Friday, June 23, 2006

Teacher tests

In Why American Students Do Not Learn to Read Very Well: The Unintended Consequences of Title II and Teacher Testing Sandra Stotsky takes a look at teacher tests and finds that prospective teachers are not expected to have knowledge of research-based reading instruction:

This paper provides an analysis of the descriptions of the subject tests assessing reading instructional knowledge that prospective elementary teachers in this country take for licensure: those offered by Educational Testing Service, a variety of those provided by National Evaluation Systems, and the one offered by American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. I examined these descriptions to determine whether the tests appear to address three major components of a research-based approach to reading pedagogy (instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary knowledge), the weights attached to knowledge of these three components, and the quality of the sample questions they provide.
I guess science is not needed if reading unfolds naturally, as whole language advocates believe. The trouble is that learning how to read is not natural like language acquisiton.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You are absolutely correct. Learning to read (or write) is not language acquisition at all, because written text is not natural language, and both reading and writing involve sets of skills that do not relate to natural language.