Chapter2 of the book focuses on the ongoing debates about the bestapproaches and practices that can be used to achieve literacybalance. The debates on literacy balance are mainly based on twofactors. The first factor is the type emphasis that can bring thebalance of literacy. The available alternatives include the emphasison code-breaking and understanding the content (Madda, Griffo,Pearson & Raphael, 2011). Although the proponents of the twocamps have valid reasons to support their choice, I feel thatbreaking the code should be the best alternative, especially foryoung children who are being introduced into the formal education.This is because enhancing the student’s capacity to decode thecurriculum content will enable them read on their own and derivemeaning from texts.
Thesecond factor is the literacy focus where some people advocate forthe sanctity of the education curriculum while others support a focuson individual child (Madda etal.,2011). In my view, neither of these camps is wrong, but a balance ofliteracy can only be achieved by blending the two perspectives. Thismeans that the sanctity of the curriculum should be maintained, whilethe teacher who is expected to deliver the content of the curriculumshould focus on the abilities (strengths and weaknesses) of theindividual child. This implies that the teaching approach should betailored to address the needs of individual children withoutinterfering with the sanctity of the curriculum.
Thefour factors (including the authenticity of the school tasks, theclassroom discourse, curriculum control, and teachers` roles)identified by the authors of the text are the primary tools that canbe used to achieve the literacy balance. Although I agree with thisnotion, educators should appreciate the fact that students havedifferent capabilities for educational attainment. This means that,other things held constant, varying the teaching methodologies tosuit the needs of students is paramount.
Madda,L., Griffo, B., Pearson, P. & Raphael, T. (2011). Balancein comprehensive literacy instruction: Evolving conceptions.New York, NY: Guilford.