Larry Sanger

Online knowledge organizer. Co-founder of Wikipedia, Ph.D. Philosophy.

Does reading count as direct instruction?

I have a provocative question for the teachers and educational theorists out there: does reading count as direct instruction?  I ask because, if it does, then there is surely nothing wrong with direct instruction, per se. I think it is plausible to call it instruction, anyway.  The basic difference…

Review: “Your Baby Can Read”

Here is my review of the Your Baby Can Read videos, as posted on Amazon.com. Many people have found that Your Baby Can Read works, especially if it is used as part of a larger literacy program that includes plenty of reading to the child.  I found that it helped quite a bit with my first child.…

Advice for the Wikimedia Foundation (not for Wikipedia!)

Since before I left Wikipedia, even before I proposed the old Sifter project in 2002, Wikipedians have talked about a method of using experts to rate, or approve, or review versions of Wikipedia articles (cf. this Slate interview).  Similarly, some of the cooler heads both inside and outside…

Update about the boys

Here is a "brain dump" about what I've been doing with my little boys, ages 4.5 and 2 months.  I will refer to them as H. (the older) and E. (the younger). H's biggest accomplishment, recently, has been finally to learn to write not only all of his numbers, but all of his capital letters as well.…

Wikipedia’s ancient history unearthed

Wikipedia programmer Tim Starling has discovered some ancient backup files from the earliest months of Wikipedia. The files themselves (which I haven't downloaded yet, if I ever will) are here (8.4 MB) and cover some of the earliest history of Wikipedia.  This should be very interesting indeed, if…

Are child development experts getting it wrong?

I just came across this Psychology Today blog by Richard Gentry, author of Raising Confident Readers: How to Teach Your Child to Read and Write -- from Baby to Age 7.  He poses the question, "Are Commercial-Product Claims that Babies Can Read Overblown?"  He goes on: Or are too many child…

Could you teach your baby to read?

Is your reaction, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"?  I claim that you can teach your baby, toddler, or preschooler to read--probably.  What do you say to that? I was thinking about how my essay on baby reading hardly made a ripple on its first day out in the world,…

Essay on Baby Reading

I started teaching my little boy to read beginning at 22 months, and by age four, he was decoding text (reading, in that sense) quite fluently at the sixth grade level, or above. I've discovered that there isn't a lot written about the subject of baby reading.  So I have written a 45,000-word essay…

A comment on Wikileaks

Over the weekend, I wrote a series of Tweets inspired by Wikileaks' then-upcoming release of U.S. diplomatic communiqués.  This caused quite an uproar, with people insulting me vociferously and demanding that I explain myself.  (A few people were supportive, and thanks to them.)  I am not…

More replies about Wikimedia and the fallout of my report to the FBI

Background: on April 7, I posted the text of a report I made to the FBI to the EDTECH mailing list, in which I stated that, in my opinion, the Wikimedia Foundation may knowingly have posted "child pornography," by which I meant one common usage of the term, namely, "obscene visual…