Inside the podcast that reignited the reading wars

Do you remember how you learned to read? I don’t, though I vaguely recall being assigned colors corresponding with reading levels, along with one-sentence picture books that encouraged me to sound out sentences like “See Spot run.”

As an education journalist and a parent, I’ve long been fascinated by the question of how children actually learn to read, a big topic for us here at The Hechinger Report.

I know that arguments and confusion over that question are as old as books, but they’ve been given a new twist following the exhaustive reporting and response to the podcast we ran on our site called “Sold a Story,” from our partners at American Public Media. The six-episode podcast investigates the teaching of reading based on methods and strategies that cognitive scientists have shown are wrong – and harmful.