Article by Garan Reflection Critical Essay

Reflection Paper

After a careful reading of the article by Garan (2001) it is clear to me that the required and set down rules where never followed in the research. The research in itself has so many flaws as indicated by the writer and I strongly agree with the criticism on it. These are among them:


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Publication of two reports

Publication of two reports one of which is a later version of the other did not follow rules of citation. This is a flaw which has reduced the credibility of the report. If revision is has to be done in a research paper to correct errors in the first publication, it should be indicated as a second volume. In addition, the changes should be stated clearly.

Limitation of the research

A research report should also entail limitations of the research, which evidently lacked in this report as stated by the writer. The wrong methodology is another issue. It was not appropriate leading to the misleading results.

Limited data amount and research administration

The small number of studies used added to the many flaws on the results of the research, 38 in number according to the writer and the NPR terming it as unfortunate, throwing the question of how credible are the results?. Administration of uniform research questions matters a lot in research for uniformity, which did not meet the standards.

Some tests were conducted to some of the respondents and others were accepted, which is wrong and will skew the results. NRP also did not touch on normally developing readers above grade 1. Any normal school has all categories of students from high performing to those having problems in English.

This is also wrong as it does not provide enough data for greater variability hence better results. The data taken from the control group about a decade ago will definitely differ from the sample being studied when the number of the sample changes. The writer points out that in some years, a sample of 22 only was used.

This throws the question of consistency and reliability that NRP tries to put across that it used it in coming up with the results of the study, yet they did not follow at all. This makes the results wanting.


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Contradiction and Inconsistency

“The meta-analysis revealed that systematic phonics instruction produces significant benefits for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and for children having difficulty learning to read”.(Garan, 2001, p. 506). This is a contradiction to the statement; “there were insufficient data to draw any conclusions about the effects of phonics instruction with normally developing readers above first grade” (Garan, 2001, p. 506).

This is unacceptable and it is a major flaw in this paper. You have to get the data in order to get the findings after analysis t

Critic’s opinion and my counter to the same

The issue of acceptable error limits in research has been experienced in the research paper but in research no errors are tolerated. We should try as much as possible to avert them but the report did not try to. In conclusion, there should be no bias. Researchers should take their job professionally and follow the laid down rules


Garan, E. M. (2001). Beyond the smoke and mirrors: a critique of the reading panel on phonics. Phi Delta Kappan, 82 (7) : 500-506.