The eternal wars between the supporters of phonics and whole language are still at issue thus presenting different for-and-against arguments. This controversy pertaining to how to teach child shows that education struggles will not be terminated. Many scholars and professors dedicated many research investigations to different aspects of this problem. In particular, the article called Reading Wars: Phonic versus Whole Language (2008) discusses this battle from educational and political point of view.
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In the article, Jon Reihner states that the supporters of phonics instruction witness the decline of educational level, namely the aggravation of reading testing results in nineties of the twentieth centuries. As a proof, the author presents figures that provide the evaluation of the reading scores within the period of 13 years. As results show, the situation did not change for the better much. To comprehend this controversy in more detail, the author briefly analyzes the historical preconditions of this problem and the appearance of different schools of thoughts defending phonics and whole language approaches.
The author of the research manages to connect linguistic biases with psychological explanations thus affiliating phonics approach to the behaviorist streams and the whole language instructions to constructivism. In the fist case, behaviorist origin of phonic mechanism in reading consists in applying the rewards and punishment approach. As for the whole language school, its scope takes roots from constructivist idea those children skills are shaped by means of gradual knowledge acquisition. According to the article, such division causes the decline of literacy, especially for national minorities who have low level of vocabulary.
On investigating different acts and programs, including No Child Left Behind and National Reading Panel, the author concludes that phonics approach to reading is much more efficient than the whole language instruction, as this method includes psychological aspect, as well.
I find this article rather interesting, as the paper provides detailed information about the history and appearance of different approaches to the process of reading. Moreover, the researcher succeeds in connecting this research with psychological investigation, namely, how psychology influences the educational procedure, and what methods should be used to improve the quality of reading and to insure a better grade. In addition, the article also provides useful date that pertains to the statistical analysis of the grade level delivered by different respectable agencies.
The analysis of peer reviews shows that this paper provoked numerous debates among the scholars. The article gained the recognition of Hoboken Board of Education that considers Reyheld’s work consistent and accurate. Certainly, the information provided by the article could only inform and explain but cannot be used as the basis for other researchers. Still, this respectable site provides reliable sources for the students to refer.
For instance, Dr. Petrosino perceives the article as a good and complicated research because it is always difficult to understand how to achieve an effective reading, especially when children are engaged into analysis. Finally, the research conducted Jon Reyhner is acknowledged as one of the most logical and evidence- based. Besides, the topic raised in the articles corresponds to the contemporary problems in the education sphere so that the author manages to provide his own solution to the situation. Considering the above, the article is of considerable value for students and professors who strive to work out alternative strategies for improving reading level and testing scores.
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Reyhner, J. (2008). Reading Wars: Phonics versus Whole Language. Web.