Better Prepared Teachers Lessen the Impact of Reading Difficulties

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The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is conducting reviews of university-based teacher training programs in reading using the criteria set in the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards.

This is good news!

On this blog we have often discussed how alarming it is that children are NOT learning how to read.

Dyslexics or children with reading disorders make up 70-80% of the special education students. Most college special education masters programs do not include comprehensive instruction in reading for dyslexics. Robin Hansen asks (and answers) the question, “Is there any wonder why special education reading scores are so low?”

For years dedicated teachers have said they are unprepared to teach struggling readers. Marcia Henry, Ph.D., who has 44 years of experience in the field of reading and dyslexia, working as a teacher, diagnostician, tutor, and professor, explains why we need better teacher preparation.

In the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Report, James Comer and Robert Pianta found that “Despite the understanding of how children and adolescents grow and learn, schools are not applying this knowledge. Neither are teacher preparation programs.”

Finally – comprehensive evaluations of teacher training programs in reading.

The short-term goal of IDA’s review of university programs is:

  • to identify teacher training programs that meet the IDA Standards
  • to provide a framework for course content and high-quality teacher preparation.

IDA now recognizes Nine Universities for Meeting Teacher Training Standards in Reading.

The university programs submit a wide variety of course materials and requirements for the review, which also includes a site visit to the school. Each program is being evaluated by a team of three reviewers, all highly credentialed practitioners and researchers in the field.

Last summer, IDA solicited applications for reviewers, which were vetted and selected by the IDA Standards & Practices committee in the fall. The reviewers participated in two training webinars on the IDA Standards and the review process.

After completion of the university reviews, the Standards & Practices committee will undertake reviews of instructional reading programs, other teacher training and certification programs, and international programs.

Read more about IDA’s Reviews of University Teacher Training Programs

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