As the units in this module show, there’s a great deal that goes into learning to read. Reading isn’t something humans are born knowing how to do. We’ve been speaking to each other for hundreds of thousands of years, but it’s only in the last 100 years or so that a critical mass of us have learned to read.
While most of us are born with the capacities to develop oral language and to see print, we have to learn to put these skills together when we learn to read. And doing this is no easy matter. That’s why researchers have been working to understand how children learn to read. Knowing how children learn to read allows researchers to develop evidence-based practices that educators can use to teach reading.
These evidence-based practices are the cornerstone of what’s known as the science of reading. The science of reading tells us what works best and most efficiently for most children. Of course, some children face unique challenges when learning to read. Perhaps they have visual impairments, hearing loss, dyslexia, or other complex needs. Parapros are often asked to help these children—children with special needs—in their journey toward reading.
Reading requires evidence-based instruction. A body of research known as the science of reading provides strong evidence for what works. The goal of this module has been to help you understand what the science of reading tells us and how to use the strategies it supports.