Phonics International Forum Index Phonics International
an International Online Synthetic Phonics Programme
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

I owe Kerry Hempenstall an apology about his speech!!!

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Phonics International Forum Index -> All sorts of articles, blogs, research and topics to stimulate debate!
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: I owe Kerry Hempenstall an apology about his speech!!! Reply with quote

https://www.ldaustralia.org/evidence-basedpractice-hempenstall.html

Thank goodness we have been able to build on the work of others internationally - in terms of their research on reading, their scrutiny of research and its findings, and their tireless efforts to inform people widely and clearly about the research and its findings.

People in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and other countries have benefited from the internet providing access to the international debate, indeed battle, regarding what works best and what potentially can damage learners on their route to becoming readers and writers.

So, we are able to capitalise on a shared expertise and scrutiny of developments over the years.

In Kerry Hempenstall's great speech (link above), however, he is not entirely accurate about one detail. Paragraph 7 begins with this statement:

Quote:
In Great Britain, similar concerns have produced a National Literacy Strategy (Department for Education and Employment, 1998) that mandates practice based upon research findings.


Later in his speech, Kempenstall describes 'moribund strategies' and gives as an example guidance to parents in a newsletter which he says is 'poor advice' (see the words in red below):

Quote:
Are there examples in education in which practices based solely upon belief, unfettered by research support, have been shown to be incorrect, and have lead to unhelpful teaching?

• Learning to read is as natural as learning to speak (National Council of Teachers of English, 1999).
• Children do not learn to read in order to be able to read a book, they learn to read by reading books (NZ Ministry of Education, as cited in Mooney, 1988).
• Parents reading to children is sufficient to evoke reading (Fox, 2005).
• Good readers skim over words rather than attending to detail (Goodman, 1985).
• Fluent readers identify words as ideograms (Smith, 1973).
• Skilled reading involves prediction from context (Emmitt, 1996).
• English is too irregular for phonics to be helpful (Smith, 1999).
• Accuracy is not necessary for effective reading (Goodman, 1974).
• Good spelling derives simply from the act of writing (Goodman, 1989).

These assertions have influenced educational practice for the last 20 years, yet they have each been shown by research to be incorrect (Hempenstall, 1999). The consequence has been an unnecessary burden upon struggling students to manage the task of learning to read. Not only have they been denied helpful strategies, but they have been encouraged to employ moribund strategies. Consider this poor advice from a newsletter to parents at a local school:

If your child has difficulty with a word: Ask your child to look for clues in the pictures. Ask your child to read on or reread the passage and try to fit in a word that makes sense. Ask your child to look at the first letter to help guess what the word might be.


When unsupported belief guides practice, we risk inconsistency at the individual teacher level and disaster at the education system level.


Now note the statement above (I have emboldened the blue statement).

What Hempenstall did not appreciate - and perhaps many more people taking part in the ongoing debate about reading instruction and the lack of accountability of those who perpetuate these 'moribund strategies' - is that the National Literacy Strategy rolled out in 1998 - 99 in England promoted this very range of reading strategies and entitled them the 'Searchlights' model.

Thus, the NLS was not evidence-based at all - but close scrutiny suggests that its influences were very much the famous 'First Steps' and 'Reading Recovery' programmes which DO promote a range of 'multi-cueing reading strategies' warned about in the conclusions of research on reading as Hempenstall describes.

I know this in very great detail because I was a practising primary teacher in England when the National Literacy Strategy was rolled out quite forcibly as Hempenstall noted - and I was most shocked to be told to teach my children to 'read' by guessing from the picture clues and to 'read on' and 'guess the word that makes sense' and to 'check the word you guessed with the first letter of the word'.

I knew from experience that it was my very weakest readers (inherited from previous teachers) who were desperately trying to 'read' the words by such strategies - in fact, they did not study the printed words at all because they were so busy exploring the picture and trying to work out what the words might be - often giving wild guesses which further muddled up what the print was actually about.

When I queried the training I was receiving, the advisors who were delivering the guidance of the National Literacy Strategy just did not know how to deal with this.

I asked them for the research to support the 'Searchlights' model and they never, ever could come up with any - although eventually I was told about a report written with apparent evidence to support the NLS written by Roger Beard and it very much pointed to the type of teaching in Australia at that time - for example, 'First Steps' and the Holdaway 'Big Books' work plus an emphasis on the multi-cueing model and 'guided reading'.

Thus began my journey into the reading debate in a very, very serious way. I looked into the research and it confirmed my experiences that the multi-cueing guessing strategies damaged many children's long-term reading profiles and that the most effective teaching was systematic phonics teaching. My investigations into hands-on leading-edge teaching (studies) also showed great commonality of success with the systematic synthetic phonics teaching approach in particular.
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:06 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I became an active lobbyist about this mis-training that the whole primary teaching profession was receiving and was invited to take over the editorship of the UK Reading Reform Foundation newsletter in 2000 - and later my husband, David, set up a website for the RRF to provide good information and a message forum. You can see the archived RRF newsletters which were provided in hard copy during the National Literacy Strategy period.

In my very first edition, I wrote about my personal experiences of being 'trained' in the 'Searchlights' reading model with my word-for-word notes taken at the time.

http://www.rrf.org.uk/archive.php?n_ID=23&n_issueNumber=45

Quote:
Editor’s comment: Here are my notes, word for word as written during LEA training for the NLS. This model gives no mention to the most important strategy for all reading, which involves AUTOMATIC letter/sound recognition and SOUNDING OUT AND BLENDING. It gives no indication which, if any, of the strategies should be taught first, or whether any of the methods should be dominant, or a ‘last resort’. There was no reference to different reading philosophies or to the findings of research. All trainees accepted the instructions without question.

The ‘searchlight reading strategies’ as advocated in the National Literacy Strategy are not supported by experimental research. They are part of an eclectic approach, which comprises mutually contradictory strategies. The late Dr. Charles Walcutt, author of ‘Teaching Reading’ (1974), succinctly describes the inadequacies of the eclectic method as:

_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Year after year, the National Literacy Strategy management kept rolling out further and further handbooks - for example, there was 'Progression in Phonics' followed by 'Early Literacy Support'.

The 'Progression in Phonics' handbook did not match up to the calibre of 'The Phonics Handbook' by Jolly Learning Ltd and it still promoted multi-cueing reading strategies. Teachers were largely told to 'do' Progression in Phonics' at the expense of 'Jolly Phonics' - and in any event the core 'teaching principles' were very different.

The 'Early Literacy Support' programme was designed for six weak readers in Year One classes and was hugely modelled after the Reading Recovery programme. We wrote numerous letters to the DfES about this, quoting exact details, and eventually managed to raise a question in the House of Lords as to whether the ELS had been properly trialled with pre and post-testing - of course it had not!

http://www.rrf.org.uk/archive.php?n_ID=80&n_issueNumber=48

The RRF called for its withdrawal to no avail.

http://www.rrf.org.uk/archive.php?n_ID=179&n_issueNumber=47

It took a huge amount of time, energy, letters to all sorts of people, plus articles, raising questions with people in authority - until at last Nick Gibb MP (who went on to be Minister for Schools with a change of government) took a personal interest in this issue - listened - and investigated what we said in proper detail. To this day he has been a staunch supporter of evidence-based practices and wanted this issue to be non-party-political.

However, even after the government accepted the recommendations of the Rose Review (Rose Final Report March 2006), the same government continued to promote the Reading Recovery programme which is based on different teaching principles and contradicts the guidance which discredited the multi-cueing 'searchlights' model.

In fact, the government remained committed to finance Reading Recovery until 2014 - and to this day has never provided a satisfactory answer for continuing to give teachers mixed messages about the methods they should use with children.

Are the people in authority really saying that our weaker and slower-to-learn pupils should be subject to the multi-cueing reading strategies that the Rose Report rejected -and government 'accepted' - and has continued to accept to date?

So, it's still a mess in England - and it has still proved impossible to hold people in authority to account regarding the continued promotion of Reading Recovery through the 'Every Child a Reader' project to this day.

Now Reading Recovery, based at the Institute of Education, has launched the 'International Literacy Centre' and it would seem the RR folk have developed interventions for older groups of learners too.

I have heard nothing about the central Marie Clay guidance being officially changed to be up to date with the research conclusions.


Sheffield Hallam University reviewed the teachers who took part in the Year One Phonics Screening Check pilot in 2011 - and nearly three-quarters of them described their continued use of 'multi-cueing reading strategies'.

We have a very long way to go before we can even begin to claim that there is a 'common understanding' in the teaching profession about the conclusions of research - even in England where the current government has heavily promoted the need for systematic synthetic phonics programmes and match-funded infant and primary schools in England to purchase approved programmes, books, training and resources.
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yvonne Meyer queried my suggestion that Kerry Hempenstall might be mistaken about the National Literacy Strategy of 1998 being based on evidence - and Lesley Drake came up with a sensible observation - that the NLS was based on evidence but not perhaps the evidence that I was thinking of relating to the multi-cueing reading strategies.

Were the NLS authors being selective - or didn't they understand the issue about multi-cueing?

I think there was a lot of influence coming from Australia at that time - approaches in First Steps and Reading Recovery perhaps?

See Yvonne's and Lesley's postings on the UK Reading Reform Foundation website if you are interested in this issue:


http://rrf.org.uk/messageforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5143&p=48480#p48480

Lesley provided the paper referencing the influential research on the NLS and said:

Quote:
I don't think it's actually true that the NLS and prior to that, the NLP was not research based.

http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/1436/1/Beard20 ... nal421.pdf

Whether it was based on the RIGHT research is the point!


My apologies to Kerry Hempenstall if I have misconstrued the information in his important speech. Embarassed

My thanks to RRFers for putting me straight! Shocked Confused
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Phonics International Forum Index -> All sorts of articles, blogs, research and topics to stimulate debate! All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group