Geraldine Rodgers

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Geraldine Rodgers is an American author, educator, and researcher.

Geraldine E. Rodgers
Born 1925
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality American
Occupation Teacher, author
Known for Reading research
Notable work The History of Beginning Reading

Early Life

Geraldine Rodgers graduated from Lyndhurst High School in 1942, and attended the Washington School for Secretaries in Newark from 1942 to 1943, and then briefly worked for the Office of the Prosecutor of the Pleas of Essex County in Newark in 1943. She then worked very briefly for the DL&W Lackawana Railroad, on West Street in New York - January to May, 1944. During this time, she overlooked the river on her job.

Career

Geraldine was a secretary for the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey from 1944 - 1962.

She taught elementary school from 1963 to 1986 in Wayne, New Jersey.

She also gave talks at Reading Reform Meetings and the Eagle Forum.

Education

B.S., Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, New Jersey, Magna Cum Laud, 1963

M.A., William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, 1967

Sabbatical

Geraldine took a two-week leave from the Wayne schools in 1971 to visit Open Classroom schools in England. She later took a six-months’ sabbatical leave from the schools of Wayne, New Jersey in 1977-1978, during which she observed first grade classes and tested second grade classes in Europe and in the United States. She observed beginning classes in England in 1971, and first and second grades in the United States, Luxembourg, Holland, Sweden, Germany, Austria and France in 1977-1978.

Notable Because

Rodgers is notable for her research and writing on beginning reading and the rating scale she developed. She developed a rating scale for beginning reading books, which she explained and used in her History of Beginning Reading. She also developed a theory that there are two types of readers, one from each end of her scale.

Rodgers describes her rating scale,

Rodgers also identified a period of whole language teaching from 1826 - 1876, focused on elocution.

She applied the rating code she developed to beginning reading texts from several different countries. The following table shows some sample ratings from her History of Beginning Reading.

Code Year Published Author Title Page in Rodgers' History
10 1783 Noah Webster American Spelling Book 327
4 1826 Franklin Primer 327
1 1832 Hazen Symbolic Primer 470
7 1836 Town Speller 492 - 493
4 1843 Town Revised Speller 493
1 1866 Sanders Union Primer 528
3 1873 Monroe Primer 621
3 1878 Appleton Reader 596
6 1912 Beacon Reader 755
10 1913 Florence Akin Word Mastery 1395
3 1930 William S. Gray Dick and Jane 327
10 1963 McQueen Open Court Reader 1553
10 1990 Mona McNee Step by Step 1573

Rodgers' The History of Beginning Reading is comprehensive and well research and documented. She states,

Sabbatical Findings

Geraldine's sabbatical research found that phonics was superior to whole language in both European and American classrooms.

Rodgers also found that the more phonics based a program was, the better the results:


This table shows a sampling of her review of beginning reading programs during her sabbatical research, with her code scores for each program, with code 1 pure meaning and code 10 pure sound.

Code Country Publisher Author Title Page in Why Jacques Can Read
6 Netherlands Not Listed (NL) F.B. Caesar Not Listed (NL) 54
10 Netherlands NL Dr. J. J. Kooreman Letterstad 64 - 65
8 Netherlands Kijkstra Uitgeverij NL Leesfeest 67 – 69
9 Sweden Borrman Matthis Salminen Wigforss NL Nu Laser 74
10 Germany NL NL Bunte Fibel 88 - 89
10 Germany NL NL Bunte Welt 89
10 Austria Verlag Leitner & Co. NL Kommt, Wir Wollen Lesen und Schreiben 95
10 United States Lippincott NL Basic Reading 120
10 United States Open Court NL Open Court Reading and Writing 127
7 United States Economy NL Keys to Reading 133
10 United States Alpha One NL Letter People 136
2, 5 United States Scott, Foresman NL Systems 140
3 United States Houghton Mifflin Moffett NL Reading for Meaning 140

In the forward to the 2004 edition her book, Why Jacques, Johann and Jan Can Read, she notes that the quality of phonics programs has declined in both Europe and America,

Theory of Two Types of Readers

Rodgers' research led her to believe that there are two types of readers, one from each end of her reading scale.

Brain research on reading at the time also led her to believe that there were two types of reading, each processed on a different side of the brain.

Bibliography

Books

  • "The Hidden Story" (2014) ISBN 978-1585000227
  • "The Born-Yesterday World of the Reading Experts: A Critique of Recent Research on Reading and the Brain" (2004) ISBN 978-1418432355
  • "Why Jacques, Johann and Jan Can Read" (2004, 1979) ISBN 978-1589613279
  • "The History of Beginning Reading" (2000) ISBN 978-1588209726
  • "The Case for the Prosecution, in the Trial of Silent Reading Comprehension Tests, Charged with the Destruction of America's Schools" (1983) ISBN 978-1589399952


Online Articles

"Why Noah Webster's Way was the right way" (PDF). June 10, 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 

"The Born-Yesterday Word of the Reading Experts" (PDF). October 8, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 

  1. Rodgers, Geraldine (February 4, 2017). An Interview with Geraldine Rodgers. (Interview). email interview. 
  2. Rodgers, Geraldine (2001). The History of Beginning Reading: From Teaching by Sound to Teaching by Meaning, Vol. 1. pp. vi. ISBN 978-1588209726. 
  3. Rodgers, Geraldine (2001). The History of Beginning Reading: From Teaching by Sound to Teaching by Meaning, Vol. 1. p. 456. ISBN 978-1588209726. 
  4. Rodgers, Geraldine (2001). The History of Beginning Reading: From Teaching by Sound to Teaching by Meaning, Vol. 1. pp. 1080 – 1081. ISBN 978-1588209726. 
  5. Rodgers, Geraldine (2004). Why Jacques, Johann and Jan Can Read. pp. 173 – 176. ISBN 978-1589613279 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
  6. Rodgers, Geraldine (2004). Why Jacques, Johann and Jan Can Read. p. 176. ISBN 978-1589613279 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
  7. Rodgers, Geraldine (2004). Why Jacques, Johann and Jan Can Read. pp. 7 – 8. ISBN 978-1589613279 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
  8. Rodgers, Geraldine (2001). The History of Beginning Reading: From Teaching by Sound to Teaching by Meaning, Vol. 1. p. 556. ISBN 978-1588209726. 
  9. Rodgers, Geraldine (2001). The History of Beginning Reading: From Teaching by Sound to Teaching by Meaning, Vol. 1. p. 1123. ISBN 978-1588209726.