First let's start with the reminder, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Because the science of reading actually has a lot of the parts of guided reading in it. There's a lot of things that most teachers are already doing that fall into both "sides" of the reading coin. They aren't actually separate ideologies.
The science of reading is a collection of data, that shows how the brain actually learns to read. With over two decades of research now, we can see why somethings have worked really well, and something don't work.
In the past we have seen that many programs have been based on tradition, the old this is how we've always done it. It has been more observation and hasn't had evidence to back it up. The difference now is that we actually do have cognitive studies that show us a path to teaching reading, we have evidence. And we don't have to be experts in cognitive neuroscience to see success in how we teach reading, or for students to have success in the classroom.
In guided reading we see the concept of "scaffolding" to build success. Which is great IF the student also has comprehension of the words they are reading. For example is a child reads - Johnny ate, eight cookies, and they don't understand the difference of ate and eight, that is a lack of comprehension, even though they read, or sounded out the words.
Guided reading is the before, during, and after approach of reading material that is not too easy, and not too hard for the student. One of the problems that sets in is what if all the kids aren't at the same level? SO one of the basic problems can be, too many levels and too much overlap of levels.
Science of reading shows us that our brains aren't born with reading, in fact those neural pathways have to be built. So while most healthy brains have a visual area intact, and a hearing area in tact, to read we have to build connections between what we see, and what we hear, to learn to read. We can see that the "cueing approach" from other programs isn't the solution.
We now know that working memory is what we need to have, and that's different than just memorizing words or letters. Working memory gives them skills to decode, and to create strategies to solve the "reading puzzle". Science has shown us that the phonics skills that early education gives students is a key factor in reading success.
There's a LOT more to it, but that's a basic look at some really basic differences. And YES we will be discussing this a lot more here on this blog!
Safe and happy travels!
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