Sunday, January 7, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 2


The podcast host asked Emily:

Do you read criticisms and have a strategy for that?

Here is Emily’s response:

I don’t have a strategy to articulate. I have developed a thick skin over the years. I have never muted anyone or blocked anyone on Twitter. People can criticise you and you don’t have to respond.

I believe she has not muted anyone or blocked anyone as she has not blocked me despite many comments I have made about her. Neither have I blocked or muted anyone unlike many who have muted and blocked me.

Not responding to criticisms is acceptable but definitely not when genuine questions that need an answer is ignored especially when she says, “The point of journalism is to investigate and uncover important stories. Journalists ask questions and explain things and we investigate and we look at the data.”

Not being an educationist, I know Emily does not have answers to my questions but shouldn’t she ‘investigate and look at the data’. Shouldn’t she ask others who may have an informed opinion?

Unfortunately, most if not all the so-called educators on Twitter cannot think for themselves when there are no research reports on the subject discussed.

The above reminds me of a reply by Timothy Shanahan to my comment saying I disagreed with his statement that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of dyslexia.

Timothy Shanahan:

“I don't reply to everything. You sometimes make comments on LinkedIn and in your posts to me that are very strong on opinion but that don't match with substantial research. I don't always feel the need to argue back when someone says that they "know" the reasons why something happens if their claim is way off of what hundreds of studies and millions of data show. I don't put forth my opinions and wonderings in that way and don't always respond when others do. Sorry.”

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 said about phonological awareness deficit being the cause of dyslexia.

Timothy Shanahan:

 “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.

…. NICHD research suggests that when elementary kids have reading problems, they tend to be problems with phonological awareness and decoding about 86% of the time.”

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.”


 Rachel Ferro

“We are filmmakers and not educators, but what we’ve learned over the course of making this film is that in this country, a traditional education does not encourage thinking, instead it encourages conforming to a system………….”

To be continued…

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