Evidence, Myths and Teaching Practices: The Case of Teaching Reading in Italian Schools
education; reading education; alphabetical and phono-syllabic methods
Scientific research into the best methods of teaching reading agrees that all pupils can benefit from a rigorous phono-syllabic approach Nevertheless global or ideo-visual methods exert a strong appeal to teachers and maintain a wide prevalence in teaching practices even where the language has a high transparency as in the case of Italian This paper presents the results of an experiment conducted in Italy that shows the significant advantages for teaching reading deriving from the use of a phono-syllabic progressive explicit and systematic method It underlines the need for institutional decision-makers and authors of school textbooks to take into account the evidence achieved by research and to avoid chasing methodologies superficially attractive but less effective if not harmful in such a significant field of early school education
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