K-12: Meet Sue Dickson, a Hero of American Literacy

Sue Dickson is best known as the creator of Sing, Spell, Read, and Write, one of the most popular phonics programs. Now in her 80s, she is still active as ever, pushing phonics however possible and refining a new approach. The ups and downs in her career tell us a lot about the sad state of American education.  In her college's pre-teacher program, she was taught nothing about phonics.  Not only that, but when she started to teach first grade, her superiors constantly emphasized their verdict that phonics is useless and even dangerous. Sue Dickson recalls: "I was told that phonics doesn't work, that the English language is too complicated to be taught that way.  I accepted that reasoning hook, line, and sinker.  So, during my first two years as a teacher, I didn't use any phonics even though I had lots of kids in trouble." But in 1955, her mother bought a book by Rudolf Flesch called Why...(Read Full Article)
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