Misalignment with values and practices: a content analysis on how one school district is implementing the science of reading

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Date

2023

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development

Abstract

The term "Science of Reading" (SOR) has gained increased awareness over the past couple of years and has garnered the attention of researchers, teachers, and other educational stakeholders. As a result, the definition and implementation of the Science of Reading has led to misunderstandings between research and practice. This project uses content analysis to examine how one school district defines and implements SOR using a scripted curriculum and other outsourced curricular materials despite the research behind SOR. Relying on curriculum theory as an analytic lens, this paper also examines the impacts of SOR within the studied school district to analyze whose interests are being served and silenced. By presenting first a historical account of the past reading wars, I focus on the arguments for and against SOR. Next, artifacts in the form of district and teacher communications, teacher worksheets, websites, and responses from teacher interviews are used to identify mis/alignment with the pedagogical foundations purported by leading SOR scholars. Finally, a discussion and implications are offered to detail the impact that conflicting curricular values may have on young readers as well as current and future teaching practice of reading teachers in the focal district.

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