Why Are We Still Teaching Reading the Wrong Way?
Our children aren’t being taught to read in ways that line up with what scientists have discovered about how people actually learn. It’s a problem that has been hiding in plain sight for decades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than six in 10 fourth graders aren’t proficient readers. It has been this way since testing began. A third of kids can’t read at a basic level. How do we know that a big part of the problem is how children are being taught? What have scientists figured out? [The Opinion section is now on Instagram. But talk to teachers and many will tell you they learned something different about how children learn to read in their teacher preparation programs. These ideas are rooted in beliefs about reading that were once commonly called “whole language” and that gained a lot of traction in the 1980s. These ideas had been debunked by the early 2000s. Many teachers learn these approaches in their teacher preparation programs.
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