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The Great Debate: The Traditional Phonics Approach versus the Whole Language Approach in an Early Reading Classroom

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dc.contributor.author Lewis, Tara
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-15T21:32:33Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-15T21:32:33Z
dc.date.issued 2010-03-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1803/4003
dc.description Teaching and Learning Department capstone project en_US
dc.description.abstract Educators have long debated the best ways to implement early literacy instruction. Research has led to the formation of two distinct approaches, which combine theory and practice. Whole language and traditional phonics have become the base for which early literacy instruction is formulated. Conflicting beliefs regarding each approach has created a divide among literacy pioneers as to which approach is the most comprehensive and effective for students. The following paper explores the whole language and traditional phonics approach as it relates to the delivery of early literacy instruction. The paper first defines and identifies the theories and beliefs underpinning each approach through principles of learners and learning. Based on the theories and beliefs from each side, the paper then discusses what a whole language and traditional phonics curriculum looks like in an early reading classroom. Specifically, the paper focuses on curriculum and teaching strategies that capitalize on the theories of each approach, the physical environment and materials utilized, and the types of assessment that best evaluate student growth and performance in each reading program. Through careful analysis of learning gains and losses that may result by strictly following only one approach, the paper reveals the need for a balanced approach to early literacy instruction. The paper cumulates with implications regarding implementation and the conclusion that a balanced program may be the most effective method of instruction. The conclusion also addresses issues in determining what exactly constitutes a "balanced" early literacy program. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Vanderbilt University. Peabody College en_US
dc.subject Whole language programs en_US
dc.subject Phonics first programs en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Language arts (Primary) -- Study and teaching en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Literacy -- Evaluation en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Language experience approach in education en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Language experience approach in education -- Evaluation en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Reading -- Phonetic method -- Evaluation en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Reading -- Phonetic method en_US
dc.title The Great Debate: The Traditional Phonics Approach versus the Whole Language Approach in an Early Reading Classroom en_US
dc.type Capstone en_US
dc.description.college Peabody College of Education and Human Development en_US
dc.description.department Department of Teaching and Learning en_US


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