Reading Recovery a dud that shouldn’t be used

Sep 10, 2014 by

Kevin Donnelly – THE recent New Zealand study carried out by Massey University’s Institute of Education concluding that Reading Recovery, an early intervention program originating in NZ during the early 1980s, fails to teach at-risk primary school children how to read shouldn’t surprise.

Forget the claim on the Victorian Department of Education and Early Child Development website that “Reading Recovery has a strong tradition of success with the lowest-achieving children”.

The evidence that Reading Recovery doesn’t work has been there for years: 31 US reading experts signed an open letter to congress in 2002 concluding “there is little evidence to show that Reading Recovery has proved successful with the lowest-performing students”.

A 2007 evaluation by Australian researchers Meree Reynolds and Kevin Wheldall also questions the program’s effectiveness, concluding: “Research, however, indicates that it has not delivered all that it promised to deliver.”

The reason Reading Recovery is ineffective is because it embraces discredited new-age education fads such as whole language and constructivism.

Instead of teaching phonics and phonemic awareness, the relationship between letters and sounds in an explicit way, whole language is based on the premise that reading is as natural as learning to speak and that children can look and guess.

Constructivism argues children are active learners who construct their own knowledge and teachers facilitate as guides by the side.

As noted by Ken Rowe in the 2005 commonwealth report Teaching Reading, teacher education in Australia also embraces constructivism even though “there is a serious lack of supporting evidence for its effectiveness in teaching children to read”.

No wonder there has been little, if any, statistically significant improvement in Australia’s literacy results, as measured by NAPLAN during the past six years, and that Australian Year 4 children are outperformed by 21 other countries in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.

via Reading Recovery a dud that shouldn’t be used | The Australian.

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1 Comment

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    Mona Mcgee

    Well, it took long enough to admit that Reading Recovery did not work – Marie Clay was made a DAme!

    With a report now that 45% of children have poor reading after primary school here, 7 years after “Letters and Sounds” was inflicted on schools, how much longer, with a crippling £100bn a year education budget, will they admit it is all “Credentialed to destroy: how and why education became a weapon.” Robin Eubanks says it for us, for you, for NZ….

    This massive failure is not natural. It is done to children by teachers – and half the teachers have quit after 5 years. The evil is at the top, DfE, London Institute of Education etc. And Gove trust Tom Burkard not realising Tom had done a U-turn!

    FAR better education needs a massive cut in the ed-budget, say of £50bn a year. Only then can teachers bring back their common sense without fear of being sacked!

    Mona M.

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