Definition of the Science of Reading (The National Reading League, Feb. 2021)

The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based* research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. 

This research has been conducted over the last five decades across the world, and it is derived from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages. The science of reading has culminated in a preponderance of evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop; why some have difficulty; and how we can most effectively assess and teach and, therefore, improve student outcomes through prevention of and intervention for reading difficulties.

The science of reading is derived from researchers from multiple fields.

  • cognitive psychology,
  • communication sciences,
  • developmental psychology,
  • education,
  • special education,
  • implementation science,
  • linguistics, and
  • Neuroscience

The science of reading is NOT

  • an ideology or philosophy, 
  • a fad, trend, new idea, or pendulum swing,
  • a political agenda, 
  • a one-size-fits-all approach, 
  • a program of instruction,
  • a single, specific component of instruction, such as phonics

Link to The National Reading Panel report, 2000 


Dyslexia/Reading Organizations


VDOE Reading Initiatives (OG, LETRS, Fusion)