April 27

Question B: Is Roadmap Based on a Particular Evidence-Based Approach?

Do you refer to a particular evidence-based approach to reading in your book?

Not per se. Roadmap outlines an entirely new approach–one that borrows from many streams rather than declaring allegiance to phonics or whole language or any one particular evidence-based approach. The underlying research that supports Roadmap is based on material from Bear et al, which is the foundation for many different evidence-based approaches to reading. However, Roadmap is something new.

I developed my own approach to teaching reading because I was not satisfied with the current evidence-based approaches. Too many of them are too fixed and do not help students at different stages of education (and concomitant levels of brain development). They also do not recognize that all reading approaches contain one or more useful features. It is by looking at how the brain develops literacy–both through today's research and through the lens of how humanity develops literacy over the ages–that I found some useful clues as to what is an optimal approach to teaching writing and reading. Once I had my framework, I then brought in aspects from many different evidence-based approaches to literacy–including aspects from Lindamood Bell (which is my background), Orton Gillingham, and others.

Roadmap is a new approach to teaching literacy. It is based on modern research and on Steiner's indications. (Paradoxically, it is more in alignment with Steiner's indications than most things done in Waldorf classrooms in Steiner Schools.)  It is truly a hybrid of many approaches–which is what Steiner had wanted. Trying to classify things is very much against the spirit of Steiner's indications–and yet, it has to be done. Classifying things helps us figure out what is and is not happening in the classroom–and allows us to figure out how to improve the education.


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