How More Teachers are Being Trained in the Science of Reading - KQED

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In 2019, more than half of teacher training programs were teaching science-based reading methods — compared to 35% in 2013, a new report finds. MindShiftKQED

Hannah Hughes is playing a game with a group of second graders at Johnson Elementary School in Kingsport, Tennessee, who are still working on their reading skills. Hughes shows the group the word “bright,” but then takes a card and covers up the letter “b.”

While NCTQ is encouraged by the uptick in evidence-backed reading programs, president Kate Walsh said she hopes that news of the report puts pressure on even more to join them. doing this,” she said. “We hope that by the next time we release new findings, we will make much more significant progress.” The report outlines the importance of providing teachers who teach reading with the understanding of how the brain learns to read.

But for many children those methods don't work, because the brain needs explicit instruction to learn the sound/letter connections to read words correctly. National reading scores reflect this disconnect. The most recentfrom 2019 show that overall reading proficiency dropped, and essentially two-thirds of American kids cannot read at a proficient level.

Eastern Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee, where Hughes graduated in 2019, earned NCTQ’s highest grade—an A+. But that’s due to completely revamping their reading courses in 2015. Karen Keith, who became the elementary education department’s chair that same year, said she and her team quickly realized that their reading courses needed a reboot.

“It’s a very clear cycle,” said Merideth Van Namen, the Chair of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Research at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, which also earned an A+ rating in the NCTQ report. “If we are better preparing teacher candidates when they enter the field, it’s assumed that then they would better prepare those students to be fluent readers.


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MindShiftKQED I'm a retired SLP, and a former elementary school literacy tutor. Prior to those experiences, I was first a child of the 70's, pre-Whole Language. This is precisely how I was taught to read.

MindShiftKQED How about paying teachers MORE!?

MindShiftKQED Many blame public schools for the ills of society when, in actuality, educators are like scientists who specialize in helping students to adapt and survive in our ever changing world. Btw, you don’t learn everything in school. Thus the disparity between socio-economic districts.

MindShiftKQED What is wrong with phonics

MindShiftKQED How I taught my own kids. BIG resistance in school to teach a more natural way because “ that’s not how it’s done, and I’m the teacher”. Lots of frustration and it happens teaching math, too.

MindShiftKQED NO

MindShiftKQED Phonics vs Sight Words?

MindShiftKQED My 5yr nephew was pointing out ‘sight words’. I was never taught that kind of vocabulary

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