kitchen table math, the sequel: the long war

Friday, July 13, 2007

the long war

The traditional practice was to teach children the alphabetic code--the translation of abstract letters into sounds and words--before turning to actual reading. This approach was challenged in the mid-nineteenth century by Horace Mann, the secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. With a vehemence not unlike that of today's whole-language proponents, Mann denounced the letters of the alphabet as "bloodless, ghostly apparitions" that were responsible for "steeping [children's] faculties in lethargy."

The Great Debate Revisited
Atlantic Monthly
December 1994

Horace Mann...... Isn't he the fellow who thought hearing children should be taught to read the same way deaf children were taught to read?

Why, yes. I believe he was. (scroll down)

National Reading Panel Interim Report
National Right to Read Foundation - history of reading wars
same old, same old circa 1995, p1
same old, same old circa 1995, p2
same old, same old 1997

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