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To Dennis Re: Pet Peeve Rant


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 13 2003 - 11:28:21 PST


Judging from your own spelling errors, I take it you're a Whole Language
alumnus? It's _wrath_ and _misconception_.

Whole Language has gotten the blame for a lot of ills, but that doesn't
mean that, done correctly, it's not an effective teaching method. It
was developed in New Zealand and was shown to be quite effective with
the large population of indigenous children in the schools. The trouble
is the way American education seems to operate: the pendulum swings from
one extreme to the other. We jump on every new bandwagon without a
thorough understanding of how it works, and/or we take it out of
context; then, when it doesn't perform miracles, we adopt something

As a former reading specialist, I can tell you, it should never have
been a choice between Whole Language OR phonics OR look/say OR whatever
the hot new thing is. It's Whole Language AND phonics AND look/say AND
whatever else works. Art education has been the same way.


Dennis Golombek wrote:
> Not meaning to incur the rath of anyone's pets but once again my
> annual pet peeve against those individuals who created and bought into
> the concept of "Whole Language" has reared its ugly head. What is
> wrong with learning to spell words in a correct manner? Give me and
> other teachers a break.
> Yes , it was time to correct my students' artists reports. I can
> almost accept an 8th grader's miss conception of the "Franco
> Depression War" taking place during an artist's lifetime but someone
> "keeling over from a hart attack" doesn't quite make it with me.