Fresch, Chapter 2: History of Phonics Instruction

  • Dick and Jane teach us how to read

    Dick and Jane teach us how to read
    Relying mainly on whole word reading instruction, teachers only used phonics as a last rosort. The driving force being the belief that children should read naturally and instantly perceive words, as adults do. The result was children not being able to read fluently, even after years of schooling.
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    Phonics the Last Resort

  • Why Johnny Can't Read

    Why Johnny Can't Read
    Flesch publishes "Why Johnny Can't Read," giving phonics instruction credibility. He recognized that students hesitated when they came across words they didn't know, and that sounding the unknkown words out helped. Many took notice, but whole-word reading instruction remained as the sole approach in basic reading programs.
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    Phonics makes a Comeback

  • Wait...is that phonics???

    Wait...is that phonics???
    In the early 1960's numerous basil reading series included a manual outlining how to read each story. This manual included a program for analytical phonics instruction. Analytic phonics relies on readers knowing a large number of sight words and drawing phonic relationships within words containing the same letter combinations.
  • Dan can fan the fat man

    Linguistics-phonics uses the idea that the English language had recurring written patterns that were systematic to develop their program. Fries develops the Merrill Linguistic Readers.
  • Behaviorism

    Behaviorism
    The refinement of behaviorism (Skinner) supported synthetic phonics instruction. This emphasizes the sounding out of words letter by letter and teahchgin discrete parts of reading. The idea was that students would be able to read more complex earlier, because they knew how to sound out unfamilar words.
  • American Society is CHANGING!!

    American Society is CHANGING!!
    The 1960's was a time for social change. Strides toward gendera and racial equality were made, and education was viewed differently.
  • Synthetic Phonics Programs

    This type of phonics instruction introduces letter-sound relationships systematically. Students learn blends in order to decode unknown words. Such a focus was placed on hierarchal skill development that little actual reading occurred.
  • The phonics takeover!!

    The phonics takeover!!
    Chall publishes "Learning to Read: the Great Debate." Analyzing several studies, she maintained that a code-emphasis approach to early reading was more effective than whole-word. From this year on, teachers taught readng using more and varied phonics instruction.
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    Phonics: Anyhing Goes

    Due to the research and debate in the 1960's including the First Grade Studies and "Learning to Read: The Great Debate" all different approaches to teaching reading were acceptable, as long as it included some type of phonics instruction. The 1970's reflected this openness in reading instruction.
  • The death of Dick and Jane

    Project Literacy (Gibson) focused on word perception and perceptual development, but unlike whole-word, they focused on on distinctive features of word units.
  • Behaviorism Dominates

    Behaviorism Dominates
    Gagne (1970) purported that task analysis was important for learnign complex tasks such as reading. Behaviorism broke reading into its component skills, each of which had a determined sequence of sub-skills. Subsequently, phonics instruction was broken down, into minute subskills--for example, certain consonants were taught first.
  • Rise of the Workbook

    Rise of the Workbook
    During the 1970's drilling phonics took a major place in the reading classroom, almost to the point where teachers lost much of thier decision-making power. Fill-in-the-blanks workbooks like Sullivan Programmed Readers, basically functioned as the teacher. Skills and sub-skills were to be taught in a specific order no matter what the actual classroom experience.
  • Lets get REAL

    Leading into the 1980's, the work done to this point combined with the emerging cognitive revolution led to an increased focus on constructing meaning using readers' prior knowledge adn text knowledge simultaneously. Reading research shifted away from word learning and focused on meaning. Federal funding soon followed.
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    Phonics Drill Dies a Slow Death

    A rise in the influence of whole language led to a decline in phonics-first programs.
  • Becoming a Nation of Readers

    Becoming a Nation of Readers
    Emphasis on decoding-by-analogy strategy which focuses heavily on students' ability to segment words into sounds and match those sounds to letters or letter patterns. The debate over "when" did children read began to come to a head.
  • Phonics again takes a backseat

    Phonics again takes a backseat
    As the swing toward whole language took hold, phonics again took a back seat in the classroom. According to Goodman and Goodman, phonics could be taught within the whole language teaching approach. Cueing systems could be used during instruction to develop important phonics skill sets.
  • Reading Recovery

    Reading Recovery
    Reading Recovery (ClaY)uses writing for sounds to illustrate phonemic segmentation and phonemic synthesis. For an unknown word, teachers would write boxes for each sound in the word. As the teacher verbalizes the sounds, students write them in the box.
  • Beginning to Read

    In her book "Beginning to Read", Adams wrote about the importance of phonemic awareness and phonic instruction in all reading programs. The knowledge of how words were learned continued to expand.
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    Phonics: Multiple Pathways

    Readers learn phonics by using many sources of information.
  • No Child Left Behind

    No Child Left Behind
    Again we see the influence of politics on reading instruction. Based on NCLB, money followed programs that were deemed "scientifically based" for reading instruction. In many ways instruction reverted back to that which was seen in the 1970's.