EWA Radio

The Fight to Fix Reading Instruction
New documentary looks at science of literacy, debunked theories, and the ongoing debate over what works best
(EWA Radio: Episode 219)

In a new documentary for APM Reports, Emily Hanford digs into the disconnect between the cognitive science on learning to read and the instructional methods being used to teach millions of U.S. students. Among her findings: a popular technique is based on a flawed idea that  researchers say may actually be holding back kids from becoming skilled readers. As with her past reporting on this topic, the story is sparking pushback, debate, and a lot of hard questions for parents and educators. What’s changed in the public discourse around literacy instruction and teacher preparation since her first documentary on the topic two years ago? How does Hanford use social media to keep her stories in the public eye, connect with new sources, and counter criticism? And what advice does she have for reporters who want to be more transparent about the research and sourcing that informs their stories? 

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