Comparing Reading Research to Program Design: An Examination of Teachers College Units of Study
Authors: Marilyn Jager Adams , Lily Wong Fillmore , Claude Goldenberg , Jane Oakhill , David D. Paige , Timothy Rasinski , Timothy Shanahan
https://achievethecore.org/page/3240/co ... s-of-study
It is particularly worrying that the phonics element of 'Units of Study' did not fare well in the review - and it is noted that the discredited multi-cueing word-guessing reading strategies are worryingly promoted within the programme:
Phonics and Fluency
Explicit instruction of foundational reading skills is critical in early elementary school.
Foundational skills instruction includes print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and
word recognition, and fluency. Numerous studies point to the benefits of a systematic
foundational skills program for reading success.
Drs. Paige and Rasinski both commented that the lessons are lively and give the students joyful
exposure to the concepts of phonological awareness, phonic patterns, and reading fluency.
Dr. Paige, who closely reviewed lessons for their phonics content, noted major failings: 1) There
is not enough time given to acquiring the phonics skills, which is particularly dire for students
who might not immediately master those patterns or read fluently; 2) the program frequently
recommends use of SMV (structure/meaning/visual system—known more widely as the three-
cueing system)—which is in direct opposition to an enormous body of settled research; and, 3)
insufficient guidance is provided regarding how to use the results of assessments to inform
instruction. This means any student who does not immediately master an aspect of
foundational reading is at risk of never getting it. Dr. Goldenberg, whose review of the English
learner supports included thorough analysis of the phonics content, corroborated Dr. Paige’s
findings and reported numerous examples in the Units of Study in Phonics where English
learner issues and needs are given scant or no attention. Specifically, he found that the Units of
Study program fails to highlight the importance of explicitly and systematically teaching phonic
skills (decoding and encoding) to the detriment of English learners and all beginning readers. It
also fails to make teachers aware of the complex relationship between literacy
development and oral language development.