The Reading Education Scam
After 15 years of teaching experience, I for one, have become
thoroughly disillusioned with the system that is supposed to be training our
children in this generation.
During a trip to New Mexico some years ago we met a
psychologist who told us that the new method for reading was actually developed
for deaf and dumb children and gradually found it's way into the main
education systems of the world. This system was called 'Look and Say', which
would be far better labelled 'Look and Guess', as tens upon tens of
thousands of children lost their way early on and finished up wreckage on the
scrap heap of humanity as a result.
An article in the Waikato Times, 18 February 2000, is
headlined Are the basics too much to ask of schools? In this article the
author mentions, "There is a genuine, legitimate concern that all is not well
in our schools...
I get the impression that parents are not happy about the way
reading is taught.
They want to see spelling taught formally. They want to see
competition -– not fierce competition but the kind that promotes excellence.
They want children to be tested regularly and for the results of those tests to
be conveyed to them in a manner that can be understood." End Quote.
And then joy of joys a beautiful article taken from the
Sunday Star Times, 14 May 2000, Using old methods to break new slavery.
"Graham Crawshaw was always going to follow in the footsteps of his teacher
parents. It's just taken half a century to realise it...
Having made enough not to have to count the pennies, much of
Crawshaw's time is now spent helping those who haven't known what it is to
be able to read and write...
At his reckoning, 20% of young New Zealanders need help. Not
getting it will, for some, lead to poor self esteem, a sense of exclusion and to
There's been a steady increase in demand as word has spread
of the improvement in the reading ability of those who have attended the
five-day camps. Given a standard literacy test on arrival and departure, almost
all improve, with most lifting their reading age by a year...
Since 1962 Crawshaw, who describes himself as a Christian....,
has run occasional Christian camps, but in 1995 the emphasis changed from
evangelism to literacy....
The goal is not religious conversion but to save kids from
the hell of illiteracy. Though there is a Christian influence -– and a certain
fervour about what they are doing -– it is no more than the underlay.
"I can't work with people whose religion stops them from
relating to children in a natural way. What we want here is Christian character
-– not propaganda.
"On the other hand, our faith keeps us going. The idea is
that every child has the right to learn to read, despite the damage done to them
before they get to us."
And that leads to the subject which makes this affable 68
year old hopping mad. Words come in a torrent as he outlines his view that
education authorities blew it in the 1940s by dropping the phonics method of
teaching in favour of "whole language", where children learn words in
association with pictures...
Phonics -– a method of teaching based on rote and the sounds
of words -– have had impressive results at camp, and Crawshaw says for literacy
rates to improve it needs to be embraced again by education authorities...
He describes the illiteracy as "scandalous" and traces
the decline to Dr Clarence Beeby who, as director of education in 1940 moved
away from phonics.
Crawshaw was educated under the old system and wants to give
others what he received...
None of the camp tutors are trained teachers, something
Crawshaw says is questioned. "My answer is that all the children who come to
camp because they need help have had professional teachers for from two to seven
Crawshow doesn't accept assurances from education
authorities that New Zealand's literacy performance compares well
internationally. His judgement comes from his own experiences from 800 children
who have been on the camps and his knowledge of barely literate shopkeepers and
Be believes that since proficiency examinations were
abolished there has been no adequate method of assessing the gaps in a child's
We would like to congratulate Mr Crawshaw on his clear
thinking, and go along with him 100% in saying that the education system of
reading today is nothing more or less than a scam. It will result in a lot of
brainless children entering adulthood without the ability to reason as they
cannot read, and in many case write down their thoughts.
Of course in most cases pride will prevent those involved in
the setting up of the education syllabus to confess that they were wrong and
move back to a tried and tested system of teaching reading.
Solomon was correct when he said, "Train up a child in the
way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6