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WHAT’S AT STAKE: More American children suffer long-term life-harm as a consequence of reading difficulties than from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined. In purely economic terms, reading related difficulties cost more than the war on terrorism, crime, and drugs combined. VIDEOS: IntroductionReading MattersAcademic DangerEmotional DangerSocial Danger / Juvenile InjusticeNational Learning DisabilityWe Need A REFRAME! [Collective Costs: Disabled DemocracyHealthThe EconomyPovertyPrice Tags]

WHAT IS READING? Before engaging in the debates surrounding how we should teach reading, it’s important to understand what reading is. VIDEOS: IntroductionThe MagicInner VoiceUnnatural>Technological – Code Inseminated Language Experience [Dialogues: Perfetti – Allington – Farkas]
CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: Why is it so difficult to learn to read? The root cause of reading difficulties (in most children) can be understood in terms of the complex interplay between a number of causes and factors. VIDEOS: INNATE / LD / DyslexiaParentsPrint ExposurePreschoolsLanguage GapMotivationReading to LearnUNNATURAL CONFUSIONSuperficial ThinkingTeacher TrainingDysteachiaResistance – CHILD’S FAULT
READINESS: Children’s innate endowments and early life learning trajectories determine their level of readiness for the challenges involved in learning to read. VIDEOS: Reading ReadinessNature & NurtureSensitive SlopesEmotion & CognitionIn The BeginningLanguage FoundationsMeaningful Differences
SHAME: Building on ‘CHILD’S FAULT‘ from ‘Causes and Contributing Factors‘, this chapter provides a starting point for appreciating the learning-disabling effects of the “SHAME” that struggling readers experience. VIDEOS: ShamePower of ShameFear of ShameSecret ShamePublic ShameAvoidance – Emotionally Learning Disabling – Cognitively Learning Disabling
THE EARLY CODE: Understanding the code and its history is essential to understanding the “CONFUSION‘ involved in learning to read it today. The Power of WritingThe Alphabet’s Big BangThe Grecian FormulaLend Me Your EarsThe Code of DaVinciThe Rise and Fall of Literacy
THE ENGLISH CODE: Though readiness and readiness differentiated instruction reduce the difficulty, working through the code’s confusing letter-sound relationships is what most challenges the brains of most struggling readers. There is a direct and causal relationship between the confusion in the code and the ‘stutters’ heard in the voice of a struggling reader. Obviously, understanding this confusion is critical to understanding the challenges involved in learning to read. As importantly, understanding how the code became so confused is critical to reframing the experience of struggling readers. The more we understand the accidents and negligence that led to the confusion in the English code the more it becomes obvious that it is absurdly negligent to blame and shame children for their struggle with it. Latin RootsFrench RulesThe King’s EnglishThe Chancery ScribesThe 1st Millennium BugThe Great Vowel ShiftCasting Spells
ATTEMPTS TO REFORM / PARADIGM INERTIA: The story of our attempts to reform the code is fascinating and understanding these attempts, and why they failed, sheds important light on the social, political, institutional, and even scientific inertia that limits our understanding of the challenges involved in learning to read. IntroductionBen Franklin’s AlphabetNoah Webster’s SpellingDewey and CarnegieTheodore Roosevelt’s Order – The Death of Reform – Mark Twain Reform Champion – Other Famous Advocates of Reform – Paradigm Inertia in Reading Science and Policy Part 1 through 3