Curios of the week #12
Clippings, endnotes and other ephemera
Monday morning saw me taking a Year 5 music class for an absent colleague. This is not exactly my skillset and so I was extremely grateful for the experienced music teacher next door who combined our classes for the first section of the lesson.
The weather is closing in a little here. We are in the darker and wetter part of the year where the students get their heads down in one long push to reach Spring. Next month will be Winter proper and Ballarat will smell of woodsmoke.
This weeks curios include the latest chapter in the Reading Recovery saga, Twitter losing its mind (again), some more PIRLS findings, male primary school teachers, Californian maths and much more.
Reading research of the week
I have been blogging about Reading Recovery as long as I have been blogging. It is a programme that has held a fascination for primary schools across the English speaking world. The aim of the programme is to intervene with struggling readers and controversy has surrounded Reading Recovery’s use of phonics. Advocates of structured literacy tend to argue this is not enough of a focus and that other decoding strategies are given equal weight.
Reading Recovery has also washed back into the mainstream through Reading Recovery trained teachers influencing the way literacy has been taught and, in particular, supposedly ‘balanced’ literacy.
In around 2015, Reading Recovery made headlines because a huge U.S. trial seemed to show it was effective. I remember arguing about this with education luminaries. I was deeply sceptical that this showed the approach worked.
Now, we have follow-up data from students who took part in that trial and received Reading Recovery. This suggests:
“…the long-term impact of Reading Recovery on students’ reading/ELA test scores in 3rd and 4th grades is statistically significant and substantially negative; students who participated in Reading Recovery in first grade had 3rd and 4th grade state test scores in reading/ELA that were, on average, .19 to .43 standard deviations (about one-half to one full grade level) below the state test scores of similar students who did not participate in Reading Recovery.”
In the years since 2015, mounting evidence has caused education systems in Australia to move away from Reading Recovery. This new evidence should only hasten the retreat.
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