This book was written by seven academics all with extensive published research in the field of literacy: Greg Brooks, Margaret M Clark, Henrietta Dombey and Terry Wrigley from the UK and Misty Adoniou, Robyn Cox and Paul Gardner from Australia (Robyn and Paul had previously worked in England).
None of us, as has been claimed, dispute that phonics does have a place in the teaching of reading. Here, set against a wider background of research on literacy, we evaluate the available evidence on the now mandatory policy in England of synthetic phonics as the method of teaching reading and the statutory Phonics Screening Check.
We consider the impact of politics on literacy policy and practice, the imposition of synthetic phonics in England as the required method of teaching reading and of the phonics check and its consequences, intended and unintended. In 2012 this check became a statutory assessment for all children at the end of year 1, aged about six years of age, in all State-funded schools in England.
The debate is widened to a consideration as to whether in England, as well as in the USA, ideology might be ‘trumping evidence’ and why Australia should reconsider its proposal to introduce the phonics check from England. The scene is set in the first chapter on ‘Learning to be Literate’, and in the final chapter ‘Neglected lessons from successful classrooms’ are reported.
A printed paperback version of this ebook (ISBN no. 978-0-9928931-3-2) is available from amazon.co.uk priced at £15.00 plus p&p and can be shipped worldwide.