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Beginning the formal study of music theory well into mid-life has enabled me to focus with new clarity on a gnawing concern. This concern, which has pursued me as I have walked with my undergraduate majors into the era of whole language, has two dimensions — both young children and novice teachers. The first concern is those particular young children, who when immersed in a print rich environment, fail to make the inductive leaps which allow them to become emergent readers (O'Donnell and Wood, 1992). My second concern is the early childhood and elementary preservice teachers who are so indoctrinated in the practice of whole language that they have few alternatives when this approach fails to provide success for every child.

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