Reading in Children

Posted on May 9, 2012 by admin

Reading provides an essential foundation for academic success, and is one of the most valuable and generalizable life skills children learn in their early school years. Children who are slower to become skilled readers will lag behind their peers academically, even if their other learning skills are on par. Although most children ultimately learn to read, children vary widely in how quickly they become fluent readers and critically, some never achieve this endpoint. Being able to reliably identify different learning styles, and map individual learners’ progress on multiple dimensions, would allow us to tailor education to children on an individualized basis, optimized for their level and ability. Our long-term goal is to develop maximally effective ways of teaching children to read, providing this level of individual optimization.

Currently, as the first step towards this goal, we are conducting a two-year project funded by SSHRC. We will study a group of early (grade 3) readers with the goal of establishing the relationships between brain imaging measures (EEG “brain waves”) and specific measures identified in educational psychology as central to the process of learning to read. Our analysis will focus specifically on how to best combine these techniques to capture the nature of individual variability in skills among beginning readers, and how these relate to reading performance.

We are currently recruiting children in grade 3 for this project. If you would like more information, please contact us at