Reading Wars

Timeline created by ashleywaldrop2
  • Reading Wars Begin

    Reading Wars Begin
    "The phonics versus whole language debate has deep historical roots, going back at least to the early 20th century when William S. Gray and others argued for greater balance in elementary reading programs, which, at that time, involved heavy emphasis on intensive phonics instruction" (Baumann, 1998).
  • Dick and Jane Series Emerge

    Dick and Jane Series Emerge
    William S. Gray gave us these basal readers. "Scott-Foresman's Elson-Gray Basic Readers, accompanied by a guide urging teachers using them in their classrooms to adopt the whole word (or look-say) method, one that emphasized the meaning of words, rather than using rote phonics drills. The primers constantly repeated the few words in their texts as a replacement for phonics exercises" (Shermer, 2003).
  • Why Johnny Can't Read: And what you can do about it

    Why Johnny Can't Read: And what you can do about it
    Rudolf Flesch writes this book which describes teaching his grandson to read using a phonics approach. "With few exceptions, all English words are spelled by this code, which consists of fewer than 200 letters and letter groups, each standing for one or more of the 44 sounds in English. Once a child has learned this code, he can read" (Flesch, 1955).
  • The Great Debate

    The Great Debate
    Jeanne Chall publishes Learning to Read: The Great Debate, about the debate of phonics v. whole language approach to teaching reading. "Chall found that an early code emphasis produced better outcomes in word recognition in the early grades and helped children read with better comprehension up to fourth grade than did instuctional practices in which children were taught to read whole words and whole sentences" (Kim, 2008)
  • The First Grade Studies

    The First Grade Studies
    Reading Research Quarterly published this study. "Bond and Dykstra use this finding to support two interesting conclusions: (a) that combination approaches are superior to single approaches, and (b) that reading instruction is amenable to improvement (apparently on the assumption that basals represent the conventional wisdom that stands in need of improvement)" (Pearson, 1997).
  • Learning to Read is Natural

    Learning to Read is Natural
    Ken Goodman and Yeta Goodman publish this article and "Set forth the basic principles of what was to be called the whole language movement: Reading and writing are forms of language and function like other forms of language; children can learn to read as they learn to speak, through exposure to a literate environment; children learn to read and write best when the reading and writing are for authentic purposes, and so on" (Stahl, 1994).
  • Whole Language Movement

    "With the rise of whole language in the 1980s, the debate nomenclature shifted from a phonics versus look-say conflict to a phonics versus whole language debate" (Baumann, 1998).
  • Becoming a Nation of Readers

    Becoming a Nation of Readers
    James Kim explains that this NIE publication, "encouraged researchers to undertake multidisciplinary approaches to instruction, and to extend inquiry beyond decoding and early literacy instruction" (Kim, 2008).
  • Phonics in Proper Perspective

    Phonics in Proper Perspective
    Arthur Heilman writes, Phonics in Proper Perspective, which is used as a toolkit for teaching phonics in an early childhood classroom today.
  • Stahl and Miller Research Study, promotes whole language

    "Stahl and Miller (1989) found that whole language approaches seemed to be more effective when used in kindergarten or when compared to a readiness program at the beginning of first grade than when compared to a formal reading program in first grade" (Stahl, 1994).
  • Susan Neuman

    Susan Neuman
    A prominent figure in shaping Early Childhood literacy instruction, and a proponent of phonics-based reading instruction. She published Language and Literacy Learning in the Early Years: An integrated approach (Harcourt, Bace, 1993). In addition to numerous professional articles and books, she wrote, Children Achieving: Best Practices in Early Literacy (1998, International Reading Association)
  • Dr. Marilyn J. Adams

    Dr. Marilyn J. Adams
    The pendulum is starting to sway back to the phonics approach. Thinking About Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print, a book published by phonics expert Dr. Marilyn J. Adams. Adams writes not strictly about teaching phonics, but that phonics can work well with the whole language approach to teaching reading.
  • Reading First

    Put Reading First, National Institute for Literacy In conjunction with No Child Left Behind, Reading First policies are state-funded and require schools to use research based best practices when teaching reading in grades K-3.
  • What's Whole in Whole Language

    What's Whole in Whole Language
    Ken Goodman publishes, What's Whole in Whole Language, Stating, "Language learning is learning how to mean: making sense of the world in the context of how our parents. families, and cultures make sense of it. Cognitive and linguistic development are totally interdependent: thought depends on language, and language depends on thought" (Goodman, 2006).