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Open dialogue peer review: a response to Morag Stuart

Ellis, Sue (2008) Open dialogue peer review: a response to Morag Stuart. The Psychology of Education Review, 32 (2). pp. 11-12. ISSN 1463-9807

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Morag Stuart is right that how best to teach reading has been debated for years and we need clarity about what reading involves and how this develops in beginning readers. I also like her emphasis on teaching and on the importance of teaching phonics early and in a systematic way. The history of 'reading wars' has been unhelpful for researchers, policy-makers, teachers and, most importantly, children. We need to ensure that the debates this time around are more complex and measured. This means that, first, it is important to recognise the socio-cultural basis of literacy. Second, I prefer not to talk in terms of convincing anyone of the 'sense' of one view, but in terms of exploring how different views shed light on the actual task to be achieved - children who can, and do, read.