Monday, August 04, 2003

im a reelly good speler.

Thanks to Toni for the heads up on the Times article about the reading program in NYC . City schools are going to have a new approach to reading called "Balanced Literacy," which is a combination of phonics and whole language methods of teaching. Phonics helps the student decode words and sound them out. Whole language involves seeing the word in a context. Lots of phony research on this debate has been conducted, which has lined the pockets of self-righteous professors.

The whole debate is really about politics. Conservatives like phonics because there is a formula for teaching students how to read. Teachers drill students in a traditional manner. Less is expected of the teachers because they can rely on textbooks. The whole language method is much more touchy feely and progressive. Your views on this boil down to politics. With the progressive method, more is expected of the teachers, and therefore, liberals believe that teachers should get paid more. Also it should be more fun for teachers to be "facilitators of knowledge" (gag) rather than "drill sargents." Education professors will have be employed to teach this complex method. Conservatives, like President Bush, like phonics for exactly the opposite reasoning. Less money. Textbooks can cut out the teacher schools. Later, maybe even a computer program can substitute for a teacher.

Both sides make me gag.

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