Reading in the Elementary Schools of Indianapolis. III
The Elementary school journal
The discussions in the preceding articles of this series have raised a number of questions concerning the results of reading instruction in Indianapolis. It is proposed in this article and the next to discuss the methods of teaching which are employed by the teachers of Indianapolis, and to outline changes in classroom procedure wherever such changes are advisable. In order to emphasize at least four stages in the acquisition of reading ability, the discussions relating to methods of teaching
... thods of teaching reading have been organized about the problems of the following periods: (I) the initial period in attaching meanings to printed words (first grade); (2) the development of the fundamental habits and associations involved in fluent oral reading (second and third grades); (3) the broadening of experience through extensive silent reading (fourth, fifth, and sixth grades); (4) the independent application of reading ability to all phases of school work (seventh and eighth grades). THE INITIAL PERIOD IN ATTACHING MEANINGS TO PRINTED WORDS (FIRST GRADE) The aim of first-grade reading is twofold: namely, to train pupils to attach meanings to printed symbols and to develop independence in the recognition of simple, unfamiliar words. Progressive school systems have adopted the former aim as fundamental and important. The point of view of St. Louis 5o6 This content downloaded from 144.082.238.225 on January 11, 2018 18:22:23 PM All use subject to University of Chicago Press Terms and Conditions (http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/t-and-c READING IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 507 is illustrated in the following quotation from a recent report of the Subcommittee on Reading: Reading is primarily a thought-process, and the first aim in teaching it should be to enable the child to get the thought quickly and accurately from written or printed symbols. From the very beginning reading should be done only for the sake of getting meaning. The habits formed in the first reading experiences and the set of the mind toward the act and the purposes of reading must be right from the start. Consequently any method which lays the initial stress on reading as word-calling is to be avoided. . . . .