Beginning to Read and The Spin Doctors Science
NCTE, June, 1998. Fourth Printing.
The contention that phonemic awareness must be taught directly and that children need explicit systematic instruction in phonics is less of a scientific “fact” than an exercise in political persuasion. Beginning to Read and the Spin Doctors of Science is the story of the political campaign that is taking place to change the minds of Americans about how young children learn to read. “My purpose in writing Spin Doctors is to reconstruct the underlying assumptions of the political arguments that trouble and divide us, and to discover how the arguments are conceived and how they are shaped. I want to provide those who read this book with opportunities to raise fundamental questions about the character and purpose of “the reading wars.”