Email this review


Here at last is a sensitive and comprehensive study of the teaching of reading. This might indicate an appeal solely to the teacher or supervisor, and to be sure no teacher of reading, no administrator, no reading nor guiding specialist should be without it. But- and this is why we are reviewing it here-no parent with school age children at the elementary level, can if he has any ""common sense"" at all, afford not to read this book. There will be some eyebrows raised and sensibilities damaged, as Dr. Gans -- tactfully to be sure- attacks books with limited vocabularies, counted numbers of words, teaching programs with hidebound regulations fencing them in, too rigid use of just one formula, and so on. What she provides instead is a program suited to the child, whether at a slow reading achievement level or possibly too fast a progress for his grade. To illustrate her points she has, throughout, made her approach a human one; the children, drawn from actual experience, provide the examples, good and bad, and the onus must be taken by the teacher, the parent, if onus there is. The approach throughout is positive. The child emerges as the individual he is. Realistic recognition of environmental influences is shown as of prime importance as the author discusses the child's learning to read at home, in school and in community settings. The progression is from preschool age through the elementary school years, while consideration is given to imbalance- and its correction- later on. What is taught, what should be taught or could be taught at each level is effectively analyzed. The ""how"" and the ""why"" are studiously presented. Each chapter is followed by a carefully selected bibliography for further study. This is the kind of book about the teaching of reading that has been needed and sadly missed in the many extant today that are either negative in viewpoint, idealistic, remote from the students, or prone to generalizations. This book suffers from none of these faults. Highly recommended.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1963
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill