The concept of VAS arose out of observations during our research and is therefore unique to this website.
The word “VAS” determines a student’s capacity to process whole words (sight words).
“Echo” arises from our finding that early reading error patterns tend to persist…they leave echoes.
By probing for echoes of these error patterns and combining that with our research into whole word processing and phonics, a very detailed picture of students’ reading problems emerges.
Vas Reading Echo is the brainchild of two people: Byron & Jean Harrison and follows over 20 years of research, testing, writing and lecturing internationally. Susan Moore was one of the early supporters, who, in recognising the value and potential of VAS Theory, wrote the following:
“In the area of cognition, one simply cannot overstate the importance of the major pioneering work of Byron & Jean Harrison. Their recent demonstrations of the relationship between Visual Attention Span (VAS) and the reading and spelling problems commonly seen in our schools today promise to revolutionise the way reading and spelling is taught”.
DR. SUSAN MOORE
Research Editor of “Education Monitor”.
Independent researchers are a very rare breed. To do independent research you need three levers: access to large numbers of children, one-on-one teaching and the freedom to follow the research data regardless of current beliefs.
A number of coincidences converged to generate the initial research: Byron had access to large numbers of children through his optometric practices and Jean, also had access to large numbers of children after founding the state’s leading remedial centre.
Byron was studying visual attention and developing tests of reading performance; Jean was being confronted by every aspect of reading difficulty in her remedial centre whilst studying for her Master’s degree in Educational Studies. Subject electives such as the study of the neuro-anatomy of memory became the basis for her future teaching approach.
Together they exposed widespread literacy problems, diagnosed the causes, wrote papers, made submission, lobbied ministers and bureaucrats, wrote books, lectured internationally, mentored many teachers and helped thousands of children throughout the English-speaking world.
They now release their diagnostic systems that will empower any parent or teacher to better understand and prevent commonplace reading problems. But they do much more…the new system will identify the underlying basic skill deficits and colour-code them to indicate the depth of the deficit… but there is more. The tests generate automatic reports on every child within 10 seconds of testing. The printout will compare every deficit with previous test results so that the parent or teacher can recognise if a child is falling further behind or catching up….there’s more…teachers and principals will be able to see at a glance the deficit areas of every child in their care, overloaded classes are identified, children with similar problems are identified for group teaching and the detection of exemplary teaching will henceforth be based on objective data.
Above all they care… they care because both Byron & Jean have lived with the consequences of having a child who experienced problems in reading. They know what it is to hear a child crying because tomorrow is a school day, they know the efforts that good teachers make, just as they know the penalties that their children paid.
Our Mission – Determined to Make a Difference.
To bring reform to the teaching of beginner readers.
To recognise the prime importance of those early years.
To empower teachers to be able to predict likely outcomes even before they start teaching.
To give Principals the tools necessary to truly manage literacy in schools.
To identify ‘best practice’ and examine why it is so.
To develop remedial resources targeted on the specific problems of each child.
To bring about an end to philosophy-driven policies and bring teaching closer to science.