Sunday, July 23, 2023

'Explore ideas from all sides' - Dr. Sam Bommarito


Below is an extract from Dr. Sam Bommarito’s blog followed by my comments.

I think a more useful use of our time would be to explore ideas from all sides and to find practical research-based ideas that all teachers can use regardless of whose “side” it comes from.

Yes, if we take ideas from all sides and use them we can achieve George Bush's ‘No child left behind’ policy of 2001. 

But, what I disagree with is Dr.Sam’s suggestion to find practical research-based ideas. 

What if there are no research-based ideas? For more than 5 years, between 2010 and 2015, I continued disputing the theory that phonological awareness deficit cannot be the cause of kids being unable to read. It was not accepted because there was no research report. Why do we need research reports for such a common-sense matter? That theory cannot be true because my students could read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin but not in English. So, it has to be something other than a phonological awareness deficit that makes them unable to read in English.

The three main reasons why kids are unable to read have also not been accepted because there are no research reports. But, it should be common-sense to teach kids the proper sounds represented by letters. This is debated by educators saying that this cannot be the reason why kids are unable to read based on the fact that there are many kids who do figure out to read despite kids being taught sounds represented by letters with extraneous sounds.

I have continuously said that children figure out how to read because the mind is powerful enough to figure it out. Unfortunately, there are many kids who are wired differently and disengage from learning to read when they are confused. Why has no educator/ researcher researched this? Has it been researched and the results withheld by powers that be similar to the suppression of results of Project Follow Through?  

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

Siegfried Engelmann:

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

I mean, it was the biggest part. But the suppression was intentional. It was contrived. It didn't just happen.

If the learner hasn't learned, the teacher hasn't taught, and it's not a question of the learner's ability, it's a question of the teacher's ability. These kids are capable of learning, certainly at different rates, but learning anything we want to teach them.

The following was David Boulton’s reply:

Yes, the way I've always looked at it is that “any child could learn anything if we could meet them on the edge of what it is they need to stay engaged in the learning”.

It is now more than 15 years since the above interview was held and the status quo has been maintained.

The following is David Boulton’s reply to my question to him about the results of the Children of the Code research over many years and having spent millions of taxpayer’s monies.

Children of the Code avoided advocating solutions so as not to be dismissed as having an agenda other than learning deeper into the challenge. 3 decades of work have culminated in a solution, an entirely different approach to supporting learning to read:

To be continued…

No comments: