Multi Sensory Teaching Can Decrease Juvenile Crime
A Plea to the US Public School System
Multi sensory teaching is an important topic, and one that needs to be addressed immediately. It may be uncomfortable to discuss for some people as it requires a fundamental paradigm shift from the current public school model. However, the most uncomfortable topics (in any arena of life) must be discussed in order to make progress. Perhaps if we had this discussion thirty years ago, we wouldn’t have 32 million illiterate adults. Don’t get me wrong, I love teachers, but I dislike the politics.
First off, I think it’s pertinent to discuss what multi-sensory teaching actually is. Children have very different learning styles. When a multi-sensory approach of seeing, hearing, saying and writing the phonograms and spelling words directly from dictation is used, then all students will learn whether they have a learning mode that is auditory, visual or kinesthetic. A multi-sensory method has a synergistic effect of addressing the stronger learning mode while reinforcing the weakest; it is effective for beginning, remedial and advanced students.
What do the Statistics Say?
Some of the statistics that go along with the aforementioned illiteracy of adults are absolutely shocking. It’s almost criminal.
According to an article by the Huffington Post, 32 million individuals that are illiterate account for 14 percent of the population. Even more alarming, 25 percent of adults in the US have a reading ability of an average 5th grader. It’s no wonder that books are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
The most shocking statistic, though, is 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. There are more bleak statistics in the aforementioned article, and I suggest that you take the time to read it as it’s an eye-opener… I’m not here to talk about statistics today, though. I want to talk about a far greater problem. I want to talk about what happens to these individuals who never learn how to read effectively.
“Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women.” Click to Tweet
As the title of this article suggests, reading ability and crime closely correlate. Two thirds of all children who don’t learn how to read effectively by fourth grade will end up in prison or on welfare. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in… According to UNICEF:
Out of inmates that receive remedial instruction for reading, there’s only a 17 percent chance of them returning to prison versus a 70 percent chance if they don’t receive help. Correlation doesn’t always equal causation, but in this case, I think the numbers speak for themselves.
The Solution: Teach Explicit Phonics (For Free)
What do all of these grim statistics mean? And more importantly, what can people actively do to avoid this grizzly scenario happening to their children? And how can public schools combat literacy problems in a fundamental way?
The solution is a hands on approach to reading, spelling and writing; an explicit, kinesthetic way of teaching phonics. As a matter of fact, people can access our Mnemonic Phonic Technique for free and start teaching their children the sounds of the English Language RIGHT NOW. It’s a unique learning tool designed by my Grandma Pauline to help students sound out the phonogram’s sound sequence. But, here’s what makes it really special: it provides colorful illustrations AND mnemonic catch phrases that help students remember each sound. Simply listen to the narrator the first time as he introduces the sounds of each phonogram and repeat the second time. Actively listen to this video three to four times a day and your child will be MEASURABLY ahead of all of his peers.
I fully believe (research and science confirm this belief) that if public schools adopted our Mnemonic Phonic Technique (much less a comprehensive explicit phonics curriculum), not only would they reverse the trend of illiteracy (and see their students’ test scores increase), but they could help a VAST majority of non-English speakers that are currently flooding the public school system, but that’s a topic for another time.
Caveats to Learning English
I like to put all the caveats out there front and center. I’m a decent human being and I don’t like to bury anything in the fine print. Most children will benefit from multisensory phonics instruction. However, just like in any field, there will be those who won’t.
Unfortunately, many children (the majority who can learn effectively from explicit phonics) aren’t receiving any form of phonics instruction in the public school sphere. It hardly matters that a minority won’t benefit from it (There are solutions to the minority; Maryanne Wolf’s “Proust and the Squid” is a great book that addresses this very issue and their learning center is designed exactly for students who have special learning disabilities–I don’t receive money for promoting her book or their work, by the way).
The MAJORITY are still suffering, the majority are still receiving whole language/Common Core instruction and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time we take a step back and ask ourselves if the public school system is really doing all it can to help these children, or if it’s really just about posturing and being politically correct.
What Can Teachers Do?
I understand that a lot of teachers would rather not risk their tenure (and their livelihood) to speak out about the injustice these students are exposed to, but the problem will continue without their help. Illiteracy rates will keep rising until a systematic, explicit phonics approach is adopted in each and every school in US. I urge teachers to talk to their board of directors and their superintendents and bring them the research and the facts–heck, bring them the Mnemonic Phonic Technique. If every teacher did this, I guarantee their students would be immeasurably more effective in their reading ability. Plus, incarceration rates would plummet which, I think, the tax payers wouldn’t mind. Locking people up is expensive.
I run this blog to solve problems teachers and parents have. If you like what you’re reading please subscribe to our blog. The fact of the matter is that millions of children are on their way to becoming functionally illiterate, and subsequently on their way to prison. I’ve argued before that using a bottom-up, explicit, multi sensory phonics approach not only teaches children to read, spell and write effectively, but it also helps develop empathy. Empathy is one biggest contributors by which these children can avoid the deep pit of wasted human potential: prison.
Until we disregard the politics and the sophists, until we gird our loins and pull up our boot straps, until we demand an effective method to teach our children to read–there will be no hope for our children, or their children. We need hope to survive. Forget all the politicians who routinely use children as their rhetorical platform to gather votes, this is real talk about children. Our children need us, and they need explicit phonics.