There was a good news story on ABC yesterday, and I did welcome it, even if I also had a total deja vu moment!
There is a national focus on engaging girls in maths and science, but the underperformance of boys in literacy attracts little attention. Now, teachers are calling for a national campaign to counter boys’ mass rejection of the English curriculum….
One boys school in Sydney’s inner west is trying to turn things around and has taken up the challenge to foster a love of literature.
It starts first thing in the morning. Canterbury Boys High begins every school day with 20 minutes of reading time. There’s no screens in sight as boys devour a wide variety of books from the classics to graphic literature.
English teacher Nathan McKinley said the initiative had helped create an ingrained focus on literacy that permeates all subject areas.
“It’s a whole-school focus now,” Mr McKinley said. “We’ve been able to move away from the idea that literacy is the English teacher’s job.”…
Back when I was doing that TESOL course Canadian Stephen Krashen was a big name. It is still worth reading his 2003 article False Claims About Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Skills vs. Whole Language, and Recreational Reading, especially given both major parties here in Oz have tended to go all reactionary on this.