Science of Reading

Katie Burnette


The report of the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that once again, 4th, 8th

and 12th grade reading scores are abysmally low, particularly among disadvantaged students (National Center for

Education Statistics, 2003).

Helping Students Succeed

To provide reading instruction that will enable all students to succeed, educators must also have basic information about

scientific knowledge: how it is developed and how it should guide the selection and implementation of instructional

programs, strategies, and approaches (McCardle & Chhabra, 2004; Moats, 1999; Stanovich & Stanovich, 2003).

There is no one perfect way to teach reading.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Research methodologies fall into two major types—qualitative and quantitative

Qualitative research is based on holistic inquiry and is context-specific, acknowledging the uniqueness of individuals and

settings (Ravid, 1994). Researchers using this approach rely on observation and description of events.

quantitative research seeks to quantify observations made on larger numbers of individuals and events; it is not context

specific. Researchers working with this approach use deductive inquiry, focus on individual variables and factors, and

make comparisons (Wiersma, 2000). Quantitative researchers look for findings that they can generalize to similar settings

using statistical analyses