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Understanding Whole Language

By Diane Stephens, Janet Vance, Constance Weaver

As the term "whole language" becomes more widely used, it seems to become less clearly understood. Among whole language educators, there is a concern that this philosophy is in danger of being increasingly misunderstood and misapplied. Moreover, there is concern that this reform movement will be curtailed because practices that are contrary to a holistic philosophy are being promoted in the name of whole language. The aim of this book is to demonstrate that whole language is good education that can help to develop literate citizens and lifelong learners.

Understanding Whole Language...

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As the term "whole language" becomes more widely used, it seems to become less clearly understood. Among whole language educators, there is a concern that this philosophy is in danger of being increasingly misunderstood and misapplied. Moreover, there is concern that this reform movement will be curtailed because practices that are contrary to a holistic philosophy are being promoted in the name of whole language. The aim of this book is to demonstrate that whole language is good education that can help to develop literate citizens and lifelong learners.

Understanding Whole Language is directed toward teachers and teacher educators, and also school administrators. Because classroom teachers have been so active in developing and promoting whole language, many administrators feel left out; they have heard much about holistic, child-centered teaching and the impact it has had upon teachers and children but they may not understand the principles that underlie whole language practices. Professor Weaver stresses that the whole language philosophy can be applied to create educational reform at the school system level, but that this process requires a sustained, long-term effort by all parties involved.

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