Cover image for In defense of good teaching : what teachers need to know about the "reading wars"
In defense of good teaching : what teachers need to know about the "reading wars"
Goodman, Kenneth S.
Publication Information:
York, Me. : Stenhouse Publishers, [1998]

Physical Description:
iv, 195 pages ; 23 cm
Who's afraid of whole language? Politics, paradigms, pedagogy, and the press / Kenneth S. Goodman -- It's a long story-And it's not done yet / Carole Edelsky -- What's religion got to do with attacks on whole language? / Ellen H. Brinkley -- California reading: The pendulum swings / David Freeman and Yvonne S. Freeman -- We'll eat the elephant one bite at a time: the continuing battle for control of literacy education in Texas / Linda Ellis -- Mandating methodology: Promoting the use of phonics through state statute / Frances R.A. Paterson -- Phonics, whole language, and the religious and political right / Constance Weaver and Ellen H. Brinkley -- Thirty years of research in reading: when is a research summary not a research summary? / Richard I. Allington and Haley Woodside-Jiron -- The sky is falling: Whole language meets Henny Penny / Sharon Murphy -- Whole language as decoy: the real agenda behind the attacks / Bess Altwerger -- Organizing for political action: suggestions from experience / Ellen H. Brinkley and Constance Weaver.
Added Author:
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1050.35 .I5 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Is whole language the cause of the problems that beset our schools?Is the debate between whole language and phonics a cover-up for control of what and how students learn?Is it appropriate that legislators, lobbyists, textbook publishers, and private interest groups evaluate and promote research on teaching and learning?Is Christian fundamentalism being exploited by political and economic groups?Is the attack on whole language supported by research that is valid?Is the issue of teaching reading now so polarized that even a "balanced" approach is no longer acceptable in some schools?These questions have come out of the reading wars. And teachers now must be articulate and knowledgeable defendants of their own positions in the debate if they are to retain control of their profession. In Defense of Good Teaching is the whole language community's first concerted response to its attackers, reveals some disturbing truths in the reading wars: deliberate misrepresentation of ideas, about the role of the press, conflicting political agendas played out in our schools, teachers and administrators marginalized for their beliefs, and commercial interests dressed up as scientific research. This is an alarming and enlightening book and, as the dispute broadens to affect teaching of math and bilingual education, it is an important book. It will be invaluable to teachers who want the means and strategies to respond to criticism, to analyze arguments and to defend their position. More is at stake than whole language.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this alarming collection of articles on the wars waging around the curriculum methods and materials used in US public schools to teach reading, Goodman sets the stage with "Who's Afraid of Whole Language? Politics, Paradigms, Pedagogy, and the Press." Carole Edelsky documents stories of individual school systems that have been attacked and how they have fought back. Ellen Brinkley and Constance Weaver explore connections between phonics, whole language, and the religious and political right. Frances Paterson, Linda Ellis, David Freeman, and Yvonne Freeman explain the use of state mandates to control the teaching of reading, with emphasis on California and Texas. Richard Allington and Haley Woodside-Jiron analyze and debunk Bonnie Grossen's influential "Thirty Years of Research" article attacking whole language and pushing phonics teaching. Sharon Murphy explores the blurring of reporting, editorializing, and advocating of reading methods by the media, and Bess Altwerger shows that the real wars are an effort to discredit and privatize American public schools. This book is must reading for all persons interested in good public education. It gives educators the means to take action before legislatures and school boards jump on the bandwagon to dictate curricular approaches. Highly recommended. All levels. M. Wikstrom; Buena Vista University