Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do about It
Overview - This is the book that revolutionized the teaching of reading to children in America. Up until this time, since 1930, virtually all children in America had learned to read from the book "Dick and Jane." As this book demonstrated, Dick and Jane had unnatural dialogue and was not interesting to children. Read more...
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More About Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do about It by Rudolf Flesch; Sam Sloan
This is the book that revolutionized the teaching of reading to children in America. Up until this time, since 1930, virtually all children in America had learned to read from the book "Dick and Jane." As this book demonstrated, Dick and Jane had unnatural dialogue and was not interesting to children. In order to get the children to learn to read, materials had to be introduced that the children would find interesting. On page 6-7 of this book, the author condemns, "those series of horrible, stupid, emasculated, pointless, tasteless little readers, the stuff and gruff about Dick and Jane." It became widely acknowledged that "this was the book that killed Dick and Jane." After these conclusions were widely acknowledged, Dick and Jane had to be taken out and shot. Spot was sent to the pound. Millions of Dick and Jane books were sent to the recycle bin. As a result, the original Dick and Jane books are a rare collector's today. Why Johnny Can't Read is an angry book by an aroused parent. It is addressed to the thousands of bewildered parents whose normally intelligent youngsters can't read well enough to do their school work. Dr. Flesch has visited classrooms, talked to students, teachers and parents, worked his way through a mountain of books and articles and examined study materials. "Johnny can't read," Dr. Flesch concludes, "for the simple reason that nobody ever showed him how." The American System of teaching children to read was no longer the traditional alphabetic-phonetic method. Since 1925 most children had been forced to memorize entire words one after another like Chinese characters - a process which ends in disorderly guesswork. Failing to learn how to sound out words letter by letter, the child never mastered the mechanics of reading. Dr. Flesch provides a cure in this book. Why Johnny Can't Read contains complete material and instructions for teaching children to read at home. Here are step-by-step directions, simple phonetic drills, which can be used for beginners or youngsters whose reading ability hasn't kept pace with their development in other fields. Parents who apply these wise and proven methods can give their children invaluable aid. It has 74 pages of phonetic lists, 9 charts of block and script letters.
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