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Retarding America: The Imprisonment of Potential

NCJ Number
M Brunner
Date Published
0 pages
Using interviews with educators and students, this video promotes the benefits of systematic phonics as the most effective method of teaching reading to young children in the public schools and to illiterate juveniles in correctional facilities.
During interviews with educators who support the use of systematic phonics in teaching beginning reading, they note that the United States ranks 47th in literacy among the countries of the world. They argue that the current method of teaching reading in America's public schools has failed to achieve the results expected and needed. Mike Brunner, an education consultant, provides a brief report on his study of the link between illiteracy and delinquent behavior. His study findings show a direct relationship between illiteracy and delinquency. Brunner supports the use of systematic phonics as the best method for remedying and preventing illiteracy. Phonics associates sounds with letters and the use of letter sound combinations to pronounce words. Much of the video focuses on the use of systematic phonics to teach illiterate juveniles in correctional facilities. Interviews with juveniles who have been exposed to phonics confirm its effectiveness. Juveniles who have learned to read by means of phonics also say that the ability to read has increased their self-esteem and modified their aggressive behavior.