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Curriculum Report Roundup

Whole Language

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — February 06, 2007 1 min read

A report from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation takes a swipe at the whole-language movement for promoting reading materials and teaching methods the author says are of questionable value.

Whole language, an instructional philosophy that is based on the belief that children learn to read through exposure to good books and that minimizes the teaching of basic reading skills, grew in popularity in the 1980s. It has waned since the mid-1990s, with the push for a more explicit, skills-based approach.

Louisa Moats, the author of the report and a well-known reading researcher, says that whole-language advocates are promoting reading materials that are not aligned with reading research.

“Whole Language High Jinks: How to Tell When ‘Scientifically Based Reading Instruction’ Isn’t” is posted by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

A version of this article appeared in the February 07, 2007 edition of Education Week

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