Thursday, February 1, 2024

Red flags in education research - Anna Stokke with Ben Solomon (Part 2)


Part one of this post can be found HERE.

[00:19:48] Anna Stokke: The point you made about this paper being used to influence policy for millions of kids, is quite alarming. Okay, so I'm going to say, you know, in Canada when that curriculum I was talking about was adopted and I'm not kidding you that for a while, teachers were told that children could not use standard algorithms in class. They were not to teach them and kids were not to use them, even if they've been taught at home.

My comment:

Isn’t this the same as one so-called expert saying that phonological awareness deficit was the cause of dyslexia and more than 100 researchers/ educators jumping on the bandwagon and repeating that statement for more than 35 years?

Isn’t this the same as educators like Dr. Sam Bommarito, Emina McLean and many other so-called educators saying that kids should not be taught to memorise the high- frequency Words? LINK

Are these people naïve or are they blindly following orders from the puppeteer/s?

Ben Solomon

Literacy is important too, but students get a lot of exposure to literacy often outside the classroom, especially for privileged students.

One little jingle we tend to say in the literacy world is 50 percent of students can learn, regardless of curriculum. The other 50 percent need high-quality teaching.

My comment:

Out of the 50% who can learn regardless of curriculum a majority learn by figuring out how to decode. If they had been taught correctly from the onset they would not need to figure out how to decode. Here are video clips of two college girls in Perth in 2019 who had figured out how to read despite being taught the sounds represented by letters wrongly. LINK

What is the meaning of ‘HIGH-QUALITY TEACHING’? Most of the kids who leave school as illiterates are kids who were unable to decode by the end of grade 1. Some manage to figure it out while those predisposed to disengaging from learning to read shut down from learning and are wrongly classified as dyslexic.

[00:23:29] Anna Stokke: 

And what happens when we are not doing a good job of, teaching students mathematics is the parents who can afford to do it will self-insure, so they will find ways to make sure that their children get the math instruction they need, so they'll either give it to the children themselves if they're able to, or they'll sign them up for tutoring and various outside programs, and so this creates deep inequities in education.

My comment:

Yes! All my students who came to me for one-on-one tuition are kids from rich families. It was because of that that I uploaded my lessons on my blog free of charge so that all kids could have access to my lessons.

Children of rich kids are sent for tuition to learn to decode. Then our ‘expert’ researchers go about claiming that poverty is the reason why kids are unable to read.

Talking about research, has any researcher done research on the number of kids who can't read by end of grade one, categorized into rich and poor kids, and then did a similar research on the students after 2 years? This should be done before saying that poverty is the cause of kids inability to read.

[00:24:18] Ben Solomon:

I think standard algorithms are very important. One thing we discussed amongst my peers is that the standard algorithm didn't just pop out of nowhere. The standard algorithm was very hard-earned knowledge that took centuries to develop. So maybe, reflecting that cumulative experience, we should be using them because the reason they're called standard is because they've been deemed the most efficient means to solve a problem, regardless of what operation you're discussing.

And again, that knowledge evolved over centuries. And so to dismiss that outright maybe isn't the wisest thing to do. My sort of belief is that we always should be teaching students the most efficient way to solve a problem first. That helps them develop the confidence that they can calculate that answer, and then make sure they can also do it fluently, almost effortlessly.

My comment: Edward Dolch came up with the list of 220 high-frequency words in the 1930s. It had been used successfully for decades and we have educators saying those words should not be memorised. Where did they get this notion from?

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