Monday, October 16, 2023

Pre-boxed intervention programmes – Jackie Connell


Below is a Tweet asking an excellent question and a reply that is equally good. It is like many other such tweets where the twitter says he/she is serious but never replies once I have tweeted in response.

Jackie Connell @jackielconnell Aug 30

Why is our education system so deeply committed to pre-boxed intervention programs? Models almost exclusively designed by people who do not represent the learners or communities they are intended to support. Legitimate question. Not rhetorical. Please answer.

Angelina Gerard @awolgerard Aug 30

You have to consider, that most educators are people who enjoyed & did well in school, so most see education through the lens they experienced, making it challenging to consider approaches they never needed or experienced, taking the creativity out of the problem solving process.

This is exactly what I have been harping on for many years.


Again and again I have asked the question, why kids need intervention, which is not replied by anyone.

What happens to kids who do not get intervention?

If we genuinely want to reduce intervention and illiteracy the answer to the question above will solve the problems.

I have researched this and given the answers in my book, Shut Down Kids, but the answers are considered simplistic. Yet, not a single educator has come up with alternative answers.

Yes, as Jackie says, the pre-boxed intervention programmes are almost exclusively designed by people who do not represent the learners or communities they are intended to support. That is why it takes years for many of these programmes to succeed.

Angelina’s tweet above is partly correct. Educators only think from the lens they have experienced.

They should, however, not only look at the kids who are able to read but should focus their attention on the kids who are unable to decode.

I studied the ‘dyslexic’ kids whom I taught on a one-on-one basis and learned from them why they were unable to read when they came to me.

Most educators have invested a lot of time and money developing products they want to promote and hence refuse to accept alternative suggestions.

Tim Rasinski, for instance, talks about comprehension any chance he gets only because he wants to promote his products.

When I Tweeted about the causes of kid being unable to decode and tagged Tim, he said he agreed with my discovery but added that I had forgotten about vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. This is exactly why we will never be able to eradicate illiteracy. These educators are on Twitter only to sell their wares and nothing more.

First get kids to decode. It is the inability to decode that is the problem with kids in grades 4 upward who can’t comprehend. They can’t comprehend because they are unable to decode.

I am talking about getting a child to walk and Tim says no that is not enough they must be able to jump over hurdles.  

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