Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Paradigm Inertia – Part 2

We were told in the previous post that the biggest block to a paradigm shift is personal, emotional, and thoroughly unscientific reasons.

Let us examine some of the blocks and non-replies I have personally encountered.

i.                    Automatic reply: Dr.Charles Perfetti - Children of the Code Perfetti, Charles A Sat, 8 Aug 2015 at 14:08


I am out of the country. I will not be able to reply to all emails in a timely manner until Dec 21.


ii.                  Diane Lyon <> Wed, 5 Aug 2015 at 21:05

My name is Diane Lyon, I'm Dr. Lyon's wife. is the mail we use.  Please don't hesitate to send your questions and if Dr. Lyon would be happy to answer your questions or send you to others who may have more current information.

Diane Lyon

iii.               Diane Lyon

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 at 21:28


We received your emails.  We are on travel and cannot commit the time needed at this time to a thorough response.  As you can imagine we receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails and feel it only fair to respond thoughtfully when time allows.


The second email from Diane Lyon was just 5 days after my earlier email. At least she responded unlike many including Sharon Vaughn who did not respond when I asked about Michele Pentiliuk’s talk on Dyslexia that was presented in a Dyslexia blog


iv.                Dr.Sharon Vaughn - No reply after her first introductory email in 2017.


v.                  More than 30 Dyslexia Associations around the world from 2010 to 2015 did not respond to my emails. This includes one to Dyslexia Scotland in 2010 and again in 2023. 


vi.              Michele Pentiliuk wrote a post on Dyslexia in a blog That blog has been deleted. Michele said that she repeated what Sharon Vaughn had told her and asked me to contact Sharon Vaughn who did not respond.


Dr. Sharon Vaughn is the Manuel J. Justiz Endowed Chair in Education and executive director of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin. Sharon Vaughn was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning Disabilities and the Co-Editor of Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. She is the recipient of the AERA SIG distinguished researcher award and The University of Texas Distinguished faculty award. She is the author of numerous books and research articles that address the reading and social outcomes of students with learning difficulties.


At that time my emails were mostly my disagreement with the theory that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of kids being unable to read.

I argued that if my students could read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin but not in English then the reason for their inability to read in English cannot be phonological awareness deficit. I would have thought that this would have been logical and could be discussed but no one wanted to discuss this matter. The question is why not. Is someone pulling the strings of these educators/scientists?

Now, let us look at Timothy Shanahan's blog in 2015 – that is 5 years after my emails to all the experts who had echoed what one guy had told the world more than 35 years prior to 2010.

“The term dyslexia has been, justifiably, controversial, and has consequently been avoided by most reading educators—including me.

There are scads of studies revealing that dyslexia is phonological in nature. That is, students with this disorder have a particularly difficult time perceiving phonemes and coordinating this perception with the letters on the page.

Also, please remember this was in 2015 when what I wrote was in 2010.

What does Timothy Shanahan say in September 2017 in his blog above? (Revision of his 2015 blog post)

    “This explanation of dyslexia seems especially pertinent ….. and the only thing I would change in it now is the estimate of the phonological/phonemic awareness role in reading problems. There are some more recent data in relatively large studies suggesting a somewhat lower incidence of these problems at least with some populations; that wouldn't change the overall thrust of this much, but it would be, perhaps, more accurate.”

Do we need research reports for everything? Don’t we have the ability to think?

To be continued...


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