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Edward Kame'enui: You know, Harold
Bloom has a book called How
to Read and Why. Harold Bloom is a Shakespearean scholar at Yale and
he says, "The reason we read is to develop self-trust." And
developing self-trust takes years of deep reading. So, kids who don't read don't
develop that self-trust because they can't get access to the information. They
can't access to the ideation.
Boulton: They don't develop a self-trust in their ability to be abstractly
Edward Kame'enui: Absolutely.
Boulton: They could have great potentials but they...
Edward Kame'enui: That's right. They can't compete at the idea level because
they don't have enough ideas that they can grab.
Boulton: Or be able to engage in sufficient complexity of intellectually
Edward Kame'enui: Exactly.
Boulton: Thatís what I like about Stanovich
who brought forth what reading does for the mind.
Edward Kame'enui: Absolutely. That's right.
Boulton: This is a whole other lobe and dimension of virtual human extension
that we need to survive in the world today and if we shame out on it we're in
Edward Kame'enui: Absolutely. I mean,
Kozol says, "You don't read, you don't make choices." How can you?
Itís critical. And we can do this.
Paula Tallal: What
happens to you when you canít trust your own brain to take care of this for
you? What are the kind of defense mechanisms you might develop? Attention
problems, impulsivity, acting out, being the class clown - anything is better in
many ways for your self esteem and sense of well being than believing that you
canít trust yourself to even process the information in your world. Thatís
very scary. So, I think that you develop these other mechanisms.
Boulton: This is shame avoidance.
Paula Tallal: Itís a shame avoidance to one self. Itís not only the
external. I think we often think about the child who is developing behaviors to
cope in terms of how other people are going to treat them, thatís certainly
important. But I think ultimately it comes down to how you feel about
yourself and can you trust yourself to get through the world, to keep you safe,
to perform well, to make you feel good about yourself. And a lot of that has to
do with automatic processing and automatic control of the information thatís
coming into your world. I think a lot of children who are struggling with
that will develop a lot of compensatory behaviors to try to gather a sense of
being in control. Even if it makes them get in trouble, at least they were in
control of getting in trouble. Whereas they cannot be in control of failure if
they really canít do it, and that feels a lot worse. Thatís just a theory,
itís not scientific.
Boulton: This where affect science comes in. Itís an important
Paula Tallal: Yes.
Thatís why Iím saying some of this, and though this is not my scientific
theory, it is my experience with doing psychotherapy with families and children.
One of the things that has been so interesting is family therapy. When a
family comes in primarily because they have a child who has a learning
disability and you get started talking about the child what you often find
is that thereís become so much focus on the learning disability for this child
that the rest of the family, even the brothers and sisters, lose track of the
other qualities of the child. If you go around the room and you ask everyone to
say something positive or good about what each person is good at, for the other
kids in the room in the family will say ĎHe does this, he does that wellí or
whatever. But when you get to the child with the learning disability theyíre
always trying to figure out something academically that that child is good at. ĎWell,
thatís kind of tough, yeah, he can kind of do math pretty well.í So
this kid has just become the academic part of himself. So, you say well isnít
there anything else this child does well? ĎOh I donít know, heís
not really good at spelling and heís terrible at reading.í Well, what about
other things this child may do well? ĎWell, kind of okay at geographyÖí
and you finally sayÖ
Boulton: This is the parent version of teach to the test though, isnít
Paula Tallal: Yes, exactly. And then you finally say well does he have any
friends? ĎOh yeah, people just really like him, you know, heís so nice and
the neighbors sayÖí Well, doesnít that count? ĎOh I thought you
just meant about academics.í They have gotten so focused because
the school has gotten so focused and everything has become about this one area
the kid is not good at, at the exclusion of all these other abilities this child
does have. Many times the therapy is about rebalancing for the parents.
of the things I often tell kids in private is, ĎYou know what? When you grow
up no one is ever going to test your reading again.í And sometimes getting the
parents involved in doing the testing has been really interesting because we do
family genetic studies and test all the members in the family and just to see
them remember what it was like to be tested. A lot of times theyíve forgotten
how uncomfortable it is.
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as explicitly stated, by the Children of the Code Project and documentary.
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Dr. Grover (Russ) WhitehurstDirector,Institute of Education Sciences, Assistant
Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education Dr. Jack
ShonkoffChair, The National Scientific Council on the
Developing Child; Co-Editor: From
Neurons to Neighborhoods
Edward Kame'enuiCommissioner for Special Education Research, U.S. Department of
Education; Director, IDEA, University of Oregon Dr. G. Reid LyonPast
Director,National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Dr. Keith Stanovich
Canadian Chair of Cognitive Science, University of Toronto Dr. Mel
LevineCo-Chair and Co-Founder,All
Kinds of Minds; Author:A
Mind at a Time, The Myth of Laziness &
Ready or Not Here Life Comes Dr. Alex
District Psychologist, Past President, Oregon
School Psychologists Association
J. HeckmanNobel Laureate, Economic Sciences 2000; Lead Author: The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children
Dr. Timothy Shanahan President
(2006) International Reading Association, Chair National Early Literacy Panel,
Member National Reading Panel Nancy
Hennessy President, 2003-2005, International Dyslexia Association Dr.
Marilyn Jager Adams Senior Scientist, Soliloquy
Learning, Author: Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print Dr.
Michael MerzenichChair of Otolaryngology, Integrative Neurosciences, UCSF; Member National
Academy of Sciences Dr. Maryanne
WolfDirector, Center for Reading & Language Research; Professor of
University Dr. Todd Risley Emeritus
Professor of Psychology, University of Alaska, Co-author: Meaningful Differences
Sally ShaywitzNeuroscientist, Department of Pediatrics, Yale
University, Author: Overcoming Dyslexia
Director, Professional Development and
Research Initiatives, Sopris West Educational Services Dr. Zvia BreznitzProfessor, Neuropsychology of Reading & Dyslexia, University of Haifa,
LavoieLearning Disabilities Specialist, Creator: How Difficult Can This Be?: The F.A.T. City
Last One Picked, First One Picked On Dr.Charles
Professor, Psychology & Linguistics; Senior Scientist and Associate Director,
R&D Center, U. of Pittsburgh, PA
Senior V.P. & Dir. of Research,
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Co- Author:
Economics of Early Childhood Development
Dr. Richard VenezkyProfessor, Educational Studies, Computer and
Information Sciences, and Linguistics, University of Delaware
Dr. Keith RaynerDistinguished Professor, University of Massachusetts, Author: Eye
Movements in Reading and Information Processing Dr.
Paula TallalProfessor of Neuroscience,
Co-Director of the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers
SearleMills Professor of the Philosophy
of Mind and Language, University of California-Berkeley, Author:
Mind, A Brief Introduction
ResearchCenter, Penn State Dept. of Human Development
& Family Studies;
CASEL Leadership Team Dr.
Terrence Deacon Professor of Biological
Anthropology and Linguistics at University of California- Berkeley Chris
Doherty Ex-Program Director, National Reading First
Program, U.S. Department of Education Dr. Erik Hanushek Senior Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Dr. Marketa Caravolas
Director, Bangor Dyslexia Unit, Bangor University, Author: International
Report on Literacy Research Dr. Christof
KochProfessor of Computation and
Neural Systems, Caltech - Author:The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach
Professor of Languages and Cultures of Ancient
Mesopotamia, Holland; Author: Unfolding
Language Robert Wedgeworth President, ProLiteracy, World's Largest Literacy
Organization Dr. Peter Leone Director,
National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice Dr. Thomas CableProfessor of English, University of Texas at Austin, Co-author: A History of the
Ecologist and Philosopher; Author: The
Spell of the Sensuous Pat Lindamood and Nanci Bell
Principal Scientists, Founders, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes Dr. Anne Cunningham
Director, Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education, Graduate School of
Education at University of California-Berkeley Dr. Donald L.
NathansonClinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at
Jefferson Medical College, Director of the Silvan S. Tomkins Institute Dr.Johanna
DruckerChair of Media Studies, University of Virginia, Author:
The Alphabetic Labyrinth
John H. Fisher Medievalist,
Leading authority on the development of the written English language, Author:
The Emergence of Standard English Dr. Malcolm RichardsonChair, Dept. of English,
Louisiana State University; Research: The Textual Awakening of the
English Middle Classes James
Executive Director, National Center
for Learning Disabilities
Physician; Best-Selling Author:
The Alphabet vs. The Goddess Robert SweetCo-Founder,
National Right to Read Foundation
The Children of the Code is a Social Education Project
and a Public Television Series intended to catalyze and resource a social-educational transformation in how we think about
and, ultimately, teach reading. The Children of the Code is an
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