February 26, 2016
Is Reading about 'Getting Meaning from Print'?
Nowadays, if you want to be promoted to the upper echelons of the Education Establishment, there is one big claim you have to repeat with endless enthusiasm: "Reading is about getting meaning from print." This phrase (and variations of it) is ubiquitous in K-12 education. What does it mean? Consider the first-grader who is trying to follow this blueprint. The child is not to be concerned with letters, letter sounds, or sounding out words. He is concerned with figuring out the meaning, in a more general way, of what's on the page. For example, imagine you are in Japan and see a poster advertising noodles. You guess the ad is saying, "Our noodles are tasty." Even though you can't read a word of Japanese, a teacher can declare that you got the correct meaning from print, therefore you are a good reader! That's the sophistry we are dealing with here. The shift from emphasizing sounds to...(Read Full Article)