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Re: Re: Phonics Flawed Mary DeFalco

Posted By: Anthony DeFalco on August 24, 2020

John! What are you talking about? “Marie Clay’s project” It is not her “project” it is her reading program anchored in her research.
Marie Clay- the developer of Reading Recovery, had a background in cognitive psychology. Marie Clay, developed a wide spectrum of teaching tools; she included semantics, syntax, graphs, along with phonics. Marie Clay taught in the primary schools and then did post graduate study in Developmental Psychology at our prestigious University of Minnesota on a Fulbright Scholarship. She completed her doctorate at the University of Auckland with a dissertation entitled “Emergent Literacy.” She developed a non threatening evaluation program called An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement which evaluates a student’s needs and progress without the nationwide standardized test; it is furthermore, administered without stress and is standardized. She furthermore, developed set of teaching tools – books called Rigby, Sunshine Books and others such as Irene Fountas’ and Gay Sue Pinnell’s leveled books. What more could you ask of this world renounced researcher, publisher, teacher?

John, you said, "I deliberately did not venture into the results of Marie Clay's project -- it is so easy to expose, it could be seen as cruel to examine it. So, really: do you want to go there?"

You are so funny! She stands on solid ground. You can’t find a flaw in her program.

Her methodology brings together the experience, knowledge, skill and abilities of the students. As Frank Smith states, one must bring meaning to print before one can acquire meaning. To the degree one can relate to the text to that degree one understands and receives new insights. Experiences are very important to the development of the skill of reading.

John. you said, 'All we fight for is to not deprive the child the joy of attaining this one skill, which if imparted correctly and at the correct sensitive moment, is easy, fun, and quickly attained, setting the mind up for a lifetime of rich literacy and independence. Why do you fight so hard to destroy this?"

John, go back to my definition of reading; it includes phonics.

As I observed my little grandson (under the yoke of Common Core) reading his little books placed in his backpack for homework, I observed that his reading was definitely phonetically controlled. Neither semantics nor syntax were being developed. New words that are not phonetically controlled can be unlocked via the first letter, picture support, rhyme, meaning, and syntax but my grandson was taught sight vocabulary out of context - given a list of words to memorize. My grandson made a few self corrections so he was reading for meaning but the stories are too contrived.
My question: Did the teacher relate the stories to his background. I question how the teacher was using the “Picture Walk” activity or if she even did a “ Picture Walk." Is she using that time to make connections with the reader and the text; predicting, and placing new words in the child’s ear? When my grandson does the “Picture Walk” he uses it as a time to use his imagination and develop a whole new story with each picture. He didn’t realize how each sequential illustration is part of one and the same story. He didn’t relate to the story much less predict, evaluate, or apply any of the information. He is totally consumed with decoding the words. He had become a word caller- not a reader.

John, it appears to me that we are both standing our ground and neither you nor I can appreciate each other’s convictions. Who ever you are:
parent, student, teacher, or researcher, I wish you great success. Peace, Mary
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 Phonics Flawed Mary DeFalco by Anthony DeFalco on August 22, 2020
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