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"The book’s strength lies in the ability of the contributors to draw conclusions in relation to the reading debate and constructively justify moving away from the reliance on a single phonics approach based on evidence from empirical research. ...The book offers a timely warning against reading becoming synonymous with
synthetic phonics instruction, of children becoming mere ‘functional decoders of print’ (p. 53). The argument turns to the very real need for children to develop and
understand the ‘joy, relevance and use for reading’ (p. 79); indeed in the current climate of synthetic phonics instruction children are in danger of losing the ability or
the will to look at a book for pleasure."
Debates about the teaching of reading and particularly which phonics method teachers should use have been simmering for many years. This groundbreaking book offers critical perspectives on the teaching of reading and phonics, openly challenging contemporary policy in both England and the US.
As well as providing refreshing insights into how children encounter texts in the increasingly complex world of literacy, the book celebrates the complexity, pleasure and passion that are the foundations of becoming a successful reader. Each chapter explores in-depth the processes involved as children engage in reading, from their interactions with texts in the very earliest stages through to the primary phase. Drawing on both research and theory, the book also shows how some contemporary understandings of reading are based on over simplistic and rationalised ideas about the reading process.
A unique feature of this book is that it combines academic perspectives with the insights of parents and practitioners. The participation of those most closely involved with children complements the lively debate and contributions from researchers, providing a rich and inclusive range of ideas.
Understanding Phonics and the Teaching of Reading is a stimulating read for educational studies students, students of teaching and learning, policy makers, educational researchers and teachers.
Introduction: sound and fury Kathy Goouch Goouch, Kathy Andrew Lambirth Lambirth, Andrew 1
1 What is early childhood for? Tricia David David, Tricia 9
2 Parents' voices: a conversation with parents of pre-school children Kathy Goouch Goouch, Kathy 23
3 Understanding educational discourse: attending to multiple voices Kathy Goouch Goouch, Kathy 41
4 The limits of science in the phonics debate Patrick Shannon Shannon, Patrick 59
5 Teachers' voices: talking about children and learning to read Andrew Lambirth Lambirth, Andrew 75
6 To codify pedagogy or enrich learning? A Wengerian perspective on early literacy policy in England Kathy Hall Hall, Kathy 88
7 Social class and the struggle to learn to read: using Bernstein to understand the politics of the teaching of reading Andrew Lambirth Lambirth, Andrew 101
8 Learning to read across languages: the role of phonics and synthetic phonics Usha Goswami Goswami, Usha 124
9 Inquiry into meaning: a conversation Myra Barrs Barrs, Myra Margaret Meek Spencer Spencer, Margaret Meek 144
10 Revisiting reading for pleasure: diversity, delight and desire Teresa Cremin Cremin, Teresa 166