This podcast, Sold a Story, was produced by APM Reports and reprinted with permission.
There’s an idea about how children learn to read that’s held sway in schools for more than a generation – even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. Teaching methods based on this idea can make it harder for children to learn how to read.
In this new American Public Media podcast, host Emily Hanford investigates the influential authors who promote this idea and the company that sells their work. It’s an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn’t true and are now reckoning with the consequences – children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.
Related: Reading Matters: See more Hechinger coverage of reading instruction
Bonus Episode 1: Your words
APM Reports heard from more than 1,000 people in response to its Sold a Story podcast. Nearly 40 percent were teachers. Most teach elementary school, though the podcast team heard from many teachers in upper grades, too. After teachers, the largest group was parents. Three quarters of the parents who wrote in said they were worried about their own child’s reading progress. For many families, thinking about reading instruction was new. Listeners in 47 states and Washington, D.C. called or wrote in, as did people in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ecuador, Poland and Switzerland.
This podcast was produced by APM Reports and reprinted with permission.