Four Approaches to the Teaching of Reading
Sharp, Inese Brutans
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The teaching of reading has always presented a problem to educators because they have never been able to agree upon the best approach or methods. Beginning with the Russian aviation feat of Sputnik in 1957, research concerning the effectiveness of American education in general and reading research particularly has multiplied. As reading research has multiplied, so have the possible alternatives for instructional programs. This thesis does not propose an answer to the reading problem; rather, it attempts to gain a perspective on the problem by first of all investigating how historical and current trends in education have influenced current instructional programs and secondly, by analyzing four of the most promising approaches recently developed or revised in answer to the current instructional needs. In analyzing these approaches I have tried to discover how well each approach teaches the essential concepts needed for reading instruction, whether the essentials that the approach proposes are the same as the ones that researchers propose and finally, what is really essential for a reading instructional program.