Friday, May 5, 2023

Dr. Sam Bommarito's tweet on common sense and my response (Part 1)


The following is a tweet by Dr. Sam.

What works for one child doesn’t always work for another child.

In the history of reading MANY have claimed to have found the answer – in the end their answers worked for some not all the kids.

“Let’s use common sense to find common ground.” Let’s recognize that what works with one child doesn’t always work with another.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel May 4

Dr. You are asking for something that does not exist in most people - common sense.

If common sense is common, then why have we been debating for decades without reaching a consensus?

I have said this before and say it again that Dr. Sam is one of a handful of educators that I have high a regard for.

Here is my explanation of why I said that common sense does not exist in most people.

‘What works for one child doesn’t work for another child’ is obviously a truism. In a class of 40 students taught by the same teacher, at the end of grade 1, approximately 10 to 20% are unable to read. What works for many of the children does not work for some of them.

I am not a trained teacher and in 2004 I was cajoled into teaching my first student who could not read even a single sentence after one year of kindergarten and a year in grade one. I was curious why a smart kid like him could not read and I subsequently taught more than 80 similar kids to find out why they were could not read.

I don’t think anyone, including Dehaene Stanislas, knows how a child learns to read. You may read my post on why I do not agree with Dehaene on my blog post found here and here. Read the comment section for something I shared about a deaf person who learnt to read.

I don’t know how a child learns to read but I know a few reasons why many smart children are unable to read.

Common sense

In 2010 after 6 years of research, I decided to start a blog to share my findings. By 2010 more than 100 educators/ researchers repeated what one researcher had said – ‘Kids are unable to read due to phonological awareness deficit.’ One of the first things I wrote in my blog was my disagreement with the more than 35-year-old theory that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of kids being unable to read. That theory was debunked around 2015/ 2017.

Would it not be common sense to figure this out when there were many research reports saying that many kids could read in Italian, Finish and many other ‘transparent’ languages but not in English?

In 2010, Sally Shaywitz wrote on a Yale website that it was phonological awareness deficit (PAD) that is the cause of kids being unable to read. I disputed that statement and wrote a lengthy comment which was left un-responded to for many years until the whole article together with my comment was removed when that theory was debunked. You may read my post on Sally Shaywitz here.

There were many other educators/ researchers who removed my comments on PAD not being the cause of kids being unable to read.

Was this due to a lack of common sense? I doubt it.

There is a puppeteer who is pulling the strings of many of our puppets planted in the education field to mislead the parents and educators.

Here are extracts from Children of the code (COTC) of an interview with Siegfried Engelmann:

It cost, I don't know, hundreds of millions.... [the] net result was that the results of [project] "Follow Through" were suppressed.

Yeah. I mean, it was the biggest part. But the suppression was intentional.

To be continued…


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