Sunday, May 7, 2023

Dr. Sam Bommarito’s common sense and my response (Part 3)

Test and retest reliability of research reports. 

When educators cannot respond to my questions they ask me for ‘data’ and ‘peer reviewed’ reports.

Dr. Katherine Garforth Twitted the following:

“I have a long list of papers & books to read that are peer-reviewed and published. I would be happy to read your posts if you pay me for my time.’ (Dr. Katherine Garforth).

What Greg Ashman wrote in his post is relevant:

‘…peer review is a relatively new idea. Pretty much all of the science we teach in school was developed in the absence of peer review and so to insist that it is a fundamental component of the scientific method is stretching things somewhat.’

Educators accept peer reviewed articles but will not consider anecdotal evidence. What happened to good old common sense?

Daniel Kahneman, in his book ‘Thinking fast and slow’ stated the following:

“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.”

I am in no way suggesting that we should ignore research reports but we should have an open mind about everything we read.

Why are we not using common sense to think if research reports make sense?

Of course, people should not be faulted for making erroneous claims decades ago, Seidenberg insists. “People should be faulted, however, for having made definitive claims based on weak evidence, for sticking with them long after they’ve been contradicted beyond reasonable doubt, and for continuing to market their stories to a trusting but scientifically naïve audience.”

Yes, one ‘expert’ had said that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of kids being unable to read and more than a hundred educators/ researchers quoted him. What happened to common sense?

Many so-called educators have asked me for data and evidence but when they are asked the same question they either block me or give some idiotic reply.

Here are a few relevant tweets:

@jeffrey_bowers May 25

Again, when proponents of the science of reading are asked to cite specific studies that support specific claims, no answers.

A question directed to Dr. Brittney Bills @Brittne79358065

To clarify, there are schools with 99 % of year 3 children reading and comprehending at or above grade level? Which schools are these?

Brittney’s reply:

I have already shared enough. I am not at liberty to share that data publicly. If I were, I would and I won’t continue to argue with you about that. I don’t need to prove anything to you. I know what we are doing and I know it’s working. We have data to demonstrate that.

Read more at:


Anonymous said...

Yes, exactly. This is a point that's driving me nuts.

While the academic practice of "peer review," can have value, and is very important in academic circles, it is not an intrinsic part of the scientific process.

It is an academic practice, used across many fields, not just science. But it is not an intrinsic part of the scientific method.

So while many scientific papers are peer-reviewed, because they are academic, they are not scientific because they are peer-reviewed.

Two different things!

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for your comment.

Yes, precisely as you put it, 'they are not scientific because they are peer reviewed'.

My question is, what happened to good old common sense. It took me more than 5 years to debunk the theory that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of kids being unable to read.

For over 10 years, I have been shouting at the top of my voice that consonants should not be taught with extraneous sounds. This is the leading cause of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read.