Teaching, Reading, and Learning: The Reading League Podcast

Dr. Louisa Moats is a renowned teacher, psychologist, researcher, and author. In this episode, she talks
about her beginnings in the field, why there are still barriers to translating evidence to teaching practice,
the essential next steps we need to take to ensure all teachers can teach all kids to read, and her
greatest hopes for the teachers and children of this country.

Show Notes

Dr. Moats has been a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation. After her first job as a neuropsychology technician, she became a teacher of students with learning and reading difficulties, earning her Master's degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt. Later, after realizing how little she understood about teaching, she earned a doctorate in Reading and Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Moats spent the next fifteen years in private practice as a licensed psychologist in Vermont, specializing in evaluation and consultation with individuals of all ages and walks of life who experienced reading, writing, and language difficulties. At that time, she trained psychology interns in the Dartmouth Medical School Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Moats spent one year as the resident expert for the California Reading Initiative; four years as site director of the NICHD Early Interventions Project in Washington, DC; and ten years as research advisor and consultant with Sopris Learning.
Dr. Moats was a contributing writer to the Common Core State Standards. In addition to the LETRS professional development series, Dr. Moats’ books include Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers; Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction; Straight Talk About Reading (with Susan Hall), and Basic Facts about Dyslexia. 

Dr. Louisa Moats is truly one of the trailblazers in the field of education science, but did you know her humble beginnings included a degree in music?  Louisa came into the profession in a fascinating way, at a time when the term “dyslexia” was considered quackery. Although she earned a graduate degree as one of the first “learning disabilities” teachers in the United States, she states that she really didn’t know how to teach. This early realization has led her to focus her work on better preparing teachers to meet the demands of the classroom and to advocate for research-based instruction for all children.

In this frank and honest discussion, you’ll hear Dr. Moats’s reflections on her background and those people who most influenced her work. You’ll hear her thoughts about the state of where we are in literacy achievement in this country, the barriers to advancing the evidence base into practice, and directions we can take to get it right.

Further Reading and Exploration
Louisa’s Picks

What is Teaching, Reading, and Learning: The Reading League Podcast?

Teaching, Reading & Learning: The Podcast elevates important contributions to the educational community, with the goal of inspiring teachers, informing practice, and celebrating people in the community who have influenced teaching and literacy to the betterment of children. The podcast features guests whose life stories are compelling and rich in ways that are instructive to us all. The podcast focuses on literacy as we know it (reading and writing) but will also connect to other “literacies” that impact children’s learning; for example, emotional, physical, and social literacies as they apply to teachers and children.