The Reading Instruction Show

di Dr. Andy Johnson

The Reading Instruction Show is a podcast about reading instruction (and other things) with a little bit of attitude. There is plenty here to inform and entertain all.

Episodi del podcast

  • Stagione 22

  • The Evangelical Department of Education of Minnesota

    The Evangelical Department of Education of Minnesota

    The Minnesota Department of Education has become the Evangelical Department of Education of Minnesota. It takes a deficit view of teachers. They know nothing. They do the wrong thing. They must be saved by the Great State

  • The Read Act and the Lessons Beyond the Lesson

    The Read Act and the Lessons Beyond the Lesson

    Recently, the Minnesota State Legislature passed the Read Act, sponsored by Democratic representative Heather Edelson. It’s a law based on the fad of the day; the shiny new thing called the “science of reading”. Ironically, this law is based on misconceptions and un-understandings related to both science and reading. This law states that I and other literacy professors in Minnesota must follow, with fidelity, the mandates put forth by state lawmakers. These are lawmakers who have never taught a kid to read, who have never read a research article related to reading instruction, and whose knowledge about reading instruction is reliant on the information given to them by radio journalists and podcasters (present company excepted). As part of the Read Act, the Minnesota Department of Education is now forcing me, a literacy professor at Minnesota State University, to teach things to my students that a wide range of research has shown to be ineffective in helping young children to become literate (that is, to use reading and writing for real purposes). I am forced to teach the preservice teachers in my literacy methods courses at Minnesota State University to engage in educational malpractice in their future classrooms. The Minnesota Department of Education mandates that these future teachers learn strategies that will impede their future students’ ability to achieve their full literacy potential. I must promote the de-literalization of children by telling teachers to focus primarily on lower-level reading subskills instead of higher-level cognitive functions related to reading and comprehension. Worse, I must teach them how to suck all the joy out of reading.

  • Zealotry in the Guise of Reading Science

    Zealotry in the Guise of Reading Science

    I could live with a science of reading if the SoR zealots applied the scientific principles they claim to worship and adore to all of reading reality.  That is, if the scientific principles that they insist be used to determine what is effective reading instruction were also used to establish cause and effect, I could live with the zealotry.   But, they abandon their cherished scientific ideals when identifying problems and evaluating solutions to problems.  Look at the reading laws passed by 32 state legislatures.  Look at the testimony by “experts”.  You will see the word “science” used a lot, but science if much different from ‘I-think-isms’, anecdotal evidence, and personal experiences.

  • The Dance and the Joy of Reading Instruction

    The Dance and the Joy of Reading Instruction

    Dance has much to teach us about five areas of reading instruction: 1. Motivation.  2. Practice.  3. Dance dyslexia 4. Whole dancing. 5. Context.  Whenever a new SoR reading law is passed, the SoR zealots gather a bunch of children together for a picture, and they’re told to smile.  And you get pictures of happy smiling children with happy parents all smiling and being happy.  Wonderful.  It’s a joy façade. Behind the façade is an unwritten narrative.  These children were once unhappy and oppressed because of reading instruction.  But then a reading law was passed.  Now look at them.  Glory hallelujah, they’ve got SoR in their heart.  They’ve been saved by orthographic mapping.  Their lives are better because of decodable texts.  Now just look at how happy they are.  How can you possibly argue with happiness?  And why would you balanced-literacy devils make these happy children unhappy with your hell-based 3 cueing systems?

  • Science of Reading: Where's the Joy?

    Science of Reading: Where's the Joy?

    There is only one emotion that is good for learning: happiness and all its derivations.  Joy is a derivation of happiness.  Joy is pleasurable.  Humans are rewarded by their emotions for doing things that bring them joy.  They tend to repeat these behaviors.  Fear keeps us from doing certain things.  Fear of failure.  Fear of humiliation.  Also, things that make us sad or unhappy keep us from doing certain things.  Being forced to sit in a chair and perform like a trained seal creates sadness, boredom, and frustration. The SoR zealots fail to realize that we’re teaching children who just happen to be developing human beings, who happen also to be emotional and social beings existing in a sociocultural context.  We read and emote with the same brain.  It’s silly to think that one would not impact the other.  Positive emotions enhance learning, and negative emotions impede learning.  Take that to the bank, baby.  We’ve got plenty of research to support this.  So, we can say with some confidence that creating a positive emotional environment in which there is social interaction, safety, and joy is a research-based strategy.