Friday, April 23, 2010

What are the variables for learning to read?

An interesting study from Florida State University received significant media exposure yesterday. Researchers studied sets of twins to measure the effects of teacher quality on student reading ability.  The study found that teacher quality, along with genetics and other variables, play a part in how well and how quickly a student learns to read.  My own observations as a literacy coach speak to the roles of both teacher quality and genetics. A child's kindergarten teacher may be the most important placement of their elementary experience since this is where many students learn how to read. I also know from hundreds of parent conferences that when I am meeting with the parents of a struggling reader, inevitably the conversation steers toward one or both of the parents discussing their difficulty with learning how to read.

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