My alarm bells was ringing after watching ‘Dispatches’ on Channel 4 last nite. The documentary is entitled “Why our children can’t read“.
The background reading leading to this documentary:
“According to Government statistics, a fifth of youngsters leaving primary school can’t read and write properly. That means they have not reached the benchmark reading age of an 11-year-old and are unlikely to be able to follow lessons when they go to secondary school.”
Dispatches investigate into the impact of poor reading skills acquired at primary schools’ level, which takes away the foundations that pupils require to access the National Curriculum when they enter secondary education. The consequence of this failure had lead to behavioural problems and truancy among pupils in the secondary schools and it emerged that lack of ability to read is the major underlying cause.
In the light of this national problem, the government have created a set of new guidelines, based on an “educational” review by Sir Graham Rose – the Rose Report. The new guideline is advocating the use synthetic phonics to teach pupils to reach.
A working definition of “Synthetic phonics”:
“Synthetic Phonics is a method of teaching reading which first teaches the letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words. “
My concern is what impact does this new guideline will have on mainstreamed deaf children? I am struggling to see how this new teaching pedagogy – based entirely on the use of your auditory senses – that can cross the communications/language divide (via CSW/terp) and provide an effective learning route for reading, for deaf children.
Supporter of Synthetic phonics are almost evangelical about this method and insists it should be reinforced at all times. Does that means they will (deaf children) become even more excluded in mainstream setting, if their school decide to follow government guidelines with zeal?
This blogsite is now webcam and gravatar-enabled.
I am using Riffly plug-in for WordPress. I edited the php code to omit the ‘inappropriate’ option to make an audio comment (no brainer, really!).
You can create your own gravatar profile, via the website. Your mug/artwork/pixelwork will appears next to your comment. I’ve positioned it so that the “speech” bubble will orginate from your gravatar, which is quite ironic really. Hee hee. But there is always the webcam to fall back onto.
Finally, with DayLight Saving coming up, I have read that WordPress don’t like them. Here is the php code that will help the software to cope with the server’s time-shift and enter into the winter mode.
Feel free to make use of the new features and report back if you got any problems. Many thanks!!
Fighting talk from Susan Daniel (NDCS CEO), in her article about the current educational system for Deaf children.
The reason behind her article is shown below:
Government figures published today highlight that record numbers of children (60 percent) achieved five GCSEs graded A* to C this summer (1). Yet only a third (32.9%) of deaf children achieve this pass rate (2).
The 1st paragraph of Susan Daniel’s article goes like this:
“Education is the single most critical service that determines the life chances of all children yet these figures show that too many deaf children are being let down by a system not fit for purpose.
“It is a scandal that the gap between what deaf children and hearing children are achieving at school continues to widen. There is no reason for a deaf child to achieve any less than their hearing peers. Deafness is not a learning disability……..(continued)”
It would be useful to have data available to compare various models on how these Deaf children are taught. i.e. via mainstreaming, deaf schools and whether the schools are performing or under-performing.
Deaf Education need a good long hard look on it own, without any other disabled sectors thrown in the equation, and look at what is best for the D/deaf children. As Sue said, being Deaf is not a learning disability so there is no excuse and it is the goverment who is underperforming for us.
Related to this blog: G.O.D.
I am a returning member of 3D – Derby Deaf Drama – after having left 3 years earlier to travel around the country.
We looking for way to raise money for our next production which will be stage at a dedicated dance centre based in Derby, called DeDa.
To do this, we are doing a 10 mile walk around hilly Dovedale on Saturday 13th October 2007. We would appeal for sponsors to support our voluntary drama group. An online sponsor form can be found on this link. You do not need to use your credit/debit card – just your passion and commitment towards Deaf Drama and sign up!
3D need to raise money for their next production which will be “The Wizard of Oz”. The money raised will go towards buying costumes, set props etc. 3D is a voluntary groups and a community theatre and all performances are fully accessible to hearing and deaf as all actors use British sign Language as well as voice over. One of our aims that all the performances are educational for children as well as enjoyable.
We will be performing ” The Wizard of Oz” at Derby Dance Centre on the 11th 12th and 13th December 2007. Please click on DeDa link for ticket bookings’ details and times.
3D run by Deaf people who all have a strong passion for theatre. 3D is the only Deaf lead community theatre in East Midland.
We look forward to your support and will be very grateful for any donations received.
Sponsor form: http://www.sponsorformsonline.co.uk/derbydeafdrama.asp