Hey, I’m on my first real trip since the beginning of the plague, so this month’s column will be really short. Just a couple of things worth mentioning crossed my path.
First up, I read about a “massive effort to change the way kids are taught to read” in the USA in a recent article in Time Magazine. It seems that there is an effort to return to a method of reading instruction that was once brushed off as old-fashioned and un-helpful. That method? Phonics. This quotation really grabbed my attention:
“We abandoned what worked because we didn’t like how it felt to us as adults, when actually, the social-justice thing to do is to teach them explicitly how to read.”
Meanwhile, I finally read Norbert Elliot’s fine biography of ETS founder Henry Chauncey, “Henry Chauncey: An American Life.” I don’t know if there is a huge audience for books like this one, but if you are interested in how ETS came to be what it is, and about the people who created it, Elliot’s book is highly recommended. One day I will compile a list of essential reading for ETSologists, and this will be at the top of it.
That’s it for now, but I will have a real column for you at the end of October.