The Science of Reading Conference
the nation’s top reading experts were at SMU’s Legacy campus in
Plano on March 27-28 to help more than 400 classroom teachers and
administrators from across the nation learn about the latest research
from the field of literacy studies (see agenda
“Plain Talk About
Reading,” sponsored by SMU’s Institute for Reading Research and
the Center for Development and Learning of Covington, La.,
explored a range of topics, all having to do with reading, from
early intervention for struggling readers to overcoming adolescent and
adult illiteracy to preparing teachers in science-based methods. Some
of the more interesting topics included:
- Neurobiological Factors in Reading Disabilities - Scientists are probing
the brain for clues about children at-risk for reading failure.
- Transferring Theory to Practice: One District's Journey
with Implementing Scientifically Based Reading Research - How the Baltimore
County Schools System designed a reading program using Reading First
grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Intensive Intervention Once Reading Failure Has Occurred
-- What's Possible? - What do we know about
overcoming reading difficulties in older children?
- Can Reading Failure Really be Prevented? - Methods exist to
dramatically improve outcomes even for children at high risk of
Some of the more
notable speakers at the conference included:
- Joe Torgesen, psychologist and director of the Florida
Center for Reading Research. For more than 25 years Torgesen has
conducted research with children who have learning problems and is the
author of more than 150 books, articles and chapters on learning
- Marilyn Jager Adams, psychologist and author of the
landmark book Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.
- G. Reid Lyon,
senior vice president of Research and Evaluation Best Associates; former chief, Child
Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health.
- G. Emerson Dickman, attorney and president of the
International Dyslexia Association. Dickman led a national movement to
development a research definition of dyslexia and has represented
hundreds of children with learning disabilities in lawsuits against
- David Clemons, 52-year-old carpet layer, who learned
to read for the first time five years ago. He will talk about his
experience of learning to read in a discussion with his tutor.
# # #