Episode 27 - READ in Review 2021

Episode Summary

READ in Review is the “epilogue” that highlights this year’s episodes with leading experts in research, education, and advocacy. Host Danielle Scorrano reflects upon her conversations from throughout 2021, centered around the theme of integration. The top bookmarks captured by our guests include current research in the Science of Reading (SoR) and dyslexia, advocacy for increased access and equity to high quality education, and an examination of the system to deliver the promise of education for all children. Join the conversation as we reflect upon the 2021 chapter of the READ podcast and forecast ahead into 2022.

Top READ Bookmarks
Each episode, host Danielle Scorrano identifies key takeaways or “READ bookmarks.” 

Host Danielle Scorrano calls for the integration - a more wholistic and renewed relationship - between research, education, and advocacy, to empower all learners around the world:

"By joining together across disciplines and fields of expertise, we are refusing to operate within our own silos and refusing to accept the status quo of reading education. We are instead choosing to grow, integrate our knowledge, and learn together to ignite change for a brighter future - not just for the children we directly serve, but for all kids."
– Danielle Scorrano, host of READ Podcast

She highlights her top READ “Bookmarks” or themes from 2021 guests. Access each conversation and resources by visiting each episode page.


1. The Science of Reading
The current framework for the Science of Reading (SoR) is multifaceted and comprehensive guided by the definition developed by teams of experts and led by The Science of Reading: A Defining Moment.

The Science of Reading:

  • Spans across decades of research and across a variety of research fields
  • Tells us how skills required for reading and writing develop
  • Explains how and why difficulties to learn these skills manifest
  • Identifies ways to support and improve student outcomes through assessment, instruction, and intervention

Access The Windward Institute’s free infographic on SoR here.

Dr. Maryanne Wolf draws on the science and story of the reading brain in episode 21.

"The reality is that the study of dyslexia helps reveal the complexity of reading itself… weaknesses in the brain and genetic makeup were there well before [children] ever entered the kindergarten door." – Dr. Maryanne Wolf, Episode 21

2. Dyslexia and the Multifactorial Model

In episode 18, Dr. Hugh Catts identifies the key components of the multifactorial model of dyslexia. Read more about the model here.


1. Democratizing Education: A Focus on Access and Equity

In episode 25, Resha Conroy, founder of the Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children, discusses the barriers to access high quality education for Black children with dyslexia and its implications of screening and intervention, with a focused understanding on intersectionality.

"The real crime here is that we're not infusing literacy in early education and in elementary school. We shouldn't have to do it in the prisons. We should be able to do that in our, in our preschool classrooms and in our kindergarten, first grade classrooms. Then we should have layers of protection and catch children who are falling through the cracks so that we can, at any point along that journey, really infuse literacy into effective practices." – Resha Conroy, Episode 25

In episode 19, Indigo Young connects racism and language socialization within the fabric of a child’s experience in education and calls us to question and challenge how we conceptualize how we teach language in our classrooms and schools.

"Students are living racialized experiences, sexualized experiences, and we can't ignore it because it's a part of who they are and a part of how they're experiencing school and the rest of world." – Indigo Young, Episode 19

2. A Systems Approach

In episode 20, Dr. Emily Solari we spoke about article published in The 74 million in June 2020 where she calls on pushing multiple levers:

  • Teacher preparation
  • In-service professional development
  • State-level adoptions of curriculum, assessments, and screening
  • Teacher evaluation

"The systems that we're using are not really aligned with the evidence-based reading instruction. All [aspects of the system] have to change at the same time and unify around one common goal. And the goal is that we want all kids to learn how to read and all kids deserve access to appropriate instruction." – Emily Solari, Episode 20

Dr. Fumiko Hoeft identifies the benefits of early, universal screening in episode 23.

"We know from the literature and research that the return of investment [on early screening] is very high." – Fumiko Hoeft, Episode 23

3. Supporting Teachers and Schools in the Science of Reading

In episode 16, Dr. Molly Ness calls to support teachers and school leaders in learning about the Science of Reading through increased investment in teacher preparation programs and continuous professional development.

"I want us to move away from fixing a flawed idea and instead, investing in the science that we already have and the programs and professional development that… are showing powerful results." – Dr. Molly Ness, Episode 16

Magdalena Zavalía and Kristen Wynn spoke about the success of investing in high-quality professional development, illuminating the evidence of translation and implementation of research into school and policy contexts.

Watch Kristen Wynn speak more about Mississippi’s investment and the Science of Reading at The Windward Institute’s 2021 Fall Community Lecture.


"We must come together and realize that together we will be better than if we are polarized." – Dr. Maryanne Wolf, Episode 21

Stay tuned for future episodes in 2022 that focus on practice and issues beyond our school walls.

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READ Podcast is produced by The Windward School and The Windward Institute. READ is hosted by Danielle Scorrano.

About READ: READ, the Research Education ADvocacy Podcast connects you with prominent researchers, thought leaders, and educators who share their work, insights, and expertise about current research and best practices in fields of education and child development.
Note: All information and insights shared demonstrate the expertise and views of our guests.