Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Qualitative vs. ‘Scientific’ in Reading Investigations

October 08, 2004 1 min read

To the Editor:

Education professor Jill Kerper Mora’s letter “On Reading Research” (Sept. 22, 2004) aptly illustrates why the so-called “reading wars” of late must continue. She maintains that “a healthy diet of skepticism is in order” regarding scientific research on reading (as your headline says). But she goes on to suggest that unscientific qualitative studies are necessary to discover the “factors that promote high levels of reading achievement.”

Lacking in Ms. Mora’s remarks is any attention to the fact that findings of qualitative, as opposed to scientific, investigations about what is the most time-effective reading instruction available often are contradictory. Therefore, to be rational, reading teachers must make a forced choice between this conflicting advice.

Nonetheless, Ms. Mora urges reading teachers to join her and “challenge the notion of reading methods based on ‘scientific’ research.” It would be valuable to know, of course, what happens to students in her university courses who are courageous enough to rebuff her summons in this respect. Or are all these future teachers simply indoctrinated into Ms. Mora’s ideology without being allowed to demur?

Patrick Groff

Professor Emeritus of Education

San Diego State University

San Diego, Calif.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: February 3, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read