Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Different perspectives – Part 5 – Research


Evidence-based practices have been gaining ground since the formal introduction of evidence-based medicine in 1992 and have spread to the allied health professions, education, and other fields.

Many educators continue asking for research reports for everything. Daniel Kahneman in his book –Thinking fast and slow - said, ‘We are far too willing to believe research findings based on inadequate evidence and prone to collect too few observations in our own research.' LINK.

Once a researcher says something everyone jumps on the bandwagon and repeats what he says without the slightest bit of thought. This is exactly what happened about 45 years ago when one researcher said that it was Phonological Awareness Deficit (PAD) that was the cause of dyslexia. More than a hundred so-called educators repeated what he had said.

I disagreed with the above theory and explained why it cannot be PAD which is the cause of dyslexia. Timothy Shanahan said that there were no research reports to support what I said.

Common sense will tell that if a kid can read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin but not in English then the cause of that kid being unable to read in English cannot be because of phonological awareness deficit. 

Does everything we write need research reports and evidence? Why can't we think about it logically and figure out if it makes sense?

Let us examine the following tweets and then see if there are research reports for what the Tweeter asked?


The following is what a mother wrote on Twitter:

Alanna Maurin: (23.12.2020)

He (Alanna’s son) had stomach aches going to school.

He cried when I got the tricky words out to practice.

I have spent two weeks just getting him happy to read some words from picture books (like hop on pop) with me and to do some writing from a Kumon writing book.

Alanna Maurin: (26.12.2020)

After just two lessons he is now asking me to help him read words from packages, from his games and he now sounds t p b l f d correctly every time. (The 2 lessons are the lessons from my blog)

Alanna Maurin Dec 28, 2020 Replying to @PamelaSnow2@DTWillingham and @EdinspireGeoff

My son had a year of structured synthetic phonics via a scripted program and he struggles to blend. He said puh instead of p, buh instead of b tuh instead of t. A week of correcting this and he is beginning to read fluently. Are there any studies on this?

Why has there been no response to the question ‘if there are any studies on this’? Where are the research reports to answer Alanna’s question? How is it that Pamela Snow2 had no answer? She is one of those 'know it all' who blocked me. She said that she is not one of my on-call response service. LINK.

Why did Alanna’s son suddenly become interested in reading and asked her to help him read words from packages and his games? What had changed?

The following is what a Facebook friend wrote on Facebook recently:

'They' hate the audacity of the common man to want to think for himself and not to stupidly accept what is dished out for him. (Kandiah Namasivayam)

It’s called “tribal mentality”.

It is a method that the tribe uses to control the behavior of others in the tribe who do not follow tribal norms.

Educators keep saying that it is not the teaching of sounds represented by letters wrongly that is a problem with kids disengaging from learning to read. Read my post here for details.

Then tell me, where is the research report to explain why many smart kids are unable to read?

“In a large study conducted by scientists from the State University of New York at Albany, researchers were able to reduce the number of children who require ongoing remediation from the National average of 30% down to about 2%!

Another study by researchers at Florida State University showed how the most severely reading disabled students could reach grade level - and stay there- using a surprisingly brief intervention program.”

Where is the research report to explain why almost all kids are able to read after a short period of intervention?


“……even if we settle on a middle number, let us say 10%; that still leaves a lot of children who are not dyslexic, whose brains are not wired any different way, who have reading difficulty.

We are not supporting the learning of our teachers in order for them to do what we are talking about

We still don’t have the capacity nor the will to change what it is that we are doing with reading early on and so consequently unless we make those significant changes we are not only going to lose the dyslexics but I am also concerned about these other children; these other struggling readers.”(Nancy Hennessy).

Where is the research report to support Nancy Hennessy who asked why children whose brains are not wired any different way,  have reading difficulty?

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