In the past seven years, a new view of reading instruction has taken hold in school districts nationwide.
The issue these days isn't whether "phonics" or "whole language" is the better approach for beginning readers, but how to blend those philosophies and other elements in a reading program tailored to the individual child.
For a growing group of educators, the reading wars, waged so ferociously in the 1980s and '90s, are past. Or at least passe.
"I think more schools are moving toward a balanced literacy program," said Tina Chekan, co-principal and literacy coach at Propel McKeesport, a charter elementary school. Propel also operates elementary schools in Homestead, Kennedy and Turtle Creek.
"There's not one program that fits all," she said. "We know that our students are on varying ability levels. We work to really focus on the individual."
Some educators now downplay the significance of the reading wars, calling them the over-publicized rants of academic extremists. Dr. Roller, of the International Reading Association, considers the wars a dead issue.
"I wish somebody would hold a big funeral service and bury this casket," she said.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
missed the memo
End of the reading wars.
I don't think that's going to happen.