USA: 'The Most Popular Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science'

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USA: 'The Most Popular Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:18 pm

This issue of the prevalence of literacy programmes not being backed by science is a really, really hot topic via Twitter (international) education networks at the moment. See this article in Education Week:

The Most Popular Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science

By Sarah Schwartz

December 3, 2019

There's a settled body of research on how best to teach early reading. But when it comes to the multitude of curriculum choices that schools have, it's often hard to parse whether well-marketed programs abide by the evidence. ... acked.html

An Education Week analysis of the materials found many instances in which these programs diverge from evidence-based practices for teaching reading or supporting struggling students.

At this point, it's widely accepted that reading programs for young kids need to include phonics—and every one of these five programs teaches about sound-letter correspondences. What varies, though, is the nature of this instruction. In some cases, students master a progression of letter-sound relationships in a set-out sequence. In others, phonics instruction is less systematic, raising the possibility that students might not learn or be assessed on certain skills.
Phonics is "buried" in many commercial reading programs, Seidenberg said. Teachers might be able to use what's there to construct a coherent sequence, he said, or they might not.

And frequently, these programs are teaching students to approach words in ways that could undermine the phonics instruction they are receiving.

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