A lack of uniformity among elementary school educators’ abilities to deal with children’s reading disabilities was the topic on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Tim Odegard, a professor of psychology and holder of MTSU’s Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies, and Susan Porter, a doctoral candidate majoring in literacy studies, first aired March 1 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.
You can listen to their conversation via the SoundCloud link above.
Odegard and Porter co-authored a study of educators in a variety of specialties in the primary grades and their literary knowledge. Classroom teachers, reading interventionists and special educators took a 50-item test to assess that knowledge.
Porter said researchers discovered that special educators displayed the lowest level of knowledge, even though they deal with students who have the most severe problems with reading.
“Special educators deal with a wide range of students with disabilities, not just academic but also behavioral,” Porter said. “So when you’re preparing a teacher for special education, there’s not a way to know exactly the range of disabilities that they’re going to work with, so it’s a very broad program.”
Odegard said higher education has to reconsider its methods of training future teachers to help improve their literacy knowledge.
“We want to make sure that we have classes that are both content-specific for teaching what we know that we need to know about our language … and we also want to bring in actual instructional, pedagogical approaches into those classes,” Odegard said.
The report, “Characterizing the knowledge of educators across the tiers of instructional support,” was published in August 2021 in the academic journal Annals of Dyslexia.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.
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