Professor who says reading is like riding a bike

19th November 2004 at 00:00
A generation of teachers was influenced by the ideology of Frank Smith - and as a result a generation of children learned to read without the use of phonics.

Professor Smith, 76, a one-time journalist, has written many books about literacy and believes that reading is a skill acquired simply by doing it - like riding a bicycle - and does not need to be taught.

He has a PhD from Harvard university, and has been a professor at various institutions, including the Ontario institute for studies in education, the University of Toronto, and the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Professor Smith's works include Unspeakable Acts, Unnatural Practices:Flaws and Fallacies in Scientific Reading Instruction, Insult to Intelligence: The Bureaucratic Invasion of Our Classrooms and Between Hope and Havoc: Essays into Human Learning and Education.

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