The Science of Reading

CORE has a long-standing history of prioritizing evidence-based practices rooted in the Science of Reading, and we believe it’s a moral imperative to equip educators with instructional practices aligned with the Science of Reading so that all children learn to read. 

What is the Science of Reading?

The Science of Reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research on reading and writing developed by the Defining Movement Coalition.

This research has been conducted worldwide over the last five decades and derives from thousands of studies in multiple languages. The science of reading explains:

  • How proficient reading and writing develop.
  • Why some learners have difficulty with reading.
  • How to assess and improve student outcomes through solutions for students with reading difficulties.

How the Brain Processes Written Language

The Science of Reading reveals how reading is processed by the brain:

  • The temporal and occipital lobes are responsible for letter and word recognition and language comprehension.
  • The parietal and temporal lobes process word analysis and sound-symbol connection.
  • The frontal lobe translates written language into speech sounds.

Scarborough’s Rope

Scarborough’s Rope is a visual metaphor for the development of skills over time (represented by the strands of the rope) that lead to skilled reading.

When a student is confronted with a text, there are two processes that make skilled reading possible. The student must understand what they’re reading and combine that understanding with a broader knowledge of language. The first is called word recognition; the second, language comprehension. Each of these competencies is composed of different “strands” that intertwine to form the rope of skilled reading.

Science of Reading Resources

  • CORE’s Science of Reading Resource Library
  • In this white paper, the Center for the Collaborative Classroom engages with research, offers informed guidance, and explores instructional considerations related to the Science of Reading.
  • The Reading League’s Science of Reading: Defining Guide provides a definition of what the science of reading is, what it is not, and how all stakeholders can understand its potential to transform reading instruction.

Get in Touch

Contact CORE to learn more about improving literacy instructional practices using the Science of Reading.