|Do you have a citation? I have never heard before that the literacy rate was so high in 1940 for African-Americans?|
|Do you have a citation? I have never heard before that the literacy rate was so high in 1940 for African-Americans?|
Originally Posted by muse
(It's bizarre to me to hear of a classroom where children are told how to play with a certain toy or what an object can or cannot do).
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Just to be devil's advocate here (and because I don't actually know the answer) - what would happen if a child wanted to play killer robot gnomes with the toys at waldorf? What if they wanted to take sticks and play gun battle of the underworld? Would they be allowed to play zombies during recess?
Originally Posted by LindaCl
It just occurs to me that we're mixing up "whole word" and "whole language" as well. They aren't exactly the same. The "whole word" idea is that words are learned in terms of a visual symbol rather than as a series of coded sound patterns. This discusses the differentiation between the look-say or whole word strategy from the whole language approach.
Whole language, as I said, concentrates on the aspect of comprehension of the narrative or story, and doesn't take a stand one way or another about how to approach the words themselves--either phonetic clues or visual patterns in terms of a "word attack" strategy. It tends to the idea that reading skill develops along the same lines as learning to speak. The mind wants to make sense of the narrative, and particular strategies the reader employs more deeply develop and reinforce themselves naturally, from continuous exposure to literature.
|The phonetic method is an analytical approach to reading, moving from mastery of the parts to mastery of the process itself. In contrast, whole language is based on the principle that learning should begin with the whole and proceed to the part. Thus, from the outset, the teacher reads real stories to and with the children. Children learn to identify whole words and to see how they are combined to make sentences. Real, intact books that have literary merit are are appropriate to the age of the children are used. ...Lessons in reading are not a distinct, isolated event, but take place within the context of the reading of a poem or story or other piece of literature. Phonetic instruction can be apart of the whole language approach as a supplementary technique.|
|We publish this article every year.
ON NINJAS, NINTENDO AND ST. NICK
It is important to the well-being of our children for us to understand the difference between fantasy, imagination and creativity. Our confusion of these abilities can be detrimental to their progress:
Fantasy: a retreat from the real world through mental conception of unreal images.
Imagination: a way of mentally visualizing what one has learned of reality.
Creativity: imagined (real) facts are presented in an original way. Thus the exercise of a child’s imagination, expressed in role playing (such as playing house or store or imitating fixing a car) is part of the child’s desire to understand these activities. Once this desire is satisfied (i.e. she really understands how), the role playing will stop. Therefore if you observe your child role playing a situation, you can help him by teaching him as much as possible on that subject.
Everything your child imagines, he perceives first through the senses; so the better able he is to use his senses, the more he can learn and the greater his imagination. Any activity which helps him increase his discernment by sound, sight, taste, smell or touch enlarges his store of understanding and gives him a greater scope for imagination. This, then, provides the basis for him reorganizing these facts and reproducing them creatively. No one can be truly creative without a basis of facts to organize in a creative way. Piano playing may provide us with an example. A child may sit at a piano and pretend to play good music (role playing). He is given lessons. At first he imitates, then, when he knows enough, he can reorganize what he has learned in an original way and create new music.
Fantasy, on the other hand is withdrawal from reality and should not be encouraged. Children between about two and five have an intense curiosity and need to understand the world. They spend a great deal of time trying to sort out fact and fiction, and we should be careful not to confuse them. A child who doesn’t like what she learns of reality will retreat into fantasy. This should be a signal to her guardians that reality needs to become more attractive to her, so she won’t feel the need to escape.
As Maria Montessori said,
And as much as we hate to admit it, and much as we would like to preserve their illusions, teaching our children that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or witches, dragons and fairies are real hinders their ability to discern reality and confuses their respect for us. They may all be presented as “stories” and lessons may be learned from them, but we should respect our little ones enough to tell them the truth. After the age of about six, when the child’s concept of reality is clearer, fantastic tales can be enjoyed without fear of confusion, as long as they are well-balanced with stories that help them to understand the real world. (Don’t worry! We’re not going to tell your children there is no Santa Claus. But we would encourage you to play down the fantasy, and to enjoy Santa as a make-believe figure who could teach us about the spirit of Christmas.)
Most parents recognize the harm to the children in buying war toys or games, although they sometimes find it hard to resist their children’s desires, encouraged by TV and flyer advertising and peer influence. It’s good to see an encouraging reduction in these kinds of toys and an increase in activities that encourage cooperative play. Rest assured your moral courage in saying “No” to toys with weapons and that involve fighting, and the incredible number of violent video, Sega Genesis and Nintendo games now available will be a great benefit to your child. It is difficult to teach children not to use aggression to solve their problems when they spend a lot of time practicing being aggressive. “The hand is the instrument of the mind.” This is probably Montessori’s most fundamental discovery and most oft-repeated quote. It helps us understand that, just as crawling increases thinking ability in a baby, so manipulative games, toys or building materials, such as Lego, dressing dolls, parquetry shapes – a hundred others – all help your child’s developing intelligence. Such activity should never be replaced by computer games, even learning programs, as this abstract activity simply does not contribute to children’s development until the Senior Class level.
Originally Posted by cmlp
I am currently reading this book by Dr. Ronald E. Koetzsch, called The Parents' Guide to Alternatives in Education. It is a very imformative book, discussing the foundations of and current trends in the American public school system as well as 22 education alternatives, everything from Carden to Montessori to Waldorf (I believe I read somewhere that the author is himself a big Waldorf supporter but the book seems pretty objective, on the whole).
Originally Posted by cmlp
When she is able to go into a restaurant, look at a menu, and utter the word "hamburger" that is written in the 10th line, without ever having seen the word before and without having a picture of a hamburger beside the text, then and only then, will she be truly reading.
Originally Posted by newmom22
Do you know what the most universally recognised environmental print is with pre-schoolers world wide? The golden arches. Yes, the McDonald’s M is the first kind of “reading” that children do. They then move on to stop signs, restroom signs, etc., etc. Check it out with your kids. You’d be surprised what they can “read” all around them. I do have a source for that, but it is buried in one of my university texts in the crawl space and I can’t be bothered to go dig it out.
Originally Posted by cmlp
Montessori uses synthetic phonics
Originally Posted by Flor
Anyway, I have been thinking about that statistic about literacy in the 40's and I am frankly not buying it. I am not a history expert in any sense, but my students are currently reading books about the 60's. I am thinking about the 1940's in Jim Crow era South with segregation and unequal distribrution of resources and the Depression and I am having trouble imagining such a high level of literacy. Remember that many Southern states used reading tests as a way to prevent African Americans from voting. If literacy was so high, I am sure they would have chosen a different way to exclude people.
UNLESS. . .
the definition of "literacy" had changed in the time between the two dates. What does the author define as literacy? Decoding? Then sure, most people learn to decode. I had 190 students last year, 100% could decode quite well, and we are a "failing school." Could they understand a newspaper article (they are 6/7/8th graders)? Well, if we use comprehension to rate literacy, then we are down into the 70 or 80 percents. My students this year are all English learners/immigrants. I'd say with the exception of 2 new arrivals, they can all decode in English quite well, thanks to our phonics lessons. Do they have any clue what we are talking about? Are they "literate" in English? I say no.
|At the start of WWII millions of men showed up at registration offices to take low-level academic tests before being inducted. The years of maximum mobilization were 1942 to 1944; the fighting force had mostly been schooled in the 1930s, both those inducted and those turned away. Of the 18 million men tested, 17,280,000 of them wer judged to have the minimum competence in reading required to be a soldier; a 96 percent literacy rate.|
|Not only had the fraction of the competent readers dropped to 73 percent but a substantial chunk of even these were only barely adequate; they could not keep abreast of developments by reading a newspaperht ,ey could not read for pleasure, they could not sustain a thought or an arguement, they could not write well enough to manage their own affairs without assistance.|
|The discusssion here is based on the work of Regna Lee Wood's work as printed in the Chester Finn and Diane Ravitch's Nework News and Views (and reprinted in other places). Together with other statistical indicements, from the National Adult Literacy Survey, the Journal of The American Medcial Association, and a host of other credible sousrces, it provides chilling evidence of the disasterous turn in reading methodology. But in a larger sense the author urges every reader to trust personal judgement over "numerical" evidence whatever the source. During the writer's thirty-year classroom experience, the decline in student ability to comprehend difficult text was marked, while the ability to extract and parrot "information" in the form of "facts" was much less affected. This a product of deliberate pedagogy, to what end is the burden of my essay.|
|After the psychologists told the officers that the graduates weren't faking, Defense Department administrators knew that something terrible had happened in grade school reading instruction. And they knew it had started in the thirties. Why they remained silent, no one knows. The switch back to reading instruction that worked for everyone should have been made then. But it wasn't.|
|When literacy was first abandoned as a primary goal by schools*, white people wer in a better position than black people because they inherited a three-hundred-year-old American tradition of learning to read at home by matching spoken sound with letters, thus home assistance was able to correct the deficiencies of dumbed-down schoool for whites. But black people had been forbidden to learn to read under slavery, and as late as 1930 averaged only three of four years of schooling, so they were helpless when teachers suddenly stopped teaching children to read, since they had no fall-back position.|
|Quite simply, synthetic phonics is the most effective evidence-based method to teach reading and spelling! Programmes based on phonics research may vary slightly but they have fundamentally important features in common.
Why have leading journalists recently been writing about 'Synthetic Phonics' and Clackmannanshire? Synthetic Phonics is not new that is for sure. But what is new, and what makes it 'hot' news, is the fact that very few schools teach reading and spelling as per the research - even when the headteacher and staff might think they do so!
Why is this the case?
The reason for this is because teachers have been mistrained with a diplomatic mixture of reading instruction methods promoted through the government's National Literacy Strategy training and untested programmes. These have been criticised heavily by various parties, including Ofsted, since the outset of the National Literacy Strategy in England in 1998. (See the Reading Reform Foundation downloadable newsletters from no. 45 onwards.) Many headteachers, teachers and advisers do not know what is possible through evidence-based Synthetic Phonics teaching.
|Montessori discovered a child's natural development leads in the following progression:
First - to Spell (otherwise known as encoding)
Second - to Write (handwriting)
Third - to Read (otherwise known as decoding)
E. M. Standing in his book, Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work explains how Maria Montessori and her assistants made two sets of alphabets in cursive - one set cut out of cardboard (i.e. Movable Alphabet) and the other out of sandpaper and mounted on a little wooden board (i.e. Sandpaper Letters). Children, ages 4-5, were not taught the names of the letters, but only the sounds they represent. They were encouraged to trace the forms of the sandpaper letters with their “writing fingers” (the first and second fingers). One day a five year old made a discovery… “To make Sofia you need S, O, F, I and A.”
This was spelling, but this was not reading.
Some time later while drawing a picture of a chimney, a boy burst out full of enthusiasm saying “I can write, I can write,” and knelt down on the pavement and wrote with a piece of chalk the word “hand,” then “roof” and “chimney.” Other children started to gather round and a couple of them trembling with excitement said.” Give me the chalk, I can write too,” and they wrote various words…. It was the first time any of them had written.
This was handwriting, but this was not reading.
Montessori found that handwriting came several months before reading. For six months this group of children practiced writing, which to them became a continuous and unlimited exercise. One day Montessori, without saying anything, wrote on the black board some little sentences such as, “If you love me, give me a kiss.” “If you can read this, come to me.” For several days nothing happened. On the fourth day a little girl came up to Maria Montessori and said, “Here I am.” A short time after another came up and gave her a kiss. They had discovered communication in a new way, without a word being spoken. As she wrote more little commands on the board, the children trembled with eagerness as they read and responded.
This was reading!
As Maria, herself, reflected, “It took time for me to convince myself that all this was not an illusion. One of her teachers even commented. “When I see such things I think it must be the holy angels who are inspiring these children.”
The point in this story is to illustrate that there is a natural progression from spelling to handwriting to reading. Most often in our schools, unfortunately, we will see the reverse taught – first reading, then handwriting, then spelling.
|The BEHAVIORAL TEACHER EDUCATIONAL PROJECT outlines specific teaching reforms to be forced on the country, unwillingly of course, after 1967. It also sets out, in clear language, the outlook and intent of its invisible creators. Nothing less than quoting again "the impersonal manipulation through schooling of a future America in which few will be able to maintain control over their own opinions", an America in which (quoting again) "each individual receives at birth, a multipurpose identification number which enables employers and other controllers to keep track of their [underlings]", (underlings is my interpretation, everything else came out of the document), "and to expose them to the directors subliminal influence of the state education department and the federal department acting through those whenever necessary".
Readers learned in 1967, of course you and I were not among those readers, that chemical experimentation on minors would be normal procedure in the post 1967 world. That is a pointed foreshadowing of the massive Ritalin interventions which would accompany the student body of the future. Teachers were expected to function as government change agents and their trainers, ( this the first time reading this document that I realized that the expression "teacher trainer", like animal trainer, is an odd locution) the teacher trainers, were notified that behavioral science would henceforth replace academic curriculum in schools. The project identified the future as one (again I'm quoting) "in which a small league would control all important matters, one in which participatory democracy would largely disappear". Children would be made to see that their classmates, and indeed the average man or woman were so inadequate, were so irresponsible that they had to be controlled and regulated. The tremendous rise in school violence and general chaos in the late 1960's, a period when teachers and schools across the land were stripped of their ability to discipline children, might be seen as a convenient public justification for sharp constrictions of traditional liberty. Each outburst resonated through the press like a billboard for emergency measures.
According to the BEHAVIORAL TEACHER EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, post modern schooling would focus, (I quote directly from the document), "on pleasure cultivation and interpersonal relationships and other attitudes and skills compatible with a non-work world". It makes sense of course, doesn't it? That irresponsible semi-illiterate people could not be trusted with much responsibility so in the new change agentry schooling, which is called for by this national teacher training document, the teacher is a therapist, translating the prescriptions of the social psychologists into practical action research in the classroom.