Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
on 2 August 2004
Some teachers says that the book changed their lives. I'm not one of those. Put off, sometimes, by a rather know-it-all tone - "Until this moment you probably never knew this" - and by sidelines such as some odd assumptions about quite why a mother's educational background can be seen as an indicator of a child's success (more likely to spend time teaching their child to read and to send them to independent schools? Are both of these really the reasons?), I find myself wondering how sound some of her other statements are, too.
Nevertheless, McGuinness does have some sensible, analytical things to reveal, and does so in some order. Her talk about reading as a skilled behaviour that needs to be taught as such is spot on, for example, as is her pre-Literacy Strategy breakdown of the way in which the phonic "Code" develops and is put together. And since the NLS in effect collapses into the Simple View of Reading, perhaps this is a book to revisit.
So all in all I find it a Curate's Egg: parts of it are quite good. But not a book on phonics to change my life.