Across the nation, legislators and policy makers are dictating the course of literacy educationall in the name of "indisputable scientific evidence." Unchallenged, this research has impacted just about every area of reading instruction. Now, just in time, nationally renowned educational psychologist Gerald Coles enters the discussion, offering the first comprehensive, clearly written critique of the so-called evidence.
This important book examines the studies of leading researchers who have testified in various hearings and promoted policy and legislation on behalf of skills-emphasis learning, especially those financed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). No other book has systematically and comprehensively analyzed this work. Coles not only identifies each claim, he analyzes the research that backs it up. Chief among them are that:
At the beginning of each chapter is a summary of the claims and the major criticism of the research discussed in the chapter. These reader-friendly summaries enable you to conceptualize and organize the arguments quickly, and can serve many possible usesincluding "talking points," hand-outs, or overheads for presentations.
- Phonemic awareness is the chief causal influence in learning to read.
- Skills-training programs facilitate learning to read and remediate reading problems.
- Research has demonstrated the superiority of skills emphasis over whole language instruction.
- The effectiveness of a widely acclaimed skills-emphasis reading program has been demonstrated in published research.
- A brain "glitch" associated with phonemic awareness is responsible for the reading problems of many children.
The publication of Misreading Reading marks a shift in the balance of power and an opportunity to enact early reading policy and legislation based on "good science." Preservice and inservice teachers, teacher educators, administrators, parents, anyone confronted with complex and mystifying claims about the value of direct instruction in reading instruction will benefit from this book.