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Everyone knows how important it is for children to learn to read well. But what's the best way to teach them?

a young boy with brown hair in a blue and gray striped shirt points at a page in a book
Michal Parzuchowski

As summer winds down and preparations for a new school year begin, some educators across the country are debating the best way to teach students how to read.

A local researcher says neuroscience research has found that explicit, systematic instruction works best for children, especially those who struggle with reading.

That means teaching kids how to sound out words by looking at the words and putting sounds together.

“When we train children to read that way, we’re producing in the brain a really effective feedback loop,” said Amy Murdoch, an assistant dean and associate professor in Mount St. Joseph University’s School of Education Reading Science Program. “When we train children to read looking at the pictures or context clues, we’re training them to read in a really ineffective way.”

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss how reading is taught are Mount St. Joseph Assistant Dean and Associate Professor in the School of Education’s Reading Science Program, Dr. Amy Murdoch; Cincinnati Public Schools Chief Academics Officer Shakeatha Butler; Mt. Airy School Reading Specialist Jude Anderson; and Mt. Airy School Reading Specialist Chyla Barner.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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