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Sheet Music

Posted by BruceDeitrickPrice on 20 Aug 2010 at 22:52 GMT

I suspect the most convenient parallel with the reading process is what an expert pianist does when sight-reading a new piece of music. A process, by the way, which unfolds at extraordinary speed. The brain must identify and respond to each individual note. There can be no thought of clunking or otherwise processing a group of notes (as a group). No, the job must be done one note at a time. Second, there can be no thought that context (or any similar word) plays any part in this process. It's a D, a quarter-note, and that's all-- play it.

One factor that makes all this research so complex is that the brain appears to me to be an equal opportunity problem-solver. it will use any trick in the book to make a determination, and keep moving. The idea that the brain does something the same way every time is probably a dead-end. One thing we can be sure of is that the brain will not do something the slow way if possible. I think this explains why, given time, even children taught to read with sight-words will eventually work their way to reading phonetically. But this detour will leave scars.

I confess to being very cynical about the Education Establishment. Having said that, I can now voice my opinion that 80% of what one hears about reading (for the past 75 years) is propaganda designed to protect Whole Word. That is, protect it from its much deserved extinction.

No competing interests declared.