Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Forthcoming January Education Forum

All Quiet on the Phonics Front?

The first of a series of discussions on the Coalition’s white paper The Importance of Teaching.

The next Education Forum will be held on January 17th 2010 at 7 PM in the Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3AT

The speaker will be Tom Burkard, expert in reading instruction and author of many publications, including Inside the Secret Garden: The Progressive Decay of Liberal Education and School Quangos: A Blueprint for Abolition and Reform.

Is the battle over reading instruction now over? Is the evidence for the effectiveness of systematic synthetic phonics as compelling as is claimed? If it is, why have results not improved, in spite of the widespread adoption of phonics in schools? Is the issue how programmes based on this method are developed? Should they be devised by teachers, or by government? And is there a danger that teachers will teach to the new mandatory phonics test? If they do, will this result in the exclusion of other approaches that teachers see as valuable?