Reading wars rage again as Australian Government pushes to introduce phonics test
by Natasha Robinson
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-30/ ... n/11258944
Ms Sciré said she saw many students who she believed had been failed by mainstream schooling.
"They're missing out on the basic phonemic awareness and the basic phonemic skills to succeed in school," she said.
For years, the teaching of phonics has been caught up in a highly political battle, dubbed the 'reading wars'.
On one side of the debate are advocates of phonics who favour teaching reading by starting with breaking down combinations of letters into the sounds they represent. This, they argue, enables children to read unfamiliar words.
On the opposing side are educators who favour the 'whole language' approach, which holds that learning to read is like learning to speak and students immersed in literature can learn to guess the meaning of unfamiliar words from their context.
Adelaide school principal Mark Hansen said it was incredibly disappointing that a reading war was raging, because he thought teaching practices should be based on the best research.
"It says that synthetic phonics is probably the most effective way to teach reading to kids," he said.