Response to Misreading the Science of Reading

Published by J. Gregory McVerry on

November 2019


November 2019

Thread of notes published during #NCTE19 about the dangerous myth on "science of reading."

@ehanford Maybe very little new research in reading research has come out since 80s that has fundementally shifted our understanding. Marketing documents from Amplify are not research. When you dig into citations, recycled, often just NRP. #ncte19 ( Also on Twitter

Look how you frame the narraritive "teachers don't know this science" "

" "teacher prep is bad" this is an agenda and not research and also not based in reality. Frankly I find it insulting #ncte19 ( Also on Twitter

@ehanford Folks love quantitative theoretical models. Looking at variance explained by different variables helps us understand reading. But to suggest Gough & Tunmer's model is superior leaves many question. So many better models with < error #ncte19 ( Twitter

also think concept of "fight" & "wars" itself toxic. Reflects and reinforces a long history of exclusion, mysoginy, and racism in literacy research. Plus real war is real bad. Let's not equate people yelling at the Goodmans during Town Hall as war…… Twitter

Thx for Kilpatrick recommendation, I respect his work. I think you should also read folks like @davidekirkland and "Search Past Silence, you frame this as a "fight" between phonics and isnt It's about people, other narratives #ncte18 ( Twitter

Big issue is NRP, on which "science of reading" has as 1 leg of 2 leg stool (other brain scan research) specifically and explicitly omitted research we know also imporves reading. Motivation, writing, and much more. #ncte19… ( Twitter

And most teachers who won't fold under political pressure of "science of reading" aren't against explicit phonics instruction. Heck #CCSS has a foundational skills sections and many teacher prep programs take Foundations of Reading #ncte19 ( Also on Twitter

implore anyone interested to go track down ttechnical reports of the NRP and read the foot notes. Decide for yourself if the inclusion and exclusion criteria need revisiting. But most importantly STOP treating it like an efficacy study #ncte19 Bad…… Also on Twitter

The NRP is not some random design study that put explicit phonics instruction up against miscue analysis, or compared different diagnostic assessments of fake word recognition up against MSV...franky I care for neither. but had nothign to do with NRP…… Also on Twitter

I teach running records, listening to kids read great way to identify phonics then spelling help (though I am faster at recongizing phonics level by reading their writing)...the MSV stuff...might as well throw darts at wall. I skip it. #ncte19 ( Also on Twitter

but I hold that true for most diagnostic assessments, by time they get to classroom level ecological factors have stripped almost all validity and reliability. Like when DRA2 scores work their way in SLOs and fall scoring stricter than spring #ncte19 ( Also on Twitter>

@ehanford In the end I don't think it will matter. Foundational skills don't take much time. 7 minutes a day for phonological awareness and some explicit phonics intruction. One place technology will be better at doing than humans IMO. #ncte19 ( Also on Twitter

@ehanford @karenvaites @LaurenTTutor718 I will leave with this. If SVR is such simple model how is it dialogical reading is one of the most replicable studies in #ece #literacies? All that talk about pictures and connections....#ncte19 ( Also on Twitter

@ehanford @karenvaites @LaurenTTutor718 If variable like motivation and family do not matter. Why is ist we find setting up text messaging in early childhood classrooms may improve literacy rates? Could it be two people can be right at the same through…… Also on Twitter

don't quite understand why your criticism is merely an assertion ('also not based in reality') and personal response ('I find it insulting') with no counter-argument or evidence.

Greg McVerry

@SaraJPeden I wasn't trying to make a criticism or assertion spointing our people were using two words in very different ways. "factor" and "skills" in current zeitgeist of research phonics is considered a skill, something taught to automaticity.

Are you saying that you weren't intending to criticize @ehanford when you speak of an 'agenda' and say 'look at how you frame the narrative'?

Greg McVerry

@SaraJPeden ooooh now I get it...I crossed streams, was discussing same topic in two different threads...yeah the advocacy is nonsense and it is being framed as a blame game of teachers and teacher prep...also conflates miscue analysis

Greg McVerry

But I pretty much agree with folks that most commercial programs, Caulkins, F+P Guided Reading, are nonsense..nor am I fan of self selected readers workshop, mainluy because teachers need to know books to teach them well, can't know 25 at once.

Greg McVerry

Yet we also know phonics instruction we have to do "whole class" as when teachers try to individualize...the whole class control out performs. So now with kid stuck drawing letters in air and studying digraphs he has long mastered

Greg McVerrypublished this

Greg McVerry

Where I think tech can help (actually one of the highest grossing verticals in app reading apps), phonics so systematic machine learning will be better than people. Now when I want to know a kids phonics level, I look at their writing

Greg McVerry

Terms of theoretical models of reading, Snow's reader, text, activity...all situated in socio-historical context, probably least nuaseating of current bunch. Watch hashtag..I will ask around for other models...but SVR...not accepted science

Greg McVerry

I think my current definition (and I borrow heavily from Gee; Leander and Knobel, Snow) Active process of encoding and decoding meaning on the world through agentive participation in different discourses and communities

Greg McVerry

Just calling it "Science of Reading" is proof enough... Who would be against science? Just those ignorant brainwashed teachers, that's who... Yet scratch surface and you find it is a very limited survey (or disproven like SVR) view of science

Greg McVerry

It is teacher blaming. They are either too ignorant to know they are wrong because all those teachers in education programs preach "whole language" which in pop culture articles like @ehanford work means three cueing systems and anything not phonics

Greg McVerry

@SaraJPeden I will. It was late on Thanksgiving and citations didn't fit in tweets. Will need to write a blog post. All back versions of Handbook on Reading Research openly released. Good place to start

Greg McVerry

@SaraJPeden Grab of relevant readings I could quickly curate together: Basic gist: even Tunmer uses a more complicated model, the biggest critque of SVR is lack of vocab and prior knowledge, then lack of distal mediators