Diane McGuinness · Stephen Linstead · The Guardian

Why the Chair of the English Spelling Society doesn’t understand the English orthographic code

As Charles Perfetti wrote in his article ‘The Universal Grammar of Reading’ (Scientific Studies of Reading, 7:1, 3-34) in 2009, ‘examples of the variability of English spelling-pronunciation mappings are stock-in-trade for some opponents of phonics teaching, as well as the traditional call to arms for spelling reformers. The parallel is quite superficial, however, because although… Continue reading Why the Chair of the English Spelling Society doesn’t understand the English orthographic code

Andrew Davis · The Guardian

Andrew Davis’s philosophical phonics fantasy

Yesterday, the Guardian, to its shame, in my opinion, chose once again to give space to Andrew Davis for yet another opportunity to launch a diatribe against the teaching of synthetic phonics. Why do I say ‘to its shame’? Because, at bottom, Davis, an academic philosopher, doesn’t know what he’s talking about and anyone with the… Continue reading Andrew Davis’s philosophical phonics fantasy

Frank Furedi · Over-protectiveness of children · Sunday Times · The Guardian

School stops child cyclists

This one’s not about literacy but it’s certainly worth a comment. Yesterday’s Guardian newspaper has picked up on a report entitled ‘We’re trying to restore our kids’ freedom’ from the Sunday Times (04/07/2010) about a school in Dulwich, south London, which is threatening to report a couple to children’s services because they allow their two… Continue reading School stops child cyclists

Michael Rosen · SATs · The Guardian

The end of SATs?

Polly Curtis reported in Friday’s Guardian that 10,000 people have signed a petition to scrap SATs.Independent and objective testing is an appropriate way of seeking to find out if pupils are successfully remembering and understanding what society wants them to be taught. Unfortunately there is little evidence that the Government’s SATs papers actually do this… Continue reading The end of SATs?