New Zealand: Radio interview - Professors Chapman and McNaughton

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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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New Zealand: Radio interview - Professors Chapman and McNaughton

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:37 pm

Thank you to Olwyn for flagging up this radio interview.


Thought you might like this link to a radio interview between Profs Chapman and McNaughton.

Things in NZ seem to be moving in a positive direction:

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programm ... ch-reading
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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Re: New Zealand: Radio interview - Professors Chapman and McNaughton

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:25 pm

In response to Olwyn's original message to the DDOLL network above, Cathryn contributed this information (posted with her permission):

Thank you Olwyn, I agree that the Chief Education Scientific Advisor, Stuart McNaughton, appeared to be more receptive to Prof Chapman’s comments regarding systematic synthetic phonics as being an integral element in a structured literacy programme for all children.

Unfortunately there still seems to be a long way to go at ministry level. In a newspaper article commenting on the Science Adviser’s recent report, “Advisor under fire as literacy group says reading programme failing children”, the Ministry spokesperson said:

”The Ministry of Education has always supported a range of approaches to teaching young children to read, including phonics (sounding out words), as well as comprehension and context.

“In line with this teachers in New Zealand use a range of teaching methods. What the Ministry does not support and has been consistent about is using phonics as the only approach.

“New Zealand's increasingly diverse population requires teachers to use a wide range of approaches and resources to meet each student's learning needs."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/educat ... 26yQsOc7bY

For DDoLLers outside of NZ, this stance by our Ministry of Education has involved a “phonics patch” being introduced to levelled readers (i.e., predictable text), an oil and water situation. The pretext of respecting diversity and empowering communities to choose approaches and resources, actually means leaving individual schools being left to flounder, at the mercy of convincing marketing campaigns by commercial programmes and products. The busy principals and teachers I have talked to, acknowledge that they don’t have the time nor the expertise to determine which reading approach or programme is evidence based or effective.

Cathryn Bjarnesen
Learning Support Specialist


[My bold and red colouring]

Cathryn describes well in her final paragraph the state of play of reading instruction in our English-speaking countries and contexts where the English language is taught an additional language.

A visit to the IFERI forum illustrates this over and again.

It sounds so plausible - so reasonable - that "...diverse population requires teachers to use a wide range of approaches and resources to meet each student's learning needs." but this is simply not the point of principle.

Sir Jim Rose addressed this notion well when he pointed out that it is the SAME alphabetic code and the SAME phonics skills that all children need to get to grips with reading and spelling.

Of course teachers need to know and understand their pupils as individuals and provide accordingly, but this does not include a 'range of strategies' when these can be the very strategies that have shown to be worryingly flawed (such as multi-cueing word-guessing) and prevalent in literacy programmes to this day.

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