War and Peace in Reading – Time for a truce?
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On the face of it, two recent papers by Greg Brooks, seem to be another attempt to stir the porridge In Australia and in England. The first argues forcibly that Australia should resist the temptation to introduce a version of the Phonics Screening Check (PSC). The second is one of a brigade of papers in a recent book edited by Margaret Clark, a long-standing critic of the Reading Review (Rose 2006), who seems to be stuck fast in an unreconstructed, Plowdenesque view of primary education.
Clearly the rising tide of reading success in England is a cause for rejoicing but it is not lifting a worrying minority of boats that are firmly stuck in the mud. We need to keep working at it. Given that we know so much about ‘what works’ to secure high standards of reading in schools - perhaps we should now pay more attention to that other crucial piece of the territory and ask: what works to best effect in teacher training?
Jim Rose 13.12.17