Is there really a ‘science of reading’ that tells us exactly how to teach kids to read?

By Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post

One of the longest-running education debates — commonly referred to as a war — has been over how to teach reading. It started in the 1800s, when Horace Mann, often called “the father of public education” in the United States, argued against teaching the explicit sounds of each letter. He worried that students would concentrate on sounding out words rather than learning how to read for comprehension, so he argued that students should learn to read whole words instead.

Thus began the fight over teaching phonics or “whole language” — and more recently what is known as “balanced literacy.” We’ve also been hearing declarations that a “science of reading” proves that employing phonics in a particular war is the best and right path to teach young children how to read.

The following post looks at this broad issue and whether there really is a “science of reading” that has finally settled how reading should be taught.

It was written by David Reinking, professor emeritus at Clemson University and a former president of the Literacy Research Association; Victoria J. Risko, professor emerita at Vanderbilt University and a former president of the International Literacy Association; and George G. Hruby, an associate research professor of literacy and executive director of the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development at the University of Kentucky.

Read more here.

Help your child learn to read with Reading Kingdom. Sign up today for a free 30 day trial.