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Using the science of reading to change literacy policy and practice

Using the science of reading to change literacy policy and practice

Global literacy is a pressing global challenge even within high-income countries with over 15% of children leave school with poor reading skills, bringing profound social economic costs. Psychological research provides critical insights, but there has been little knowledge of the ‘science of reading’ research base within global literacy communities. The ongoing failure to translate reading science to policy and practice is a major contributor to low literacy around the world.

Enhancing Global Practitioner Knowledge, Capacity and Practice

Rastle’s recent PSPI article has been cited by a number of parent advocacy groups, educational publications as well as within parliamentary inquiries for the Scottish Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy. Furthermore, multiple major educational leadership organisations have discussed our work on their websites, thus bringing reading science to hundreds of thousands of literacy professionals.

Demonstrable changes in practice have also been described as ‘transformative’ in terms of the impact upon future teachers for Deans of Impact.

Many primary schools in the UK have cited the article in their curriculum plans and Rastle has spoken at conferences and training sessions with audiences of over 3000 attendees.

International Literacy Development Strategy

Rastle’s work has led to numerous international changes within specific nations and international organisations. In Australia, Rastle’s work has specifically influenced state wide policy changes in New South Wales in 2020. Evidence indicates that this will dramatically change teaching practice in Australia and outcomes for children: preliminary trials in Australia indicate large increases from 43% to 63% in the number of children reaching the expected standard over three years. This methodology will now be adopted within school curriculum’s across the state.

The World Bank has also been influenced by Rastle’s work and cites her within their Ending Learning Poverty strategy to halve global illiteracy by 2030.

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