kitchen table math, the sequel: Why So Much Listening?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why So Much Listening?

E.D. Hirsch has an interesting new post up at the Core Knowledge blog addressing why there is so much listening in the Core Knowledge reading curriculum.  For instance:

Many years ago, the researcher Thomas Sticht discovered the important fact that reading does not catch up with listening until late middle school or early high school.

3 comments:

TerriW said...

Also from the article:

Learning to listen at a high level is closely connected to learning to read at a high level.

Allison said...

Years ago, I tried to ask cog sci people if anyone had tried to compare phonics based reading instruction to whole language by examining students' aural recognition and comprehension systems. no avail, but it seems obvious to me: phonics works when whole language doesn't because it is keying into aural/oral comprehension in children, which can be used as scaffolding for reading instruction: "sounding out" a word connects the word to the known concept, since the concept is retrievable from the oral/aural representation. the child knows "cat" when spoken. to get child to read and recognize the cat, sounding it out keys into the spoken/heard comprehension system already in place.

do that enough, and they have hidden markov models in their heads for what sounds to expect next, and can be taught to connect that to the printed phoneme. but " enough" takes a long time.

whole language, by short cutting around the "sound it out" phase denies children the connection to what they already comprehend aurally. so they have to build up the looks of the word "cat" to meaning by scanning the illustrations or flat out guessing.

adults, on the other hand, have enough structure and phrases in their minds that whole language can be keying on hidden markov chains for whole sentences and phrases, again showing that experts and novices don't do thing alike, and novices shouldn't mimic experts.

Megan Potter said...

Listening to too much complaining is bad for your brain in multiple ways, according to Trevor Blake.


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