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Science of Reading: The Podcast
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Science of Reading: The Podcast

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Science of Reading: The Podcast will deliver the latest insights from researchers and practitioners in early reading. Via a conversational approach, each episode explores a timely topic related to the science of reading.

128 Episodes
Susan Lambert joins biliteracy expert and professor Lillian Durán, who holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota and researches the improvement of instructional and assessment practices with preschool-aged multilingual/English learners.Durán begins by pointing out the difference between being bilingual and biliterate, then describes the key advantages of being bilingual and the unique skills students who speak multiple languages bring to school. She then discusses how the Simple View of Reading connects to Spanish, the double standard that often occurs when bilingual students are celebrated vs. when they are not, and the process of screening and assessment for multilingual/English learner students. Lastly, Durán compels educators to avoid viewing biliteracy and dual language support as a sub-population of their classroom and instead prioritize the development of students’ home languages, whatever they may be, alongside English instruction.Show notes:Listen: Science of Reading: The Podcast biliteracy playlistQuotes:“Language is inextricably linked to culture. We want to make sure these families and children feel valued and honored within our schools.” —Lillian Durán, Ph.D.“No matter what language you start to learn some of those skills in, there's a transfer and understanding of how to listen to sounds and how to put sounds together.” —Lillian Durán, Ph.D.
Join Susan B. Neuman, professor of early childhood and literacy education at the Steinhardt School at New York University, in our Deconstructing the Rope series. She explains the important link between background knowledge and reading comprehension in the Science of Reading, and shares her five research-based principles to build knowledge networks in literacy instruction. She also highlights the connection between speech and reading, and previews her upcoming studies on the role of cross-media connections in children’s learning.Show notes: Book: Changing the Odds for Children at Risk, by Susan B. Neuman. (More books in the link.)Article: “Developing Low-Income Children's Vocabulary and Content Knowledge through a Shared Book Reading Program” by Susan B. Neuman and Tanya KaeferArticle: “The Information Book Flood: Is Additional Exposure Enough to Support Early Literacy Development?" by Susan B, NeumanQuotes: “What you’re helping children do is create a mosaic, putting all those ideas together in a knowledge network. If you don’t do it explicitly, many children cannot do it on their own.” —Susan B. Neuman“We’ve got to start early. We’ve got to start immediately, and know that children are eager to learn and use the content to engage them.” —Susan B. Neuman
Dr. Sharon Vaughn, award-winning researcher and multi-published author, who has advised on literacy across 30 states and 10 different countries, joins Susan Lambert on this episode. She digs into how we can build reading comprehension rather than teach it, and what it means for comprehension to be a learning outcome rather than a skill. She and Susan touch on how to ask the right comprehension questions, how to ensure coherency in teaching background knowledge, and where it's easy to go wrong—with knowledge building and with the Science of Reading as a whole. Listeners will walk away with a deeper understanding of which skills lead to comprehension and how to avoid strategy overload.Show notes: What Works Clearinghouse: Providing Reading Interventions for Students in Grades 4—9Website: Quotes: “Comprehension is an outcome, and it's based on being able to read words accurately, know what they mean, have adequate background knowledge, and also being able to make inferences.” —Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.“I've seen things go awry. Good things get interpreted incorrectly. The Science of Reading has that potential … where people could take that and sort of start creating their own meaning about what it means and start downloading that in districts and schools in ways that are counterproductive.” —Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.“If you look at the early studies from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, they really were the building blocks for phonemic awareness and phonics and the way in which we have identified the foundation skills as being essential. We act like the Science of Reading is something new, and we've been building this for decades.” —Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.Episode timestamps*02:00: What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide04:00: Reading Comprehension: What it is and what it isn’t09:00: How could we mess up background knowledge?13:00: The relationship between vocabulary and knowledge building21:00: Word knowledge and world knowledge, especially in the upper grades24:00: Strategy of asking and answering questions26:00: Text matters27:00: Integrating stretch text31:00: Collaborative strategic reading39:00: Project PACT*Timestamps are approximate, rounded to nearest minute
Dr. HyeJin Hwang is an assistant professor and literacy researcher whose research interests revolve around reading comprehension and content learning in K–12 settings, particularly for multilingual students. In this week’s episode of the podcast, HyeJin Hwang talks with Susan Lambert about background knowledge (what it is, how it’s built, and more), the importance of broad knowledge, the connections between knowledge and vocabulary, and unit planning rather than lesson planning. English wasn’t Dr. Hwang’s own first language, and her research on supporting multi-language learners is informed by her own experiences learning English and later teaching English as a second language.  Whether you’re just starting to establish a solid foundation on knowledge building or you’re looking to explore the topic from new angles, this episode is the one to listen to.Show Notes: Meta-Analysis: “Effects of integrated literacy and content-area instruction on vocabulary and comprehension in the elementary years: A meta-analysis,” by HyeJin Hwang et al., 2021Practitioner Paper: “What research says about leveraging the literacy block for learning” (p.35-48), by HyeJin Hwang et al., 2021Read: “Making the most of read-alouds to support primary-grade students’ inference-making," by HyeJin Hwang et al., 2023Read: “A longitudinal investigation of directional relations between domain knowledge and reading in the elementary years,” by HyeJin Hwang, et al., 2022Read: “The multidimensional knowledge in text comprehension framework,” by Kathryn S. McCarthy and Danielle S. McNamara, 2022Listen: S8E1, with Reid Smith and Pamela SnowListen: S8E2, with Molly Ness Quotes: “Knowledge building cannot wait… Start from the beginning of schooling, from early grades. Multilingual students and monolingual students, they both need support developing knowledge and literacy skills.” —HyeJin Hwang“In knowledge building, we usually like to go for cultivating in-depth knowledge. That means interconnected ideas need to be told throughout multiple lessons, multiple classes, rather than planning individual separate lessons.” —HyeJin Hwang“When readers have good broad knowledge, prior knowledge, then it is more likely the readers can recall text information ideas, and they can make better inferences about missing ideas in text.” —HyeJin HwangEpisode Content Timestamps*2:00: Introduction: Who is Dr. HyeJin Hwang?6:00: Comprehension models8:00: What is background knowledge?10:00: Activating and integrating background knowledge15:00: Mitigating background knowledge issues21:00: Strategy instruction22:00: What should knowledge building instruction look like for students?27:00: Advice for elementary school teachers to change their instruction32:00: Broad knowledge and why it matters38:00: Content knowledge and multilingual learners44:00: Final thoughts and advice*Timestamps are approximate, rounded to nearest minute
A name known throughout the literacy world, Maryanne Wolf, Ed.D., directs UCLA’s Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice. She’s published over 170 scientific articles  and four books focusing on the science of the reading brain. In her conversation with Susan in this episode, she discusses the reading brain in a digital context and delves into some of the tensions of the present moment in literacy instruction: the Science of Reading beyond just phonics, the plea to preserve deep reading, and literacy and screens. She also talks about the topics she’s most focused on and the ones she feels are most pressing in general when it comes to research on the brain and literacy. And she ends with an impassioned message to teachers, expressing her deep respect and gratitude. Show notes:Book: Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading BrainBook: Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century: The Literary AgendaBook: Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World Listen: Maryanne Wolf on The Ezra Klein ShowQuotes:“What I would say to any teacher of balanced literacy: Let us bring our best selves and expand our knowledge. We both have things we can learn from each other. ” —Maryanne Wolf, Ed.D.“Pass on why you learned to be a teacher. Pass it on to your students. Let’s make that next generation of teachers truly excited about what we can do to release the potential of every child.” —Maryanne Wolf, Ed.D.Episode Content Timestamps*2:00: Introduction: Who is Maryanne Wolf?7:00: Cognitive neuroscience and how it relates to early childhood literacy14:00: Elements kids aged 0-5 need to develop before build the reading circuits in the brain21:00: Maryanne’s first book, Proust and the Squid27:00: Maryanne’s third book, Reader Come Home31:00: The reading brain in the digital age: What screens do to the reading brain43:00: Maryanne Wolf and the Science of Reading movement 48:00: Discussing presentation with the Teachers College55:00: Most important topics in the evolving world of reading research58:00: Maryanne’s message to teachers of deep gratitude and respect *Timestamps are approximate, rounded to nearest minute
As a writer of several books for teachers and parents, former kindergarten teacher, and current associate professor of language and literacy in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, Tanya S. Wright, Ph.D., has maintained focus on a singular question: How can we most effectively work with students in the early education setting? In answering that question, Wright has researched and written on two interesting areas: vocabulary development, and best practices for literacy development in young children. Listeners will come away from this conversation with some great tips and strategies for developing vocabulary, working effectively with younger students, and integrating writing and vocabulary.Show notes:Read: “A Teacher's Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the Day: The Classroom Essentials Series”Read: “Literacy Learning for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers: Key Practices for Educators”More from Dr. Wright: Follow Tanya S. Wright on XQuotes:"We need kids to be able to sound out the words, but we also need them to know what they mean. Otherwise, the text won't make sense. So we really need to be working on both of these at the same time." —Tanya S. Wright"Really value what kids bring to the classroom, even if it's not perfect yet, or if it's not exactly what adults would say." —Tanya S. Wright"It's really important that we're thinking about purposeful, planned, and intentional vocabulary supports to make sure that everybody is included in the learning and can participate in the classroom." —Tanya S. Wright"Realistically, kids love to learn big words. They make use of them. They don't really differentiate it. So that's an adult imposition, right? Which ones are the big ones or which ones are the hard ones? If we use them with kids, they will use them too. And enjoy it." —Tanya S. WrightEpisode content timestamps*:2:00: Introduction: Who is Tanya Wright?4:00: Journey to studying vocabulary: What is the importance?6:00: What does it mean to know a word?11:00: How do knowledge and vocabulary connect and why can't they be divorced?17:00: Tips for being planned and purposeful with vocabulary instruction22:00: Integrating vocabulary across content areas27:00: What would you say to someone who says a word is "too hard" for a kid?33:00: How has your thinking changed about the approach to vocabulary from when you started your research?37:00: Final advice for educators*Timestamps are approximate, rounded to the nearest minute. 
This episode’s guest is Margaret McKeown, Ph.D., a retired professor from the University of Pittsburgh, decades-long researcher, and former elementary school teacher. In it, Margaret and Susan address why vocabulary is so important, particularly for knowledge building; talk about the various elements of effective vocabulary instruction; discuss the key role of informal instruction in vocabulary building; and share best practices for assessing vocabulary. Listeners will come away from this episode with a deeper understanding of the how and why of vocabulary instruction, as well as tips for bolstering vocabulary instruction in their own communities.Show notes:Follow Margaret on XListen: In Season 8 Episode 3, Gina Cervetti also spoke with Susan about vocabulary development Book: Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, Linda Kucan Book: Creating Robust Vocabulary by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, Linda Kucan Book: Vocabulary Assessment to Support Instruction by Margaret G. McKeown, Paul D. Deane, Judith A. Scott, Robert Krovetz, and René R. LawlessWebsite:, for learning about etymology Quotes:“Good instruction needs to be interactive. We're using words. Vocabulary pervades the day.” —Margaret McKeown“Relax, because you're never going to be able to teach kids all the words that they really need to know, so just drop that.” —Margaret McKeown“There is no perfect set of words, so don't worry about which words you're using, just sort of tune your mind to the kinds of words that turn up in texts a lot, ones that go across texts, not so much ones that are just, domain specific, but what words am I going to read in a novel, a social studies text, a newspaper article? Those are the kinds of words.” —Margaret McKeown“If you do one thing, set up an attitude about words, this idea of reveling in words, and then just drop them in.” —Margaret McKeown
On this wide ranging episode, Susan finally gets the chance to speak with famed education thinker and author John Hattie, Ph.D. Hattie has authored dozens and dozens of books. He’s best known for his book, Visible Learning, which now has a sequel. In this episode, he discusses his career and shares with Susan some of the biggest takeaways from his work. He also explains what meta-analysis is and discusses some of the biggest takeaways from meta-analysis in the education field. They both also delve into the importance of successful implementation. And, finally, Hattie shares his thoughts on AI and the future of education. This episode offers many practical tips for educators to realign with their mission and dig into why they do what they do and how to best make an impact.Show notes: Book: Visible Learning: The Sequel by John Hattie Book: Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn by John Hattie and Gregory C.R. YatesBook: Making Room for Impact by Arran Hamilton, John Hattie, and Dyland WilliamRead: The Future of AI in Education: 13 Things We Can Do to Minimize the DamageQuotes:“Your job is not to get through the curriculum, your job is not to get kids engaged in authentic, real-world, exciting tasks. Your job is to have an impact across those many notions.” —John Hattie, Ph.D.“We're very good at finding problems and fixing them but we're not as good—we're not having the courage—to study expertise and scale it up. And that's my mission. Scale up the expertise we have.” —John Hattie, Ph.D.“I'm an evidence-based person. Sometimes I don't like the results, but that doesn't mean you get to deny it. Some people want to deny it. Some people want to get angry with it. And sometimes evidence does get in the way of a good opinion.” —John Hattie, Ph.D.
In this episode, Susan Lambert talks to Gina Cervetti, Ph.D., about literacy development, knowledge building, vocabulary expansion—and the deep connections between all three. Gina explains why she sees knowledge and vocabulary as two sides of the same coin. She also attempts to expand the listener's understanding of what knowledge really is; it’s not just subject-area knowledge, it’s also cultural knowledge. In this process, she introduces the idea of conceptual coherence, the benefits of this approach to knowledge building, and  avenues for implementing it in the classroom. Lastly, Gina offers strategies for how teachers can effectively build students’ vocabulary without relying on a vocabulary list which she notes is not backed by the research.Show notes:Faculty Page: Gina N. CervettiWebsite: Seeds of Science/Roots of ReadingRead: “Research-Based Principles for Improving the Reading Achievement of America’s Children” by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading AchievementQuotes:“Above all other things in education, literacy is a gateway to so many of the things that are essential for human flourishing and human choice.” —Dr. Gina Cervetti“I like to think about vocabulary, not as individual words, right, but as a set of labels for ideas that we want kids to be able to read about and talk about and write about.” —Dr. Gina Cervetti“It's really hard to teach individual words in ways where that learning is durable…Because it's not connected to something.” —Dr. Gina Cervetti“When you can see yourself or connect to the experiences you bring to a text it’s great for your comprehension.” —Dr. Gina Cervetti“Knowledge is so complex that it actually offers a number of different benefits. And different kinds of knowledge actually benefit literacy development in different ways.” —Dr. Gina Cervetti
With a background as a classroom teacher, a master's in educational neuroscience, and a doctorate in special education, Dr. Neena Saha has seen all facets of education. In her work, she noticed a gap in the research-to-practice workflow for early literacy and dedicated herself to streamlining the process of finding and disseminating the best educational research for educators. Together, Susan Lambert and Neena discuss the need for reading researchers to work together and collaborate in a more focused and concerted group effort, the challenges of implementation, and how educators can best keep up with research that often feels overwhelming.Show notes:Listen: Our recent episode with Claude GoldenbergRead: Neena’s monthly reading research updateWatch: Neena’s July video about a Bayesian network meta-analysisWatch: Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Bud RoseWebsite: Center for Research Use in EducationRead: “Survey of Evidence in Education for Schools Descriptive Report”Read: “The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect” by Judea PearlRead: Reading Research Recap—If you want to start receiving monthly notifications for this series, please register or sign in to your Lexile & Quantile Hub account and join the Reading Research mailing list.Quotes:"What I did was focus really on dissemination, right? Getting rid of that hurdle of, you know, there's so many journals out there." —Dr. Neena Saha"You have to look at the full body, you're like cherry picking stuff if you're going to social media and the person with the biggest megaphone wins or whoever has the most interesting way of presenting it." —Dr. Neena Saha"We need a more concerted effort. There needs to be a bunch of researchers that come together and hash it out. It can't just be single ones here and there." —Dr. Neena Saha"Teachers or educators out there right now, when you're feeling overwhelmed and you can't figure out how to find the evidence, or some evidence, guess what? We're affirming for you that there's no easy way to do it...this is more of a systemic problem." —Dr. Neena Saha"It's not enough to do the science. You have to make sure it gets out there." —Dr. Neena Saha
Growing up, Malcolm Mitchell considered reading and academics as a bare minimum means to get to play football. While his journey with football led to playing in the NFL, the work he is most proud of today is his literacy work and his own journey of learning to love reading, advocating for literacy, and writing children's books. In this conversation with Susan Lambert at the 2023 Plain Talk Conference—where Malcolm was the keynote speaker—Malcolm dives into his own process of teaching himself to become a proficient reader at the age of 19. Through the lens of his own struggles and triumphs, Malcolm shares a powerful testimony to the importance of cultural connection, access to books, community building, and understanding the true "why" behind reading to get students motivated to read.Show notes:Website: Share The Magic Foundation ( Malcolm’s 2019 TEDxUGA talkRead with Malcolm's InstagramRead with Malcolm's TwitterRead with Malcolm's LinkedInQuotes:"I saw that [reading] as the thing that would allow me to become the best version of myself." —Malcolm Mitchell"Reading is the most self empowering tool a person could possess." —Malcolm Mitchell"I knew that I needed to surround myself with a group of readers to help foster an even greater love or deeper connection." —Malcolm Mitchell"It's not whether people want to do something or not. It's whether they understand the value of it." —Malcolm Mitchell"Our challenge is to create an atmosphere that hopefully makes students willing to learn. And that opens the door for a teacher to do what they do best." –Malcolm Mitchell"High school is probably the most confusing place because the things that you need to do most to position yourself for a fruitful life are the things that are ridiculed" —Malcolm Mitchell
Here to continue our discussion on dyslexia from earlier episodes in the season is an all-time leading expert on the topic: Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Co-founder and Co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. This literacy legend shares how she came to study dyslexia, the story of her seminal Connecticut Longitudinal Study, and all she's learned from her years of dyslexia research. Shaywitz will cover some of the biggest myths about dyslexia and also explain the "sea of strengths" possessed by people with dyslexia.Show notes:Book: Overcoming DyslexiaCoursera: Overcoming Dyslexia York Times story: The Couple Who Helped Decode DyslexiaYale Center for Dyslexia: websiteQuotes:"It's so important to screen, to learn early that you may be at risk and then to follow up with more testing that may confirm you're dyslexic. When you have something, but it doesn't have a name, it leads to anxiety." —Dr. Sally Shaywitz"There are so many people who are slow readers who are brilliant thinkers. That's our 'sea of strengths' model." —Dr. Sally Shaywitz"We are so genetically driven to speak ... but we're not genetically driven to read." —Dr. Sally Shaywitz
When it comes to literacy education and cross-domain learning, it’s critical to understand the relationship between reading and writing. In this episode, Susan talks to Steve Graham all about writing—and how it can be used to strengthen literacy. Graham served as chair of the What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guides on elementary and secondary writing, and is the current Regents and Warner Professor at Arizona State University. Together, he and Susan discuss ways to support student writing, hindrances to writing development, the importance of teaching handwriting skills, and why writing is essential to any literacy program.Show Notes: What Works Clearinghouse: “Teaching Elementary School Students To Be Effective Writers”Meta-analysis: “The Effects of Writing on Learning in Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics: A Meta-Analysis”Book: Handbook of Writing ResearchArizona State University: ProfileQuotes:“Our development as writers might be something that you can think of as open-ended…it can expand ever outward.” —Steve Graham“Handwriting gets better, spelling gets better…students become better at constructing sentences in their writing. They tend to generate more content, and the quality of their writing may improve as well.” —Steve Graham“Any kid who has trouble with handwriting [or] spelling usually dislikes writing much more than their peers that do not have those difficulties, and they typically don't produce as much. And what they produce usually is just not as coherent or well connected.” —Steve Graham“What we see with exceptional teachers is they have their kids write. And at least through grades one to six, when students write, the quality of their writing gets better and their reading comprehension gets better.” —Steve Graham“Kids need to write, they need to write for a variety of purposes. And they also need to write for real reasons, for real audiences.” —Steve Graham“We want to create a community in which kids can thrive as writers and take risks.” —Steve Graham“We want to make sure that we're using reading and writing for the functional purposes of learning, because they make a huge difference. They're really the basic building blocks around which we acquire and understand information.” —Steve Graham
When we surveyed listeners, more than half of respondents said they wanted more conversations about teaching students with dyslexia! With that in mind, in this episode Susan is joined by Dr. Tim Odegard from Middle Tennessee State University. Odegard is a professor of psychology and holds the Katherine Davis Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies. As someone with dyslexia himself, Odegard brings a unique perspective to this discussion where they debunk the idea of "the gift of dyslexia," discuss neurodiversity and talk about what needs to be done to change the system.Show notes:Dr. Tim Odegard’s Twitter: @OdegardTimTennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of DyslexiaE-books from the Center for Dyslexia at Middle Tennessee State UniversityQuotes:“It's not easy, but life isn't easy and it's not fair and you don't get to write the rules. But how you play the game and how you persist is what defines you as a human being.” —Tim Odegard“Sure. You can turn lemons into lemonade, but all they're saying ism that it's a gift because you find a way to persevere, and any hardship could be that way, but when you're in the thick of it and you're actually living it, and you're just trying to get the ability to do your work and not feel like you're stupid. That's not a gift.” —Tim Odegard“We need to change the dialogue and say, this is about what's right for all kids. And this isn't about just dyslexia, that’s the byproduct of doing what's right for all children.” —Tim Odegard
Susan interviews Danielle "Nell" Thompson, literacy multi-hyphenate and the creator of the Big Sky Literacy Summit. This August, the summit returns with a star-studded lineup of mentors, sages, teachers, and leaders, and in this episode, Nell shares how her own background—working with students in Alaska and Mississippi, among many other places—has helped shape this year's conference theme. She and Susan discuss the importance of mentorship in advancing evidence-based literacy practice and literacy instruction.Show notes:Website: Big Sky Literacy SummitTwitter: The Transformative Reading Teacher GroupDanielle Thompson's Twitter:  @Nelliet11Danielle Thompsons's LinkedIn: @Danielle Nell ThompsonBook: From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of LifeQuote:I was feeling like the numbers were too great and that the systems were broken. … If I could build better systems, I could also support the educators' success within those systems." —Dr. Danielle "Nell" Thompson
After three years and more than 3 million downloads, Science of Reading: The Podcast recently conducted its first ever taping in front of a live audience. The recording took place on March 9, 2023, in New Orleans at the Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning conference. Susan Lambert was joined by none other than Kareem Weaver, NAACP activist, whose first appearance on this podcast remains an all-time favorite among listeners. This time around, Kareem gave Susan a behind-the-scenes look at his involvement with the new film: The Right to Read. Kareem also offered insights into his latest work with NAACP. Plus, Kareem addressed the topic of accountability: can we make the changes we need to make when it comes to literacy instruction without holding some people accountable?Show notes:More info on The Right to Read filmTrailer: The Right to Read Kareem Weaver on TwitterFULCRUM websiteKareem Weaver’s first appearance on “Science of Reading: The Podcast”Quotes:“You could look at it from every endeavor, every social sector. Literacy is at the core.” —Kareem Weaver“Hope it's not a strategy. It's great to have hope, but that can't be the strategy for our kids and our systems that serve 'em.” —Kareem Weaver“There has to be some accountability at a human level for people to open up and be willing to believe enough.” —Kareem Weaver“People often get so caught up in their own feelings and their own agenda and what they can't wait to do and they forget about the people they're supposed to be. Leadership starts with service.” —Kareem Weaver“Many of us have divested ourselves from our own values to accommodate the narratives and lies we've been told to calm the dissonance.” —Kareem Weaver“I believe in our potential to solve big problems if we're honest with each other and if we ask the right questions and push the right way.” —Kareem Weaver 
For the second episode in our new season focused on tackling the hard stuff, we're taking on a question that listeners have asked: how can we apply the Science of Reading in a Montessori setting? To help explore that question, we're joined by the three authors of the recent book Powerful Literacy in the Montessori Classroom: Aligning Reading Research and Practice. Listen to Dr. Susan Zoll, Dr. Natasha Feinberg, and Dr. Laura Saylor as they explore the shared qualities between the Science of Reading and Montessori approach. They share tips and guidance for literacy instruction both inside and outside a Montessori setting and end with an impassioned call to educators from all approaches to come together and learn from each other for the benefit of students everywhere.Show notes:Book: Powerful Literacy in the Montessori Classroom: Aligning Reading Research and Practice, by Susan Zoll, Natasha Feinberg, and Laura SaylorBook: Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching, by Anita Archer and Charles HughesQuotes:“Maria Montessori was a scientist first. She developed her methods based on science.” —Laura Saylor“Reading is the human rights issue of our era in education and we want all children to be successful.”—Susan Zoll“I encourage everyone, get together with your colleagues, talk about the different pedagogy, talk about the different strategies that are out there, because that is what is going to help us become better in the field of education.”— Natasha Feinberg“For those trained in both Science of Reading and Montessori education, there were clear and undeniable parallels between them.”—Susan Zoll“Teachers want students to be good readers. That is what is underlying our instruction— whether we are Montessori, whether we're teaching in a public school.”—Natasha Feinberg“If you're a Montessori and continue to use your Montessori language, absolutely follow your philosophy and the pedagogy, but also begin to engage with this language of research because it can elevate the conversation and it can expand our reach into the greater world of education.”—Susan Zoll“Come see what we do and know that we're willing to share.” —Laura Saylor“We all want children to have access to wonderful reading instruction. We all want children to have the opportunities and life that each of them deserves. And if we are not working together and we're busy labeling and [in a] silo then we really aren't going to have the collective impact we might have otherwise.” —Laura Saylor
Claude “Skeptic” Goldenberg, professor of Education at Stanford, rejoins Susan Lambert to kick off season seven of this Science of Reading podcast—all centered around “tackling the hard stuff.” In this week’s episode, Claude and Susan take on the topic of what is actually true when it comes to the Science of Reading and how to navigate the noise to find it! Together they discuss the opportunities and challenges of social media, the importance of limitations of foundational skills, and striving to maintain hope even when the journey towards success gets overwhelming.Show notes: Tim Shanahan’s blogThe New England Journal of Medicine: “Physicians Spreading Misinformation on Social Media — Do Right and Wrong Answers Still Exist in Medicine?”Bloom’s Taxonomy“Reading Wars, Reading Science, and English Learners,” by Claude Goldenberg“Stages of Reading Development,” by Jeanne S. Chall“Scientific Basis of the Art of Teaching,” by N.L. Gage Quotes:"I wish there were a simple solution, but I don't really think there is."—Claude Goldenberg"It's really gonna take leadership and clear communication and less one-sidedness by people who are influential thought leaders."—Claude Goldenberg"We know that coaching and professional development and training and observations, we know all those things are important, but it's very important to be efficient because we don't have enough time."—Claude Goldenberg"We've gotta be really scrupulous and careful about what we mandate and require and expect of teachers and provide them with the knowledge, information, and training that is really important."—Claude Goldenberg"You can think of literacy as a structure, as something that gets constructed in your mind."—Claude Goldenberg"If all you have is a foundation, you don't have much."—Claude Goldenberg"It's really about the kids. I mean, it's really about the students, particularly those kids who are so dependent on schools because they don't have the resources and the opportunities and the affordances at home and in their communities."—Claude Goldenberg"There are millions of those kids. They're so deeply dependent on the schools to do the right thing. We really owe it to them to get it right."—Claude Goldenberg"We owe it to the teachers, we owe it to the kids, we owe it to the communities. That's my hope, that people will see the responsibility that we bear, to acknowledge the uncertainties, to acknowledge that we don't know everything."—Claude Goldenberg
Learning is at the center of everything in education, so understanding how the human brain processes, retains, and retrieves new information is essential to student growth. In this special crossover episode, Susan joins forces with fellow Amplify podcast hosts Eric Cross from Science Connections, and Dan Meyer and Bethany Lockhart Johnson from Math Teacher Lounge, to discuss what learning really means across subjects. Susan is also joined by Peter C. Brown, author of the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, to dive into the cognitive science behind how our brains learn and ways you can apply that research in your classroom right now!Show notes: Amplify podcast hubPodcast: Science of Reading: The PodcastPodcast: Math Teacher LoungePodcast: Science ConnectionsBook: “Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning,” by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III,, Mark A. McDanielWebsite: Retrieval PracticeQuotes: “As much as I'm into the science of learning, I really wanna be into, like, the humility of teaching” —Dan Meyer“Learning is this fluid thing. It's social, it's dynamic, it's experiential. It is the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding, and developing these behavioral skills, but it's also embedded in this bigger context of your background, your identity.” —Eric Cross“For myself as an educator, I am just a lily pad as [students] hop across the pond, but I want to be the best lily pad possible. I want to give them the strongest surface. I want to give them the most security that I can.” —Eric Cross“There's new ways to solve the problem. There's new ways to look at the problem. There's new ways to take apart the problem and put it back together. And for me, that's when learning happens.” —Bethany Lockhart Johnson“The scientists have discovered that for something to be learned and retained, you need to help the brain do that by practicing, retrieving it from memory, and practicing explaining it in your own words to somebody else asking.” —Peter C. Brown“There's really great evidence that we can then teach our students or maybe even ourselves how to be a better learner.” —Susan Lambert“Joy in the classroom is a much better context for learning than anxiety.” —Susan Lambert
Back in 2019, Natalie Wexler joined Susan Lambert as the very first guest on Science of Reading: The Podcast. Now—more than three years and three million downloads later—Science of Reading: The Podcast welcomes Natalie back on the show. She and Susan discuss what she's seen in the 3+ years since releasing her groundbreaking book The Knowledge Gap and delve into the importance of managing cognitive load, building long-term memory, writing, and the broader science of literacy. Lastly, Natalie shares what she hopes to see in the education headlines in the not-so-distant future. Show notes:Our first episode with Natalie Wexler, The Knowledge GapThe Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System—And How to Fix It , by Natalie WexlerBloom's TaxonomyOne Sentence At A Time, by Judith C. Hochman and Natalie WexlerThe Writing Revolution websiteKnowledge Matters CampaignStatement from Knowledge Matters CampaignQuotes:“I'm a little worried that Science of Reading, narrowly defined, isn’t encompassing everything we need to do. And people are getting the idea that if they just add more phonics to what they're already doing, they'll have solved the problem.” —Natalie Wexler“Even if we do a great job on that foundational skills side of things, if we are not also changing current standard practice with regard to comprehension. If we don't start building kids' academic knowledge and vocabulary early, we are gonna find, at higher grade levels, kids are gonna be able to decode complex text, but they may not be able to understand it.” —Natalie Wexler“There are serious problems with how we have been approaching decoding instruction. There are equally serious problems with how we've been approaching comprehension instruction, and that's the message that I think is not getting out.” —Natalie Wexler“You can't get to the top without going through the bottom. You can't think critically about a topic that you don't have understanding or knowledge of, it's just not going to work.” —Natalie Wexler“Here's the catch about writing: It's hugely important. It can help cement knowledge and long-term memory, and deepen knowledge.” —Natalie Wexler“Even if you as a teacher have doubts about the curriculum. It's really important to give it your best shot and approach it with enthusiasm.” —Natalie Wexler“It's great to focus attention on problems with phonics instruction, but we also need to bring attention to problems with comprehension instruction and the failure to build a kind of knowledge that fuels comprehension.” —Natalie Wexler“What has amazed me is how many teachers and educators have nevertheless really embraced this message. And I think that really speaks to how much they care about their students. Change is hard, but they are undertaking it daily.” —Natalie Wexler 
Comments (4)

Habia Khet


Feb 5th

Krista Redmond

Can we have the links to her published articles references in the podcast?

Aug 3rd

Michelle Whalen Henderson

This podcast was outstanding!

Jan 20th

reza alipour

wow. it changed my whole process of learneng english

Mar 15th
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