Short Biography of Don
- Research Director,
AVKO Educational Research Foundation
- Born and raised in Flint,
Michigan, the home of General Motors and
the C.S. Mott Foundation
- McCabe graduated from Flint Technical
High School in 1950 as the class
- Received his A.A. degree from Flint
Junior College in 1952.
- Received his Ph.B. degree from the
University of Detroit in 1954.
- Was drafted into the Army Security
Agency (ASA), sent to the Army Language
School to learn Russian, and eventually
to a military intelligence base just
outside of Kyoto, Japan.
- Received his M.A. from the University of
Detroit in 1962 and his A.B.T., the
non-honorary, non-recognized degree from
Michigan State University in 1985 after
having completed all the course
requirements for the Ph.D. degree.
- Began his teaching career in 1959 and
taught high school and junior high until
1976 when he became the full-time
Research Director of the AVKO
- Is listed in Who's Who, The Yearbook
of Experts, Authorities, and
Spokespersons, as well as many other
sourcebooks in the field of special
- Is the author of over forty different
books and articles relating to the
teaching of reading and spelling
including The Patterns of English
Spelling, the only reference tool
in existence in which a teacher or
researcher can find all the words that
follow any particular spelling pattern.
- Has done the unthinkable in the reading
profession. He has studied what
older "almost-non-readers" can and
cannot read and compared his findings
with what is and isn't taught. Lo
and behold, these culturally or
functionally illiterates had not learned
what they had not been taught, i.e., the
things good readers and good spellers
somehow learn without being taught.
- Has discovered that English does have an
internal logic that good readers and
good spellers somehow subconsciously
learn without being taught.
Dyslexics tend to be logical and try to
follow what they have been taught.
But the way reading is taught today has
nothing to do with this internal logic.
English has highly consistent logical
patterns. So, if we exclude the
very few (but highly common) "insane"
words such as was and does,
English can be said to be 99.9%
phonically consistent. The
anti-phonics people fail to realize the
vast difference between phonetics,
phonemics, and phonics.
- Is trying to spread the concept that
adult community education programs
should offer classes for those parents
or spouses of dyslexics who would like
to learn how to tutor their own.
At present, only the very rich can
afford tutors on a daily basis.
But even the poor, McCabe believes, can
afford to take classes that would enable
them to learn what they can do at home
to help their own children learn to read
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