Page 1 of 1

Extraordinary blogger, Pamela Snow: "Knowledge translation in early years reading instruction: A tale of two paradigms.'

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:46 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Although we have already flagged up Professor Pamela Snow's blog, The Snow Report' via another forum Education Blogs and Websites of Interest, there is no doubt that Pamela's knowledge, writing and pioneering talent needs to be highlighted widely - thus I am going to 'pin' Pam's blog on this, the 'General Forum':

Knowledge translation in early years reading instruction: A tale of two paradigms. ... years.html

Reading instruction is not a fruit-cake – it is not OK to throw a range of tasty, multi-textured ingredients into the bowl and then present the finished product of “my favourite recipe”.

It is impossible to control the quality of children's pre-school experiences, but we do have some control over what goes on in early years classrooms, and we need to exercise that control for the benefit of all children. Rather than issuing children and their parents with lottery tickets on school entry, this means providing a level, high-quality playing field, based on the best possible interpretation, at this point in time, of the available research evidence.
Knowledge translation is taken for granted in medicine, engineering, aviation, architecture, and a raft of other fields, but is not yet business-as-usual in education, where, as Dr Louisa Moats observed in 2000:

“Unfortunately, lack of rigor and respect for evidence in reading education are reinforced by the passivity of education leaders who feel that any idea that can muster a vigorous advocate is legitimate and deserves to be aired”.

Even more unfortunately, not a great deal has changed in the nearly twenty years since these words were penned.

I need to add, however, that those in educational and political authority in England have increasingly understood the important of 'what goes into the mix' when it comes to reading instruction. Successive governments of different political persuasions have been formally reviewing effective reading instruction based on both the findings of a body of international research and leading-edge classroom practice for the past 15 years or so. England has led the way with regard to implementing a statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check and to embedding the need for systematic synthetic phonics into the National Curriculum for English Key Stages 1 and 2. The latest (2019) guidance in Ofsted's Handbook (Ofsted is the official schools' inspectorate in England) makes it transparently clear that teachers should be knowledgeable and effective in their delivery of systematic synthetic phonics provision from Reception (for the four to five year olds). You can read about this here:


Further in England, the Department for Education has established 34 'English Hubs' from which specialist outreach work supports audits and reading provision in selected schools in their region. In addition, a National Council has been established to oversee this national project, and a National Training Centre is acting as a central training and collation portal for the work of the English Hubs and designated specialist literacy teachers:


And of course we note via the IFERI forums the developments of various organisations and others promoting and implementing research-informed practices. The problem remains, however, that the content of teacher-training establishments is yet to be universally commensurate with the body of research findings on reading instruction and leading-edge practice. We know that many academics continue to undermine systematic synthetic phonics provision specifically. This is what has led to IFERI committee member, Anne Glennie, petitioning the government in Scotland to guarantee that all teachers are trained in research-informed reading practices including 'systematic synthetic phonics'. Her personal experience of training teachers across Scotland evidences that teachers, more often than not, report lack of training in reading instruction particularly in phonics. Anne's petition and submission are ongoing - and supported by IFERI, which you can read about here:


And to cut to the chase of the latest developments in Anne's work to hold the Scottish authorities to account, read her latest submission in response to Education Minster, John Swinney, here: ... edu-speak/

Re: Extraordinary blogger, Pamela Snow: "Knowledge translation in early years reading instruction: A tale of two paradig

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:33 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Relevant to Pamela's post, Jennifer Buckingham and Linda Meeks report on the state of play in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Australia: