Here is a further news article with statements from Dr Gardner showing, already, that the reading debate will not be won by anyone producing any amount of research findings to support 'phonics' anytime soon!http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-13/p ... ll/9863204
Phonics study hopes to end reading wars once and for all
A new scientific study that aims to end the so-called reading wars has found that phonics is an essential foundation in the early stages of learning to read, but it is only part of the approach.
The paper said the battle between phonics and a whole language approach had become too politicised and they hoped their findings would resolve the issue once and for all.
But an end to hostilities could seem optimistic, with some educators still maintaining their opposition to structured phonics screening checks.
Towards the end of the article, Dr Gardner makes reference to 'commercial enterprises promoting decodable books
' and later comments 'if you take a much broader approach to the teaching of early reading, you actually take it out of the economic sphere
I want to take issue with the irrationality of these comments. First of all, everyone hopes to make a living somehow - and what counts with anything 'commercial' is that it is of good value economically and educationally (in this field) and informed by research. The efficacy of the use of decodable books is based on the findings of research and best practice. In measuring the value to education, their commerciality is totally irrelevant. It is also extraordinary that Dr Gardner should suggest that 'taking a broader approach
' takes 'it
' (what) 'out of the economic sphere'. ????? Does the 'broader approach' involve nothing commercial? No children's story books for example - and goodness knows what else that involves someone, somewhere earning a living?
In the world of education and children's life chances (levels of literacy), commerciality is totally irrelevant - what counts is what works best - and, for that, uptake of a large-scale objective screening check - such as the Phonics Screening Check - makes a huge contribution to inform us all.
Thank goodness for Education Minister Simon Birmingham in Australia and Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb, in England! They get it.
But Dr Gardner is concerned by the Federal Government's moves to implement a national Year 1 phonics screening check because, he said, it was a flawed method of assessing student outcomes.
He said the push towards synthetic phonics also tended to be supported by commercial enterprises promoting decodable books.
"There is profit to be made in this particular approach," he said.
"If you take a much broader approach to the teaching of early reading, you actually take it out of the economic sphere."
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham is urging all states to get on board with phonics screening, saying bipartisan support for a recent South Australian trial demonstrates politics can be put aside.
"We hope and trust across Australia schools increasingly embrace an orderly, structured program that puts all of the relevant building blocks in place, including phonics," he said.