Science of Reading Resource Library

Develop your knowledge of the science of reading and how to teach all students to be strong readers.

The Science of Reading, Explained

The Definition of the Science of Reading

Developed by the Defining Movement coalition

The Science of Reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing.

This research has been conducted over the last five decades across the world, and it is derived from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages. The science of reading has culminated in a preponderance of evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop; why some have difficulty; and how we can most effectively assess and teach and, therefore, improve student outcomes through prevention of and intervention for reading difficulties.

Read The Science of Reading: A Defining Guide.

Must-Watch Webinars

reading fundamentals workshop

Assessment and Intervention in Light of Understanding the Nature of Reading Difficulties
Speaker: Dr. David Kilpatrick

importance of phonemic awareness

Why Phonemic Proficiency is Necessary for All Readers
Speaker: Dr. David Kilpatrick

understanding word-level reading problems

Recent Advances in Understanding Word-Level Reading Problems: Implications for Assessment and Effective Intervention
Speaker: Dr. David Kilpatrick

assessment for dyslexia

Assessment for Reading Difficulties and Dyslexia
Speaker: Dr. Michelle Hosp

Reading-Science Denial and Racism's Impact on African-American Children

Casualties of War: Reading Science Denial and Racism’s Impact on African-American Children
Speaker: Kareem Weaver

Structured Literacy Instruction for English Learners

Structured Literacy Instruction for English Learners
Speakers: Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan & Dr. Dale Webster

Strategies for Success: Helping All Students Become Strong Readers
Speakers: Tamura Oberle & Jillian Knapp

Teaching Spelling Using a Structured Literacy Approach
Speaker: Dr. Louisa Moats

Trauma, Language, and Child Development: Teaching Reading Well IS Trauma Informed Care
Speaker: Dr. Steve Dykstra

Using the Science of Reading to Improve Literacy Instruction for English Learners
Speaker: Dr. Claude Goldenberg

Teaching Beginning Readers to Decode Unfamiliar Words: Connected Phonation is More Effective than Segmented Phonation
Speaker: Dr. Selenid Gonzalez-Frey

What Does Good Instruction Look Like for Students with Dyslexia: A Systems and Classroom View
Speakers: Drs. Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck and Dale Webster

Beyond the Phonics Fights
Speaker: Emily Hanford

Adapting Instruction for Students with Word Reading Difficulties When Teaching Remotely

Advice from Dr. Anita Archer

Author and beloved teacher of teachers, Dr. Anita Archer, shares how to adapt the evidence-based practices you rely on in the classroom to a remote environment. From partner response to building community, this four-part video series can be watched in under an hour but will provide a wealth of practical advice.

Each video is accompanied by a tip sheet to help you implement the practices Dr. Archer recommends.

Master the Science of Reading in CORE’s Online Elementary Reading Academy

Learn foundational skills and instructional practices grounded in the science of reading. Based on the best of CORE’s nationally acclaimed Teaching Reading Sourcebook, this facilitated seven-module asynchronous online course teaches the essential components of reading instruction with clear and explicit teaching models.

Support the Science of Reading with Structured Literacy

Structured Literacy and Typical Literacy PracticesThis science-based instructional approach combines six key elements to help all students, including those struggling with dyslexia, become skilled readers. Learn more about the components of structured literacy and compare it to other typical literacy practices used in schools in this report by Louise Spear-Swerling.

What Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able to Do

Teaching Reading is Rocket ScienceAlthough educators have long understood the importance of literacy, teaching children to read is very complex. Evidence to guide instructional practice is stronger than it has ever been. In this report, Dr. Louisa C. Moats outline why the preparation and professional development of teachers must be better aligned with decades of reading science.

Read Up on the Science of Reading

Examining the Balance of Literacy Instruction

Effective literacy instruction includes both code-based and meaning-based instruction. This infographic from Philadelphia Read by 4th outlines the components of effective reading instruction and the essential knowledge base about reading that teachers must have. Download the Infographic >>

What the Words Say

A false assumption about what it takes to be a skilled reader has created deep inequalities among U.S. children, putting many on a difficult path in life. Keep reading >>

The Biggest Threat to Our Democracy: Illiteracy and the Science-Deniers Who Contribute to It

It turns out that we know exactly why Johnny can’t read. However, instead of using the brain science and overwhelming research consensus, we’re still using strategies that reflect our own biases and theories. Keep reading >>

Is It Ever Too Late to Teach an Older Struggling Reader?

Unfortunately, there are large numbers of adolescent students in our country who cannot read proficiently. So why do we find teachers so often give up on directly addressing the reading needs of older struggling readers and focus instead solely on providing accommodations? Keep reading >>

Lucy Calkins’ Criticism of Reading First is Misinformed

Recently, there have been many responses to Lucy Calkins’ essay, “No One Gets to Own the Term, Science of Reading.” Interestingly, none address Calkins’ inaccurate attack on the Reading First initiative. Keep reading >>

Lucy Calkins on the ‘Science of Reading.’ Seriously.

I left graduate school fully convinced that this as axiomatic: The road to reading is paved on a foundation of meaning. I was wrong. Keep reading >>

“I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore”

Once again, the reading science deniers disparage those of us in the reading research community who accept the settled science on teaching reading by implying all we care about is phonics. Keep reading >>

It’s time to stop debating how to teach kids to read and follow the evidence

The debate — often called the “reading wars” — is generally framed as a battle between two distinct views. On one side are those who advocate for an intensive emphasis on phonics and on the other side are proponents of approaches that put a stronger emphasis on understanding meaning, with some sporadic phonics mixed in. Keep reading >>

Taking a Critical Look at Teachers College Units of Study

Is Lucy Calkins’ reading program, Teachers College Units of Study, an effective literacy approach for all students? A team of experts reviewed the research, and here’s what they concluded.

Professional Learning in the Science of Reading

CORE’s reading, writing and language professional learning services provide preK-12 schools with a framework to implement and ensure the consistent used of evidence-based reading and writing instructional strategies based on the science of reading. Work with CORE to build and sustain knowledge and skills through well-structured courses, coaching, modeling and mentoring. Courses and other professional learning support can be offered online or in person.

Third Party Studies Finds that CORE Professional Learning Leads to Reading Gains

When SEG Measurement reviewed the reading performance of Pajaro Valley Unified School District (CA) first, second and third grade students in classrooms with teachers who participated in CORE professional development, they found that these students achieved significantly greater growth in reading skills. Review the reports to learn more.

Professional Development Efficacy Studies

Expert Advice and Actionable Tips to Support Students with Word Reading Difficulties

Dr. Carrie Thomson BeckStudents with word reading difficulties, including dyslexia, require explicit, systematic, evidence-based instruction and intervention — whether learning in person or remotely. In these two videos, Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck, former Dyslexia Specialist for the Oregon Department of Education and CORE’s Director of Literacy, demonstrates how to modify reading instruction and intervention for a remote learning environment.

Watch On-Demand:

States Must Support the Four Pillars to Reading Success

NCTQ State Literacy GuidelinesThe path to literacy is supported by many actors, but states play a large role in ensuring students are taught to read using the most effective instructional methods. The National Council on Teacher Quality has released this detailed guide that outlines the four actions states must take in order to support reading success for all students. The guide also includes a list of 13 essential aspects every elementary teacher should know about reading instruction.

CORE’s president, Linda Diamond, was one of the team of reading experts that contributed to the action guide. This guide is an invaluable resource for states and districts as they strive to ensure all teachers have essential knowledge of the science of reading and how to teach students to read.

The Textbook More Educators Trust

Teaching Reading Sourcebook, 3rd EditonCORE’s Teaching Reading Sourcebook, 3rd Edition is one of the best resources about the science of reading and reading instruction, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). Our hands-on, practical guide to the five elements of effective reading instruction was one of 10 textbooks that earned an exemplary rating and was found to be used in more teacher prep courses than any other textbook in the NCTQ 2020 Teacher Prep Review report.

From the Experts at EdWeek …

Join CORE in following along with EdWeek’s Getting Reading Right special report.

Video: How Do Children Learn to Read?

Featured Articles

Data: How Reading is Really Being Taught

New survey data shows that most K-2 teachers and education professors are using instructional methods that run counter to the cognitive science.
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The Most Popular Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science

An analysis of the five most-used programs for early reading shows that they often diverge from evidence-based practices.
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How Do Kids Learn to Read? What the Science Says

Teaching young kids how to crack the code — teaching systematic phonics — is the most reliable way to make sure that they learn how to read words.
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A Look Inside One Classroom’s Reading Overhaul

At an Ohio elementary school, teachers who once “did their own thing” are now using structured literacy programs — and despite some initial skepticism, they say they’re seeing gains.
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Will the Science of Reading Catch On in Teacher Prep?

Many teachers leave preservice training without clarity on what the cognitive science says about how students learn to read.
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