Using Multiple Methods of Beginning Reading Instruction

Summary

We believe that there is no single method or single combination of methods that can successfully teach all children to read. As a result, teachers must be familiar with a wide range of instructional methods and have strong knowledge of the children in their classrooms in order to provide the most appropriate instruction for all learners.

Numerous large-scale research studies support the position that children can learn to read from a variety of materials and methods. Though focused studies show that various methods “work,” no one of these methods is necessarily better than others.

Controversy about the “best” way to teach reading cannot be resolved by prescribing a single method. Because there is no clearly documented best way to teach beginning reading, educators who are familiar with a wide range of methodologies and who are closest to children must be the ones to make decisions about what instructional methods to use. And further, these professionals must have the flexibility to modify those methods when they determine that particular children are not learning.

PS 1033

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