Finding the signal in the noise
Educators and parents alike find themselves in an echo chamber that creates a massive amount of noise. People talk about lots of different things when it comes to reading and reading instruction. Much of it doesn’t matter. It is a distraction that takes our gaze away from the “signal” of what we know works at this point based on what we have learned thus far—the settled science.
Educators and parents need easy access to resources that allow them to consume settled science. In this newsletter and others, we strive to cut through the noise to bring you that signal. It is a laborious process to do this work, but here is the thing: Much of the work has already been done for us. It has been and continues to be done by consensus groups composed of deeply knowledgeable people who often volunteer their time. They do it because they want to see hard-earned knowledge translated into classrooms across the nation for the betterment of students. Their efforts generate resources that synthesize what we know to work, and we strive to share them with you.
These resources come in many forms. The most reliable are practice guides. These guides take what worked in controlled studies run in real schools and place these practices into easily digestible nuggets for educators. Yet this still leaves a lot of work to be done. Educators and parents alike want these practices translated into curricula. Just as important, literacy leaders need implementation models that work at scale to drive empirically validated reading instruction in classrooms. So even though we may have reliable sources where we can find the signal, there is a lot of hard work left to be done in support of schools’ translating this work into classrooms.
Tim Odegard, Ph.D., chairholder, Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies
Tim Odegard serves as the editor-in-chief of Annals of Dyslexia and on the editorial board of Perspectives on Language and Literacy. These official publications of the International Dyslexia Association feature peer-reviewed research, as well as practical articles for educators, respectively.
Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia