In the past several decades, the pendulum in education has swung from one reading approach to another, but the war between phonics and whole language is no longer waged with as much vigor as it once was. Researchers and educators are searching for a balance between the methods of the past and the present evidence about how children learn. Margaret Mooney, author of the book "Developing Lifelong Readers," writes, "The best approach to teaching reading is a combination of approaches. No single approach is sufficient for any child, nor is any predetermined combination of approaches."
Current education research supports a balanced approached to literacy, one that views reading, writing, speaking and listening as interrelated. Moreover, instruction in language arts continues across the disciplines -- in science, social studies and math. Some of the teaching components used in a balanced approach include: ongoing assessment, direct instruction of strategies and skills, independent reading and writing as well as guided reading and writing, sustained silent reading, shared reading and reading aloud.