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Literacy at the Crossroads takes a hard look at these issues. By informing teachers about what's really happening in our schools, Routman opens up the educational dialogue and disproves some of the misconceptions that threaten good practice. She describes and clarifies critical concerns, suggesting actions we must take so that, in her words, "we can continue to do what's right and best for children."
True, there are problems with schools in America - but, according to Routman, back-to-basics instruction is not the solution. What's needed are teachers who are clear about their goals and outspoken about their beliefs. Here is a book that shows them how.
Understanding the Backlash: What's Going on in Reading and Writing?
School Bashing: Do We Deserve the "Hits"?
Are Kids Poorer Readers Today?
Raising Our Goals for Teaching Reading
Are Kids Poorer Spellers Today?
The Controversy Over Phonics and Whole Language
Messages Parents Receive
Television's Prescriptive Point of View
Learning to Deal with the Media
What We Can Do to Get Our Messages Out
Lessons and Legacies from the Nineties: Learning from California and Other Places
California: Complex Issues Without Simple Solutions
Alief, Texas: Educators and Parents Learning to Work Together
Littleton, Colorado: A Conflict in Values and Beliefs
Fairfax County, Virginia: Innovation with Community Support
Whole Language: Rhetoric and Realities
Whole Language Hasn't Failed: We Have Failed Whole Language
What's Gone Wrong? Misinterpreting Whole Language
I'm Whole Language - I Don't Teach Phonics
Whole Language Teaching Requires More Support and Time to Evolve
Making Parents Part of the Process
What Does Whole Language Really Mean?
Defining Whole Language
Beliefs About Whole Language
Some Misconceptions of Whole Language
Some Key Principles and Practices of Whole Language
Whole Language at the University: An Excellent Model in Practice
Dissenting Voices in the Ranks
Reading Recovery Does Fit Under the Whole Language Umbrella
It's Not Necessary to Have Total Agreement to Have Unity
Becoming Political in Our Schools: The Need to Be Articulate, Astute, and Active
The Politics of Change
A Genuine Committee Process: Not Business as Usual
Lessons from Our Process of Change
BACK TO BASICS AND OTHER TEACHING DILEMMAS
Back to Basics: What Does It Mean?
Those Were the Good Old Days
Using Real Books and Paper and Pencil
Reviewing the Language-Learning Research of the Seventies
Understanding Language Learning by Looking at Ourselves
What We Can Do to Provide Good, Solid Reading Instruction
What We Can Do to Provide Good, Solid Writing Instruction
Reenvisioning "Back to Basics"
Beyond "Sounding It Out"
What Does the Research Say About Phonics?
Commonsense Views About Phonics
The Push for Intensive Systematic Phonics: Why and How?
What We Can Do to Keep Phonics in Perspective
Spelling, Grammar, Handwriting, and Other "Questionable" Practices
Teaching the Skills
We Need to Do More Teaching
Sometimes, It's Okay to Tell Them
What's Happened to the Teaching of Spelling?
Putting Invented Spelling in Perspective
So, How Should I Teach Spelling?
Where Does Grammar Fit In?
We Still Need to Teach and Value Handwriting
Using a Published Series: Pros and Cons
We Must Preserve Our Libraries
Teacher Education: Not Just the Job of the University
Standardized Testing and How to Deal with It
Still More Dilemmas
EMPOWERMENT FOR LIFE
What Happens When We Empower Students and Teachers
Choice with Intention
Seeing Evaluation Through a New Lens
What Makes a Good Teacher?
Leading the Literacy Life We Want Our Students to Lead
Inquiry and Change: Become a Teacher-Researcher
Cultivate Your Interests
Take Charge of Your Own Professional Development and Learning
Using Our Literate Selves as Models for Teaching
Envisioning Ourselves as Writers
Make Time for Reflection, Writing, and Action
Posted September 26, 2000
Regie Routman definitely knows her audience. She writes to teachers and apeals to us to get involved. If we don't like the way things are going, its our fault for sitting back and WATCHING the pendulum of educational politics swing. She also discusses the many misconceptions of whole language and goes over both what whole language encompasses and what it does not. It did not ask us to throw out the baby with the bath water; there is definitely a place for phonics and direct instruction. It cleared up a lot of misconceptions for myself and turned me on to finding out more about getting involved in my community and how I educate.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2000
This book, as well as her others, are the most influential, outstanding books I've ever read regarding the whole language approach. She is an amazing teacher who knows her stuff. Whole language can not immediately become successful, especially after you have been teaching the old, boring, non-productive version of language for so long. Regie states that it takes from 5 - 10 years to master whole language in your classroom. One year simply isn't enough for teachers to grab on. Regie states that you should take one step at a time, even if you accomplish one goal every year. That is enough. Phonics does not rule, it is not enough, and is boring for everyone involved. Worksheets with an apple on them and a traced letter A simply isnt enough and it isnt interesting to the children. You can teach letter pronounciation by reading an exciting book! And the best part is, they'll remember because they were interested! Regie is a master at her work, and all classrooms in the elementary grades should be taugh this way. Please read her books!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.