district had ordered the books. Each of the committee members sheepishly acknowledged they hadn't actually, you know, even opened the boxes shipped to them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-30-2023, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
49,909 posts, read 23,654,865 times
Reputation: 32408
Quote:
Originally Posted by stone26 View Post
Do educators really push back on phonics? I’ve worked in schools for 30+ years and haven’t experienced that. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m just genuinely curious if it does, and why.
As a retired teacher and administrator, I never heard a teacher say phonics was bad. What I heard them say was that phonics was not the only way to teach reading and was not the best strategy for all learners.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2023, 09:28 AM
 
7,075 posts, read 3,380,176 times
Reputation: 13529
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
As a retired teacher and administrator, I never heard a teacher say phonics was bad. What I heard them say was that phonics was not the only way to teach reading and was not the best strategy for all learners.
Because you are a retired teacher and administrator, please describe situations where phonics is contraindicated for a specific learner.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2023, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
49,909 posts, read 23,654,865 times
Reputation: 32408
Quote:
Originally Posted by moguldreamer View Post
Because you are a retired teacher and administrator, please describe situations where phonics is contraindicated for a specific learner.
No, I'm not going to entertain a question like that unless every poster on every topic in this part of the forum is held to the same standard.

All children do not learn most effectively in the same manner in any subject. All you need to do is do a simple Google search to learn about the debate that still exists on this specific topic.

I responded to the other poster in an appropriate manner.

But okay, you wanna play that game? You prove that EVERY child on the planet learns to read most effectively through phonics. Go ahead. Prove it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2023, 10:20 AM
 
3,978 posts, read 1,804,909 times
Reputation: 8495
The chart would look the same if all the other states just did worse, right?


By what percent did individual test scores improve? It is not possible to tell from the OP data.


Maybe it's out there, somewhere, but that chart proves nothing on its own.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2023, 10:22 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 6,533,947 times
Reputation: 19649
Quote:
Originally Posted by moguldreamer View Post
Because you are a retired teacher and administrator, please describe situations where phonics is contraindicated for a specific learner.
The issue is that phonics is not the ONLY method. Primarily, it teaches SOUNDS. So you can read a word and say a word, but it won’t attach any meaning to the word. Being able to say something with perfect pronunciation is not useful if you don’t know what the word means. Since English in particular has words from a variety of different languages, there are a lot of exceptions to the rule. Words also have different pronunciations depending on the country of origin WITHIN English, which can make it even more confusing. For example, Worcester- none of the rules I know will lead me to the pronunciation of that. In contrast, the use of “kerb” in British English makes a whole lot more sense to me than “curb” as we say in American english. YMMV, but I just think that the focus just on phonics is very confusing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2023, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
49,909 posts, read 23,654,865 times
Reputation: 32408
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
The issue is that phonics is not the ONLY method. Primarily, it teaches SOUNDS. So you can read a word and say a word, but it won’t attach any meaning to the word. Being able to say something with perfect pronunciation is not useful if you don’t know what the word means. Since English in particular has words from a variety of different languages, there are a lot of exceptions to the rule. Words also have different pronunciations depending on the country of origin WITHIN English, which can make it even more confusing. For example, Worcester- none of the rules I know will lead me to the pronunciation of that. In contrast, the use of “kerb” in British English makes a whole lot more sense to me than “curb” as we say in American english. YMMV, but I just think that the focus just on phonics is very confusing.
The more I have thought about this, the more I came back to an incident that occurred when I was teaching earth science (grade 9) at Kettering Junior High in Prince George's County, Maryland.

We had a boy from the Philippines...I'll just say that his name was Mike. Mike was flunking...badly, although he seemed like a fairly intelligent kid. And one day I noticed that when we were doing something unusual in my classroom -- reading aloud -- he was an almost perfect reader. So why was he flunking so badly?

At the time I was dating a reading teacher from a neighboring junior high. I asked her if she could give me a book that would be on the level of the old 'Dick, Jane, & Spot" basal readers that I grew up with. She wanted to know which level...I didn't recall there being levels...but I said, "Oh, about grade 2".

One day I had Mike stay after school. I handed him my college chemistry text and asked him to read several pages from it aloud. All those long chemical names. His pronunciation was PERFECT all the way through. Absolutely perfect. I couldn't have done as well myself. Then I handed him the Dick & Jane book, grade 2 level, and had him read about a dozen pages. Perfect. Until I said, "Mike, tell me in your own words what was in the Dick & Jane story". He started stuttering and literally sweating because he couldn't tell me a single thing about what he had read in the Dick & Jane book. His phonics were perfect; his understanding was nil.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2023, 07:57 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 6,533,947 times
Reputation: 19649
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
The more I have thought about this, the more I came back to an incident that occurred when I was teaching earth science (grade 9) at Kettering Junior High in Prince George's County, Maryland.

We had a boy from the Philippines...I'll just say that his name was Mike. Mike was flunking...badly, although he seemed like a fairly intelligent kid. And one day I noticed that when we were doing something unusual in my classroom -- reading aloud -- he was an almost perfect reader. So why was he flunking so badly?

At the time I was dating a reading teacher from a neighboring junior high. I asked her if she could give me a book that would be on the level of the old 'Dick, Jane, & Spot" basal readers that I grew up with. She wanted to know which level...I didn't recall there being levels...but I said, "Oh, about grade 2".

One day I had Mike stay after school. I handed him my college chemistry text and asked him to read several pages from it aloud. All those long chemical names. His pronunciation was PERFECT all the way through. Absolutely perfect. I couldn't have done as well myself. Then I handed him the Dick & Jane book, grade 2 level, and had him read about a dozen pages. Perfect. Until I said, "Mike, tell me in your own words what was in the Dick & Jane story". He started stuttering and literally sweating because he couldn't tell me a single thing about what he had read in the Dick & Jane book. His phonics were perfect; his understanding was nil.
You actually reminded me of a story my mom told about how she was in 4th grade and got stuck in a lower track (this was a long time ago) because she could not read squat aloud. She is still unable to do so, but aside from her reading aloud and spelling, she is very intelligent. She had no trouble whatsoever understanding what the words meant.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2023, 08:59 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
20,098 posts, read 15,968,890 times
Reputation: 28262
Quote:
Originally Posted by moguldreamer View Post
Because you are a retired teacher and administrator, please describe situations where phonics is contraindicated for a specific learner.
First, to be clear, phonics should be the primary method of teaching reading because for the majority of students it is the quickest, most effective, most lasting method and gives people the lifelong skill to independently increase written vocabulary. Second, insistence that all students only be taught phonics, whole word, or any other system someone dreams up is educational malpractice. That said, since you asked….

Students who have certain types of decoding related disabilities and students with certain types of auditory processing disorders really struggle if taught phonetically, and in some cases doing so is contradicted, particularly when first learning. The learned unintentional errors are very difficult to remediate once embedded. The better option is to primarily instruct in whole word and then start heavily supplementing with phonics as they progress - but you do not want to start there.
__________________
When I post in bold red that is moderator action and, per the TOS, can only be discussed through Direct Message.Moderator - Diabetes and Kentucky (including Lexington & Louisville)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2023, 04:22 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
44,755 posts, read 59,642,981 times
Reputation: 60269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
First, to be clear, phonics should be the primary method of teaching reading because for the majority of students it is the quickest, most effective, most lasting method and gives people the lifelong skill to independently increase written vocabulary. Second, insistence that all students only be taught phonics, whole word, or any other system someone dreams up is educational malpractice. That said, since you asked….

Students who have certain types of decoding related disabilities and students with certain types of auditory processing disorders really struggle if taught phonetically, and in some cases doing so is contradicted, particularly when first learning. The learned unintentional errors are very difficult to remediate once embedded. The better option is to primarily instruct in whole word and then start heavily supplementing with phonics as they progress - but you do not want to start there.
You and I are about the same age and we learned Reading using both methods being merged. At some point they became a "One or Another" proposition.

Phetaroi mentioned a kid who read aloud beautifully. That's the problem with Only Phonics. Kids cab decode the words but has absolutely no concept of the meanings.

Then when they got to me trying to get them to understand context was--------difficult.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top