International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 2834-7919   |  e-ISSN: 1554-5210

Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2006, Vol. 2(2) 43-61

The Future of Whole Language

Carol Gilles

pp. 43 - 61   |  Manu. Number: ijpe.2006.007

Published online: June 01, 2006  |   Number of Views: 230  |  Number of Download: 725


Whole language is a dynamic and generative philosophy of education that started as a grass roots teacher movement. Throughout its history it has been lauded worldwide as well as being attacked. This article explores whole language through two lenses. First it examines the history of whole language through the eyes of someone who participated in the grass-roots movement. Secondly, the future of whole language is examined through the voices of whole language and literacy leaders. Their answers to questions about whole language’s fit with progressive education, its greatest accomplishment and its future direction offer support and encouragement for progressive, holistic educators around the world.


Keywords: -

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Gilles, C. (2006). The Future of Whole Language . International Journal of Progressive Education, 2(2), 43-61.

Gilles, C. (2006). The Future of Whole Language . International Journal of Progressive Education, 2(2), pp. 43-61.

Chicago 16th edition
Gilles, Carol (2006). "The Future of Whole Language ". International Journal of Progressive Education 2 (2):43-61.

  1. Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays by M. M. Bakhtin. In Michael Holquist (Ed.). (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press. [Google Scholar]
  2. Bakhtin, M. M. (1984). Problems in Dostoevsky’s Poetics. (C. Emerson, Trans. & Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota. [Google Scholar]
  3. Barnes, D. (1976). From communication to curriculum. London: Peguin Books. [Google Scholar]
  4. Behrman, E. (2006). Teaching about language, power, and text: A review of classroom practices that support critical literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49 (8), 480-488. [Google Scholar]
  5. Boran, S. & Comber, B. (2001). Critiquing whole language and classroom inquiry.Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. [Google Scholar]
  6. Brinkley, E. (1998). What’s religion got to do with attacks on whole language? In K. Goodman (Ed.). In defense of good teaching (pp. 57-73). Portland: ME: Stenhouse. [Google Scholar]
  7. Britton, J., Burgess, T., Martin, N., McLeod, A., & Rosen, H. (1975). The development of writing abilities (11-18). London: Macmillan. [Google Scholar]
  8. Brown, J. Goodman, K.S., Marek, A. M. (1996). Studies in miscue analysis: An annotated bibliography. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. [Google Scholar]
  9. Calkins, L. (1983). Lessons from a child. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  10. Church, S.M. (2001). The journey form pedagogy to politidcs: Taking whole language seriously. In S. Boren & B. Comber (Eds.) Critiquing whole language and classroom inquiry. [Google Scholar]
  11. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience as education. New York: Collier. [Google Scholar]
  12. Dewey, J. (1943). The child and the curriculum and the school and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Google Scholar]
  13. Dudley-Marling, C. & Edelsky, C. (Eds.). 2001). The fate of progressive language policies and practices. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. [Google Scholar]
  14. Edelsky, C., Altgwerger, B., & Flores, B. (1991). Whole language: What’s the difference? Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  15. Ferreiro, E., & Teberosky, A., (1982). Literacy before schooling. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  16. Freeman, D. & Freeman, Y. (1998). California reading: The pendulum swings. In K. Goodman (Ed.). In defense of good teaching. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. [Google Scholar]
  17. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. [Google Scholar]
  18. Freire, P. (1985). The politics of education. Westport: CT: Bergin and Garvey. [Google Scholar]
  19. Gee, J.P. (2001). Progressivism, critique, and socially situated minds. In C. Dudley-Marling & C. [Google Scholar]
  20. Edelsky (Eds.). The fate of progressive languagepolicies andpractices. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. [Google Scholar]
  21. Gilles, C., Bixby, M., Crowley, P., Crenshaw, S., Henrichs, M., Reynolds, F., & Pyle, D. (1988). Whole language strategies for secondary learners. Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen, Publisher. [Google Scholar]
  22. Goodman, K. (1973). Miscues: Windows on the reading process. In K. Goodman (Ed.). Miscue [Google Scholar]
  23. analysis: Applications to reading instruction. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. [Google Scholar]
  24. Goodman, K. S.(1998). In defense of good teaching; What teachers need to know about the “Reading Wars. ” Portland, ME: Stenhouse. [Google Scholar]
  25. Goodman, K. S. (1981). Miscue analysis: Applications to reading instruction. Urbana, IL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills. [Google Scholar]
  26. Goodman, K. S. (1986). What’s whole in whole language? Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann [Google Scholar]
  27. Goodman, K.S., Goodman, Y.M., & Bridges-Bird, L. (1992). Whole language catalog supplement on authentic assessment. New York: MacGraw-Hill. [Google Scholar]
  28. Goodman, K.S., Goodman, Y.M., & Hood, W. J. (1989). The whole language evaluation book. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  29. Goodman, K.S., Shannon, P., Freeman, Y.S., & Murphy, S. (1988). Report card on the basal readers. Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  30. Goodman, K.S, Shannon, P., Goodman, Y., & Rapoport, R. (2004). Saving our schools:The case of public education saying no to “No ChildLeft Behind. ” Muskegon, MI: RDR Books. [Google Scholar]
  31. Goodman, Y. (1985). Kidwatching: Observing children in the classroom. In A. Jaggar & M.T. Smith- Burke (Eds.). Observing the language learner (pp. 9-18). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English and Newark, DE: International Reading Association. [Google Scholar]
  32. Goodman, Y. (1989). Roots of the whole-language movement. The Elementary School Journal,9 (2), 113-129. [Google Scholar]
  33. Goodman, Y. M. & Marek, A.M. (1996). Retrospective miscue analysis: Revaluing readers and reading. Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen, Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  34. Goodman, Y.M., Watson, D.J. & Burke, C. (1987). Reading miscue inventory: Alternative procedures. Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  35. Goodman, Y.M., Watson, D.J., & Burke, C. (2005). Reading miscue inventory: From evaluation to instruction. (2nd edition). Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  36. Graves, D. (1981). Donald Graves in Australia: “Children want to write. ” Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  37. Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning how to mean. New York: Elsevier North-Holland. [Google Scholar]
  38. Harp. B. (1996). Handbook of literacy assessment and evaluation. Norwood, MA: Christopher~Gordon Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  39. Harste, J. & Burke, C. (1977). Reading; Theory, research and practice. In P.D Pearson (Ed.). Twenty- sixth yearbook of the national reading conference (pp. 32-40). Clemson, SC: National Reading Conference. [Google Scholar]
  40. Harste, J., Short, K.G & Burke, C. (1995). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers (2nd edition). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  41. Holdaway, D. (1979). Foundations of literacy. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. [Google Scholar]
  42. Inhelder, B. & Piaget, J. (1959). The growth of logical thinking from childhood to adolescence: An essay on the construction of formal operational structures. New York: Basic Books. [Google Scholar]
  43. Lakoff, G. (2004). Don’t think of an elephant! White River Junction: VT: Chelsea Green Publishing. [Google Scholar]
  44. Leland, C.H., Harste, J.C., Davis, A., Haas, C., McDaniel, K., Parsons, M. (2003). It made me hurt inside: Exploring tough social issues through critical literacy. Journal of Reading Education. 28(2), 7-15. [Google Scholar]
  45. Luke, A. (1995). When basic skills and information processing just aren’t enough: Rethinking reading in new times. Teachers College Record. 97(1), 95-115. [Google Scholar]
  46. Manning, M., Manning, G., & Long, R. (1994). Theme Immersion: Inquiry -based curriculum in elementary and middle schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  47. Moore, R.A. & Gilles, C. (2005). Reading conversations. Retrospective miscue analysis for struggling readers, grades 4-12. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  48. Murphy, S. (1998). The sky is falling: Whole language meets Henny Penny. In K. Goodman (Ed.). In defense of good teaching. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. [Google Scholar]
  49. Newman, J. (Ed.) (1985). Whole language theory and use. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  50. Pearson, P.D. (1989) Reading the whole -language movement. The Elementary School Journal, 90(2), 231-243. [Google Scholar]
  51. Peterson, R. (1992). Life in a crowdedplace. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  52. Peterson, R. and Eads, M. (1990). Grand conversations. NY: Scholastic. [Google Scholar]
  53. Pierce, K.M. & Gilles, C. (Eds.). (1993). Cycles of meaning: Exploring the potential of talk in learning communities. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  54. Read, C. (1975). Children ’s categorization of speech sounds in English (research Rep. No. 17). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. [Google Scholar]
  55. Rosenblatt, L. (1976). Literature through exploration (3rd ed.) New York: Nobel & Noble. [Google Scholar]
  56. Shor, I. & Freire, P. (1987). A pedagogy of liberation. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey. [Google Scholar]
  57. Short, K.G. & Pierce, K.M. (1998) Talking about books: Literature discussion groups in K-8 classrooms. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  58. Smith, C. (1994). Whole language: The debate. Bloomington, IN: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English and Communication. [Google Scholar]
  59. Smith, F. (1971). Understanding reading. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. [Google Scholar]
  60. Smith, F. (1973.) Psycholinguistics and reading. New York: Holt, Winston and Company. [Google Scholar]
  61. Smith, K. (2001). Critical conversations in difficult times. English Education 33 (2), 153-165. [Google Scholar]
  62. Street, B. (1995). Social literacies: Critical approaches to literacy in development, ethnography and education. White Plains, NY: Longman. [Google Scholar]
  63. Stevens, D. (1991). Research on whole language: Support for a new curriculum. Katawah, NY: Richard C. Owen, Publisher. [Google Scholar]
  64. Strube, P. (1993). Theme studies: A practical guide. New York: Scholastic. [Google Scholar]
  65. Taylor, D. (2001). Profile: A day in the life of Brian Cambourne: Teacher, activist, scholar. Language Arts, 79 (2), 178-189. [Google Scholar]
  66. VanSluys, K., Lewison, M., Seely Flint, A., (2006). Research workshop: The challenges of and [Google Scholar]
  67. possiblities for researching critical practices, American Educational Research Conference, San Francisco. [Google Scholar]
  68. Vasquez, V. (2003). Getting beyond “I liked the book, " Creating spaces for critical literacy in K-6 classrooms. Newark, NJ: International Reading Association. [Google Scholar]
  69. Vasquez, V. (2004). Negotiating critical literacies with young children (Language, Culture and Teaching Series.), New York: Erhlbaum. [Google Scholar]
  70. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman, Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. [Google Scholar]
  71. Watson, D. (1989). Defining and describing whole language. Elementary School Journal, 90(2), 129¬142. [Google Scholar]
  72. Watson, D. (1988). Ideas and insights: Language arts in the elementary school. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. [Google Scholar]
  73. Watson, D., Burke, C. & Harste, J. (1989). Whole language: Inquiring voices. New York: Scholastic. [Google Scholar]
  74. Weaver, C. (1988). Readingprocess andpractice: From socio-psycholinguistics to whole language. Portsmouth: NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  75. Weaver, C. & Brinkley, E. (1998). Phonics, whole language and the religious and political right. In K. Goodman (Ed.). In defense of good teaching (pp. 127-142). Portland, ME: Stenhouse. [Google Scholar]
  76. Wilde, S. (Ed). (1996). Making a difference: Selected writings of Dorothy Watson. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Google Scholar]
  77. Wilson, J. L. (2004). Talking beyond the text: Identifying andfostering critical talk in a middle school classroom. Unpublished dissertation, Columbia, MO: University of Missouri. [Google Scholar]