Where Does Having a Heart for Dyslexia Intervention Advocacy Start?

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By Posie Boggs

June 2018


Can you imagine if a world-renowned cardiologist did not know how a typical heart functions? I can’t. And yet we certainly know that new teachers, along with their reading professors, do not have the basic content knowledge about typically developing readers. You know the ones: They are the children who learn to read easily, with little to no reading instruction.

The science about reading has been, and continues to be, negated by pedagogical philosophies that produce reading instruction myths. This leads to instructional casualties: our children and teachers become collateral damage. We should expect—and provide—our children’s teachers with the latest and best that science has to offer on reading instruction.

This article, “Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquisition From Novice to Expert” (Castles, Rastle, and Nation, 2018), not only lays the foundational evidence for typically developing readers but also provides the primer on the political nature of the Reading Wars that have infected all countries where English instruction occurs.

In this freely available article, the evidence for good reading instruction is clearly and efficiently explained, as well as the political landmines that prevent implementation of that evidence, alongside the myths that also blind the general public to that evidence.

Here are six ways that I am going to use this article in my advocacy work about the need for science-based dyslexia intervention, while supporting the International Dyslexia Association’s powerful motto of “Until Everyone Can Read.”

  1. I will add this article to the list of those on the dyslexia reading list I usually give to parents and follow up with them by referring to it in conversation.
  2. I will leave copies of this article in pediatricians’ waiting rooms for parents and pediatricians.
  3. I will invite all my grassroots advocacy friends, especially those who aren’t quite on board, to review the article with me.
  4. I will present this article to politicians who care about reading outcomes. I will especially focus on politicians who overly rely on reading outcomes in Finland.
  5. Where educators are knowledgeable about reading instruction for all students, including those with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities, I will use this article to support their work.
  6. If I know a superintendent who is knowledgeable, I will publicly support that superintendent, who is, I assure you, receiving pushback against supporting reading instruction based on the science of reading.

Castles, A., Rastle, K., & Nation, K. (2018). Ending the reading wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expertPsychological Science in the Public Interest, 19(1), 5–51. doi:10.1177/1529100618772271

Posie Boggs is an active advocate for educating students, parents, educators, and policy makers on the necessity of improving literacy in our nation and the world. She has emphasized that providing comprehensive research-based literacy education early to all our students and adults who struggle with literacy is essential to increasing our nation’s educational outcomes. Equally important is providing educators extensive, rigorous, and multidisciplinary training in the knowledge and practice of teaching the “3 Rs.” As founding president of the Alaska Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, she uses every opportunity available to communicate that research about dyslexia provides a critical base of knowledge that contributes to all aspects of literacy acquisition and instruction. Ms. Boggs has a Master’s in Educational Diagnostics and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She haunts the Institute of Education Science and the What Works Clearing House to keep her knowledge on the cutting edge of literacy science. She has received training in and utilizes the following scientifically evidenced methods for teaching literacy and reading: The RAVE-O™ program, Lindamood-Bell™ programs, including On Cloud Nine Math©, LIPS©, Visualizing Verbalizing©, Seeing Stars©, LAC3 Test©, Slingerland™ – Level 1, & 2 and the Writing Institute™.

Copyright © 2018 International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Opinions expressed in Dyslexia Connection and/or via links do not necessarily reflect those of IDA.

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