Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Discourse with Tim Conway Ph.D

I think I should write a post on the response (by way of messenger) I received from a Tim Conway Ph.D (TC) in a post by Prof Amanda Kirby on 9.10.2017.

Just like our friend Timothy Shanahan, Tim Conway says:

 “I’m sure your ideas are interesting, but they are personal opinions and not empirical science.”

I have already written an article on what Daniel Kahneman says about research reports:
“Our subjective judgments were biased: we were far too willing to believe research findings based on inadequate evidence and prone to collect too few observations in our own research…………… As expected, we found that our expert colleagues, like us, greatly exaggerated the likelihood that the original result of an experiment would be successfully replicated even with a small sample.”

When I wrote to professors in 2010 saying the reasons why phonological awareness deficit cannot be the reason for dyslexics being unable to read and cornered one of the professors who had given a talk on this she replied that she is not an expert on this subject and asked me to write to Sharon Vaugn Ph.D. on whose report she had relied on.

Then Tim Conway continues: 

“Children with dyslexia deserve the best care that science has proven to be highly effective.”

I don’t know what Science has proven but I know what it is that causes kids to disengage from learning to read and I will challenge anyone here or anywhere else on this matter. Get rid of the three problems that cause kids to shut-down and I bet illiteracy will reduce drastically.

Tim Conway further added: 

“What was not stated in my TEDx talk is that our 5-year, >$1Million US study on early intervention of reading disabilities showed that if the “NOW! Foundations for Speech, Language, Reading and Spelling” program were implemented in classrooms across the USA, then 97.6% of students would read on grade level by grade 2.”

Is that not what I have been saying in my blog and on articles on the internet since 2010? My Mantra has been “A majority of kids are wrongly classified as dyslexics”.

What this can be likened to is; the education system is feeding kids’ poison (wrong teaching of sounds represented by letters) and then giving them an antidote (intervention/ remediation, medication, coloured glasses etc). 

Tim Conway also said:

“The only shut down that I allocate time to is that of the educators and other professionals who are not embracing empirical science and hence are withholding highly effective methods from children - and thus are contributing to the problem of dyslexia’s prevalence and not its solution.”

There need not be any ‘highly effective methods’. All that educators need to do is stop teaching kids in a way that disengages them from learning to read. 

In there anyone here who disputes the fact that kids shut down because of being i)taught wrong sounds represented by letters and ii)not telling kids on the onset that letters in English represent more than one sound? 

Here is another statement TC made: 

"Don’t the children you serve deserve the best science can offer them rather than what you think might be happening? One hallmark of science is that what you think you “know” is commonly inaccurate when it is actually tested by the empirical, scientific method."

I know what the causes of kids disengaging from learning to read are. This is the answer to the age-old question asked by educators and researchers. No one has yet disputed it. Let us have an open debate on this.

Just like Timothy Shanahan, my new found friend Tim Conway also says I should be careful of the word I “know”.

I believe there is a God (No one can say they 'know' there is God, they can only say they believe there is a God) but I know I have two hands. And as sure as I know I have two hands I know why kids disengage from learning to read. I have written this in detail in LinkedIn and in my blog.

Timothy had said that I cannot use what I have learned from my 50 students to judge the rest of the kids in the world. It is these kinds of stupid remarks which make me wonder where these guys get their professorship from. Is this not the same as saying ‘Luqman if you find that blind people in Malaysia cannot see it does not mean blind people in the rest of the world cannot see’?

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