on February 19, 2009
This book is full of inconsistencies (e.g., page 9 extols teachers who use whole-to-part model and avoid systematic, extensive phonics vs. page 113 where she says it's necessary to provide explicit and systematic instruction). Aside from that, though, what's worrisome to me is broad comments such as "Sixty years of research indicates that the whole-to-part model does work for many proficient students AND STRUGGLING READERS" (p. 9). What?! It does NOT work for struggling readers! And what does DeVries use for proof? Why, the four references immediately supplied after this quote consist of an opinion paper in Educational Leadership (not peer-reviewed), an unpublished manuscript, an ERIC document from 1971, and a teacher's book published by Heinemann. Is this what she calls references? This book is chock-full of such examples which I use to point out to my students when discussing bias and being aware of what's out there in education today. I think this is the last semester I'll use this text, however...the assessments in the back are wonderful and may be worth your money, but the information in it is quite often outdated, flat out wrong, and backed up by "research" that is either biased or non-empirical.