Harry

Especially For Young Women

 
   

 

child reading book cartoon sitting at desk

The Look-Say Method

For Teaching Reading

While flicking around with the TV remote this evening, I stumbled upon Stephen Fry (a famous British celebrity) presenting a programme which had something to do with ancient history.

He was talking about the development of writing, and pointing out that the creation and development of an alphabetic script 'democratised' both reading and writing.

Prior to the development of an alphabetic script - whereby some 30 symbols represent the sounds that words have when they are verbalised - the best available system for written language was one wherein there was a different symbol for each word or idea.

And so, for example, people would need to learn to read and write thousands of different symbols in order to deal effectively with written language.

As a result, only a highly-educated elite would manage to become proficient with reading and writing.

Often priests of some sort.

But with the development of an alphabetic script, just about everyone could learn to read and write.

After all, with such a script, they only needed to learn the sounds associated with 30 symbols and, of course, the symbols themselves.

More or less.

And I have many times throughout my life seen historians point out that the development of an alphabetic script was a major milestone in the progress towards civilisation and success.

Because it enabled so many people to read and write!

Furthermore, from an experimental psychologist's point of view, there has never been any significant evidence to suggest that not learning the relationships between letters and their sounds was a good idea when it comes to teaching children to read and write.

As I point out in my piece entitled Lerning to Reed, children benefit enormously by learning the relationships between letters and sounds.

So, how can it be that, for nearly all of the past four decades or so, our state-run left-wing dominated educational establishments in the UK and USA have chosen to teach most of our children to read and write using the Look-Say method that specifically disregards the relationships between letters and their sounds?

How on earth did this happen?

After all, we have thousands of educational professors and psychologists, and hundred of thousands of professional teachers in the UK alone.

And the reading standards of our children over these years has declined.

Unsurprisingly.

So, how did it happen?

WHY did it happen?

How could these people have possibly thrown away the 'key' to successful reading and writing?

(Or, at the very least, diminished it; in terms of its deemed importance to the learning process.)

While, at the same time, watching the standards decline!

How is it possible that this happened?

Well, as my regular readers will know, the answer to this question seems very obvious to me, because so much evidence points to it.

The idea was to advantage the girls by scuppering the boys; e.g. see Stop Helping The Boys.

And this has been achieved.

But let's forget about my opinion.

Because maybe I'm wrong.

But you should have a good think about how and why a teaching method that was known to work beautifully well for most children when it comes to learning to read and write was ditched by state-run left-wing educational establishments - which then sat by and watched the literacy standards of the children decline; over decades.

A couple of years ago, the UK government began trying to persuade schools in the UK to teach written language skills by using phonics; wherein letters and their related sounds form the bedrock of teaching youngsters to read and write. My understanding is that UK schools are now increasingly using phonics.

But how could it possibly be that these hugely powerful educational bodies - consisting of hundreds of thousands of professionals - persisted in foisting on to our children a learning system that was demonstrably so very inferior to the one that was used before?

Also see, ...

Education - Stop Helping The Boys

 



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