Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Under 7, Too Young to Learn to Read"

Autonomous educators everywhere whose children usually don't start to read until about age 7 plus are striking their foreheads today at the idiocy of the DCSF response to this piece of news.

NB: Remedial learners at the DCSF: children who dictate the speed at which they acquire the ability to read, rapidly become competent and often avid readers.


Pete said...

It was DS learning to read VERY quickly before school, and the subsequent neglect of him in recpetion class, that really pointed us to Home Ed.

DD is seven, desperate to read, and teaching herself. Sadly, she self identified as a non-reader for a long time, and is taking time to realise her skills are better than she thinks.

I shudder to think how she would have been treated at school. Probably marked as "special" or dyslexic (which, I don't know, she may be, but it's hard to tell when she's at the age when most children in Europe actually learn to read), given a label to carry around for the rest of her life.

Anonymous said...

Why do these people keep seeing children all the same, as they were a sub-human pack whose minds all worked under the same rules?

What's so hard to grasp about children being individual human beings with their own minds?

Reading is too early for the individual children that are not interested yet and too late for those who were interested before.

Anonymous said...

In the face of extraordinarily powerful evidence to the contrary, British authorities ssound totally mad each time they repeat themselves and assert how important it is to receive early instruction in reading. It's as if they lived in a parallel universe!

It is so frustrating!! As you say, Leo, why can't the child lead the way?

Carlotta said...

Honestly, I don't as a rule feel like screaming directly into the faces of the policy wonks at the DCSF, but I do at the moment.

How can they be so stupid, and so disregard the facts of the matter or else be so stupid as to think we will swallow their guff? (Perhaps they were schooled.)

HEors, particularly autonomous ones, have now built up a substantial body of evidence which demonstrates extremely clearly that starting to read when the child wants to and often later than is dictated in schools has no negative impact upon learning, and in fact appears to leave the learner feeling empowered and motivated.

We now know of numerous cases where children learned to read at 7 plus, and have gone on to further education and received EXCELLENT reports, including top prizes from top universities. Outside of schools at least, late reading and learner empowerment is absolutely NO barrier to academic success.

For anyone who is interested to see how and why Labour can so misrepresent the evidence on facts such as these...

"The formal school starting age of five has served children well for decades and standards in our primary schools have never been higher"

I would recommend Peter Oborne's "The Rise of Political Lying".

It seems that this is still going on. From my reading of the National Indicator Sets that the LAs have to use to see whether their services are working, LAs are perfectly free to select any 33 or so indicators from approx 190 indicators. Now that wouldn't result in biased reporting, now would it?