Make no mistake:
Boys visual development is, on average, 1 year behind that of girls.
Boys are disadvantaged in a Whole Language infant classroom.
What is VAS?
* VAS stands for 'Visual Attention Span'.
* It is a function of visual short term working memory.
* It is a measurement of how much visual information can be processed at a glance.
What is VAS Theory?
* It is the linking of VAS development to teaching methods and cognitive development.
* ‘mad’ misread as ‘maid’ (letter names & sounds confusion)
* ‘big’ misread as ‘dig’ (b/d confusion)
* ‘men’ misread as ‘man’ (end letter guessing)
* ‘of’ misread as ’for’ or ‘on’ as ‘no’ (poor left to right processing)
* ‘saw’ misread as ’was’ (word reversals)
* ‘insist’ misread as ’insect’ (mis-guessing similar words)
Low VAS can result in early failure.
IF teaching is Whole Language based.
A child with low VAS won’t be able to learn the
“Green” words or the
“Blue” words by sight.
Failure to teach this child ‘sounding & blending’ consigns him/her to failure from the outset.
Of 345 seven year old children, 31% had a VAS level too low for whole word guessing accuracy. They would fail in a Whole Language classroom.
60% of the 345 showed the error patterns expected of whole word guessers.
VAS is developmental.
You can’t artificially raise it.
Phonics doesn’t require high VAS - Whole Language does !
The first critical phase occurs early, in grades 1-2
(associated with low VAS and poor phonics)
The second critical phase occurs later, in grades 4-5
(associated with high VAS and poor phonics)
Follow this VAS Ceiling Link to understand why.
“Just over 47,000 children - who were considered to be high-fliers at the age of seven - failed to reach their potential by 11 - effectively going backwards in the last few years of primary education.”
Taken from UK Primary school league tables 2013