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Learning Sciences & Ed Research  Language & Orthography  Policy & Teaching  Advocacy
Grover (Russ) Whitehurst  
Ex-Director of the Institute of Education Sciences & Assistant Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education

Jack Shonkoff
Chair, The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child; Co-Editor: From Neurons to Neighborhoods

Louisa Moats
Reading Scientist, Sopris West; Author: Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling

Siegfried Engelmann (Phone) (Video) Professor of Instructional Research, University of Oregon; Creator of Direct Instruction

G. Reid Lyon
Past Chief of the Child Development & Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institute of Health (NIH)

Timothy Shanahan
Chair National Early Literacy Panel, President (2006) International Reading Association, Member of National Reading Panel; Director, Center for Literacy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Michael Merzenich
Chair of Otolaryngology, Integrative Neurosciences, UCSF;  Member National Academy of Sciences; Co-Founder of Scientific Learning Corporation & Posit Science Corporation

Marilyn Jager Adams 
Senior Scientist, Soliloquy Learning; Author: Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print

Maryanne Wolf
Director, Center for Reading & Language Research; Professor of Child Development, Tufts University

Keith Stanovich
Chair, Applied Cognitive Science, University of Toronto; Author: Reading Matters: How Reading Engagement Influences Cognition

Paula Tallal
Board of Governor's Professor of Neuroscience, Rutgers University; Co-Founder of Scientific Learning Corporation

Sally Shaywitz
Neuroscientist, Department of Pediatrics, Yale; Author: Overcoming Dyslexia  

Charles A. Perfetti
Professor of Psychology & Linguistics; Senior Scientist and Associate Director, Learning Research & Development Center, University of Pittsburgh

Edward Kame'enui
Ex-Commissioner for Special Education Research, U.S. Department of Education; Director, Institute for the Development of Educational Achievement (IDEA), University  of Oregon

Christof Koch
Professor of Computation and Neural Systems,  Caltech - Author: The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach

Zvia Breznitz
Professor, Neuropsychology of Reading & Dyslexia, University of Haifa, Israel

Mark T. Greenberg
Director, Prevention Research Center, Penn State Dept. of Human Development & Family Studies; CASEL Leadership Team

Donald L. Nathanson
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at Jefferson Medical College; Founding Executive Director of the Silvan S. Tomkins Institute; Author: Shame and Pride & Knowing Feeling

Keith Rayner
Distinguished  Professor, University of Massachusetts; Author: Eye Movements in Reading and Information Processing

Mel Levine
Co-Chair and Co-Founder, All Kinds of Minds; Author: A Mind at a Time, The Myth of Laziness & Ready or Not Here Life Comes

Anne Cunningham 
Director, Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education, University of California- Berkeley; Historian of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading

Pat Lindamood & Nanci Bell  Principal Scientists & Co-Founders of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes  

Richard Olson
Past President, Society for the Scientific Study of Reading; Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado

Steve Reder
Professor & Chair, Department of Applied Linguistics, Portland State University  

Robert Kail
Professor of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, Indiana

Susan H. Landry 
Director of the Center for Improving the Readiness of Children for Learning & Education (CIRCLE);  Chief, Division of Developmental Pediatrics, University of Texas at Houston

Nancy J. Cohen
Director of Research, Hincks-Dellcrest Institute; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Author: Language Impairment and Psychopathology in Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Ruth Ann Atchley
Assistant Professor, Brain & Behavior, Cognitive Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Kansas

Kathryn Au
Professor of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Richard Venezky
Past Unidel Professor of Educational Studies & Professor of Computer, Information Sciences & Linguistics, University of Delaware; Author: The American Way of Spelling: The Structure and Origins of American English Orthography

John Searle
Mills Professor of the Philosophy of Mind & Language, University of California-Berkeley; Author: Mind, A Brief Introduction

David Abram
Cultural Ecologist and Philosopher; Author: The Spell of the Sensuous

Marketa Caravolas
Director, Bangor Dyslexia Unit, Bangor University, Wales England Author: International Report on Literacy Research, Language-specific influences of phonology and orthography on emergent literacy

Todd Risley
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Alaska; Co-Author: Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children

Thomas Cable         
Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin; Co-Author: A History of the English Language

Johanna Drucker       
Chair of Media Studies, University of Virginia; Author: The Alphabetic Labyrinth

Terrence Deacon
Cognitive Anthropologist, University of California-Berkeley; Author: The Symbolic Species:The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain

Guy Deutscher
Professor, Department of Languages and Cultures of Ancient Mesopotamia, University of Leiden in Holland; Author: Unfolding Language - an evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention

John H. Fisher
Medievalist; Retired Professor Emeritus of English, University of Tennessee; Leading authority on the development of the written English language;  Author: The Emergence of Standard English

Malcolm Richardson  
Chair, Dept. of English, Louisiana State University; Research: The Textual Awakening of the English Middle Classes, 1380-1520

Leonard Shlain
Physician; Best-Selling Author: The Alphabet vs. The Goddess

David Olson 
Professor Emeritus, Applied Cognitive Science, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; Author: The World on Paper: The Conceptual and Cognitive Implications of Writing and Reading

Doug Engelbart
2000 National Medal of Technology, Computer & Internet Pioneer, Inventor of the 'Mouse'

Ray Kurzweil
1999 National Medal of Technology, Inventor, OCR & Speech Recognition

Selmer Bringsjord
Director, Rensselaer AI & Reasoning (RAIR) Laboratory - Dept. of Cognitive Science (Chair), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

Robert Logan
Professor of Physics,  University of Toronto; Author: The Alphabet Effect

Frank Moore Cross, Jr.
Professor Emeritus of Hebrew & Other Oriental Languages, Harvard University

Bruce Thornton
Professor of Greek History; Author:  Greek Ways: How the Greeks Created Western Civilization 

Naomi Baron
Linguist; Director, TESOL, American University;  Author: From Alphabet to Email: How Written English Evolved and Where It's heading

Walter Isaacson 
CEO, Aspen Institute; Author: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

John Gable
Past Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Association

Steve Bett
Linguist; Editor, Simplified Spelling Journal

Peter Krass
Author: Carnegie

R. Kent Rasmussen
Mark Twain scholar; Author: Mark Twain A to Z, The Quotable Mark Twain

Edward Rondthaler
Past-Chairman, American Literacy Council; Author:  Alphabet Thesaurus - A Treasury of Letter Design


James J. Heckman
Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Sciences 2000; Professor, University of Chicago; Lead Author: The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children

Eric Hanushek
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University; Chairman, Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project; Member, Koret Task Force on K12 Education

Alex Granzin  
School District Psychologist, Past President, Oregon School Psychologists Association

Peter E. Leone         
Director, National Center on Education, Disability & Juvenile Justice

Arthur J. Rolnick
Senior Vice President & Director of Research,  Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis;  Co- Author: The Economics of Early Childhood Development

Chris Doherty
Former Director, Reading First Program, U.S. Department of Education

Robert Sweet
Co-Founder, National Right to Read Foundation; Retired Professional Staff, U.S. House of Representatives

Barbara Kapinus 
Senior Reading Policy Specialist/Analyst, National Education Association

E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
Distinguished Visiting Professor, Hoover Institution; Co-Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation; Professor Emeritus of Education and Humanities at the University of Virginia; Author: Cultural Literacy, The Schools We Need and Why We Dont Have Them, The Knowledge Deficit.

George Farkus
Professor of Sociology, Demography & Education, Penn State

Richard Allington
Reading Researcher; President,  International Reading Assoc.; Author: Big Brother and the National Reading Curriculum: How Ideology Trumped Evidence

John Strucker
Research Associate, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning & Literacy, Harvard University

Sandra Feldman
Past President, American Federation of Teachers

Brenda L. Welburn
Chief Executive Officer,  National Association of State Boards of Education; Author: The American Tapestry: Educating a Nation

Norton Hadler
Professor of Medicine & Microbiology/Immunology, Attending Rheumatologist, University of North Carolina Hospitals; Author: The Last Well Person

Sam Redding
Executive Director, Academic Development Institute; Lead Author: The Effects of Comprehensive Parent Engagement on Student Learning Outcomes 

Susan Neuman
Former Assistant Secretary,  U.S. Department of Education

Martin Haberman
Distinguished Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Creator, National Teacher Corp.

David Bloome
Professor of Literacy, Language & Culture, Ohio State University; Past President, National Council of Teachers of English 

Madhu Viswanathan
Director, Marketplace Literacy Project, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Patrick W. O'Leary
Employee Relations Manager, UPS Airlines

Patrick Groff 
Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University;  National Right to Read Foundation Board Member & Senior Advisor; Author: Private Sector Alternatives for Preventing Reading Failure 

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California; Author: The Power of Reading, Second Edition: Insights from the Research

Earl B. Oremus
Marburn Academy

Lesley M. Morrow
Past President, International Reading Association




Nancy Hennessy 
President (2003-2005), International Dyslexia Association

James Wendorf
Executive Director, National Center for Learning Disabilities

Robert Wedgeworth 
President, ProLiteracy

Rick Lavoie
Learning Disabilities Specialist, Creator: How Difficult Can This Be?: The F.A.T. City Workshop & Last One Picked, First One Picked On: The Social Implications of Learning Disabilities

Mark Ginsberg
Executive Director, National Association for the Education of Young Children

Sharon Darling
President, National Center for Family Literacy

Sue Stepleton
President, National Center for Parents as Teachers

Carol H. Rasco
President, Reading is Fundamental

Nancy Tidwell
Founder and President, National Association for the Education of African American Children with Learning Disabilities

Jimmy Santiago Baca
Award winning poet, author and literacy advocate; Author: The Importance of a Piece of Paper

Mark Weist
Executive Director, Center for School Mental Health Assistance

Sarah Greene
Executive Director, National Head Start Association

Gwedolyn Cartledge
Professor of Special Education, Ohio State University; Author: Teaching Urban Learners

Judy Wurtzel
Former Executive Director, Learning First Alliance; Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute

Kimberly Thompson
Director, Kids Risk Project; Associate Professor of Risk Analysis & Decision Science, Department of Health Policy & Management,  Harvard School of Public Health

Claiborne Barksdale
CEO, Barksdale Reading Institute

Robin Willner,
Director, Corporate Community Relations, Reinventing Education, IBM

Brock and Fernette Eide 
Physician-parents with a national referral practice for children with learning difficulties. Authors of  "The Mislabeled Child"

Krista Kafer
Senior Education Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation

Jones Kyazze
Past Director, UNESCO Literacy

Bruce Perry
Senior Fellow, Child Trauma Academy

Daniel Wagner
Director, International Literacy Institute

Sylvia O. Richardson,
Past President, International Dyslexia Association; Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Sciences & Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of South Florida

Thomas Viall
Past Executive Director, International Dyslexia Association

David W. Kirkpatrick
Senior Education Fellow,
U.S. Freedom Foundation

Susan Sandler
President, Justice Matters

Susan Carrell
Adult Learning Center Coordinator, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky

Monty Neill
Executive Director, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (Fair Test)

Nayo Watkins
Founder & Director, Mekye Center


*Interviews in grey have been taped but not yet transcribed and edited.
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Available Interviews by theme/subject:  Rollover interviewee names for details about interviewee - See "Interview Notes" for background on conducting, editing, and navigating interviews.  

The Neuroscience of Nurturing Neurons - Dr. Jack Shonkoff
Neuroscience: Phonology and Reading: The Oral to Written Language Continuum
- Dr. Paula Tallal
Neuroscience: Reading and the Movie in your Mind - Dr. Christof Koch
Asynchrony: Timing Differences Between Processing Modalities Can Cause Reading Difficulties - Dr. Zvia Breznitz
The Brain and Dyslexia - What Brain Imaging Can and Can't Tell Us About Reading Difficulties - Dr. Sally Shaywitz
Neuromodulation and Neuroplasticity in Reading Related Brain Processes- Dr. Michael Merzenich

Cognitive Science
Cognitive Science: The Conceptual Components of Reading & What Reading Does for the Mind Dr. Keith Stanovich
Word Recognition and Comprehension - Dr. Charles Perfetti
What Eye Movements Tell Us About the Processing Involved In Reading - Dr. Keith Rayner
Teaching Teachers to Teach Reading - Dr. Louisa Moats
Thinking and Learning about Beginning to Read - Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams
Rapid Naming, Double-Deficits and Dyslexia - Dr. Maryanne Wolf
Orthographic Depth and Other Factors in International Comparisons of Literacy Acquisition - Dr. Marketa Caravolas
The Effects of Learning to Read On Children's Minds - Dr. Anne Cunningham
From Phonemic Awareness to Comprehensional Imagery - Pat Lindamood and Nanci Bell

The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain - Dr. Terrence Deacon
The Evolution of Language - Dr. Guy Deutscher
Language, Writing, Mind, and Consciousness - Dr. John Searle
Meaningful Differences in the Language Learning Environments of Young American Children - Dr. Todd Risley 

Social and Emotional Factors in Reading
The Role of Affect in Learning to Read - How Shame Exacerbates Reading Difficulties - Dr. Donald L. Nathanson
Social-Emotional Learning and Learning to Read - Dr. Mark Greenberg
Traumatized Learning: The Emotional Consequences of Protracted Reading Difficulties- Alex Granzin
Juvenile Injustice - Reading Difficulties, Special Education and Juvenile Delinquency - Dr. Peter Leone

Research and Education Policy
Converging Evidence - Reading Research - What It Takes To Read - Dr. G. Reid Lyon
Evidence Based Education Science and the Challenge of Learning to Read - Dr. Grover (Russ) Whitehurst
Instructional Design 101: Learn from the Learners! - Siegfried Engelmann
Emerging Economic Arguments for Investing in the Health of Our Children's Learning - Dr. James J. Heckman
High Quality Education: Elements and Implications - Dr. Eric A. Hanushek
Differentiated Curricula and Assessment in Reading Instruction - Dr. Edward Kame'enui
Phonics and the Evolution of Reading Policy - Robert Sweet
The Best Investment We Can Make - Arthur Rolnick
No Child Left Behind -  Reading First -  Chris Doherty

Adult Literacy
ProLiteracy: A Global View of Literacy - Robert Wedgeworth
The Personal and Social Implications of Literacy and Literacy Instruction - Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Dyslexia & 'L.D.'
All Kinds of Learning - Dr. Mel Levine
Dyslexia is Personal - Think About What it Must Be Like - Nancy Hennessy
Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and Difficulties Learning to Read - James Wendorf
Advocate for Children with Learning Differences and Special Needs - Rick Lavoie

History of Writing
Art Meets Technology: The History and Effects of the Alphabet - Dr. Johanna Drucker
The Spell of Literacy - Dr. David Abram
What the Alphabet Engenders - Dr. Leonard Shlain

English Orthography
The Structure of English Orthography: Letters, Sounds, Spellings, and Meanings - Dr. Richard Venezky
The Origins of the English Writing System and the Roots of its Letter - Sound Confusions - John H. Fisher
A History of the English Language and its Orthography -  Dr. Thomas Cable 
The 15th Century Roots of Written English - Dr. Malcolm Richardson


Note about interviews: Participation in the preceding Children of the Code interview does not constitute or imply an endorsement of the Children of the Code project or documentary by the interviewee. Conversely, including an interview does not constitute or imply an endorsement of the views, organizations, books or products of the interviewee, other than as explicitly stated, by the Children of the Code Project and documentary.  

In addition to the interviews listed above, new interviews are in the works. They include children and adults who are struggling to learn to read, the parents of struggling readers, some of America's finest teachers, literacy institution leaders, brain scientists, linguists, psychologists, sociologists, phonics and meaning-centric reading specialists, reading teachers, code technologists, education leaders, government leaders, language historians, writing historians, archeologists, anthropologists, and others. Join our notification list for future transcript releases

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