How Should Reading be Taught?; The Child's Mind; Exclusive Online Issues; by Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky and Mark S. Seidenberg; 5 Page(s)
Most of us are a little fuzzy on how we learned to read, much as we cannot recall anything special about learning to talk. Although these skills are related, the ways we acquire them differ profoundly. Learning to speak is automatic for almost all children brought up in normal circumstances, but learning to read requires elaborate instruction and conscious effort. Remember how hard it once was? Reading this page with the magazine turned upside down should bring back some of the struggles of early childhood, when working through even a simple passage was a slog.
Well aware of the difficulties, educators have given a great deal of thought to how they can best help children learn to read. No single method has triumphed. Indeed, heated arguments about the most appropriate form of reading instruction continue to polarize the teaching community. To help forge a consensus, we recently came together under the aegis of the American Psychological Society to review the voluminous research on the mental processing that underlies skilled reading and on how reading should be taught. The results point strongly in directions that may disturb some parents.