Why Johnny Can't Read?: And What You Can Do About It ペーパーバック – 1986/1/1
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The classic book on phonics--the method of teaching recommended by the U.S. Department of Education. Contains complete materials and instructions on teaching children to read at home.
In this book Flesch is a man on a mission. He hopes to save America from Whole Word. To do this, he has to go up against one of the oddest juggernauts the intellectual world has seen: our educators. Monolithic and implacable, they kicked Flesch around pretty good.
Flesch considered his short book to be an expose and a self-help book (it doubles as a phonics manual). I have to mention: I graduated from college and became an author without knowing a single phonics rule, so I'm not convinced that young children need a lot of this stuff. But what they absolutely have to know is that letters stand for sounds. Whole Word tries to hide this insight. (Successfully so, in some locales, for eight decades!) Whole Word says that memorizing 100+ phonics rules is too demanding; and the best alternative is to memorize 100,000+ English words one at a time. Insanity.
Whole Word was the reason Johnny couldn't read. Flesch explains this clearly. I have to believe our educators (the ones at the top) knew the truth. But they kept their sophistry going; they still do when they can get away with it. And so--in a completely unexpected way--this book remains fresh and relevant after 50 years. It has passed into our intellectual pantheon. Read Flesch to understand one of the great scams of the past century.