Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

Winner of the 2022-23 Third Coast/RHDF Competition Impact Award, selected by Final Round Judges Katherine Nagasawa, Habiba Nosheen, and Richard Yeh.

2022-23 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2023 / Emily Hanford / Catherine Winter / Christopher Peak / Chris Julin / American Public Media, USA

Winner of the 2022-23 Third Coast/RHDF Competition Impact Award, selected by Final Round Judges Katherine Nagasawa, Habiba Nosheen, and Richard Yeh.


DESCRIPTION

There's an idea about how children learn to read that's held sway in schools for more than a generation — even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. Teaching methods based on this idea can make it harder for children to learn how to read.

In this six-part podcast, host Emily Hanford investigates the influential authors who promote this idea and the company that sells their work. It's an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn't true and are now reckoning with the consequences — children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.


This work was originally featured in the 2022-23 Third Coast Competition Showcase, a new way of celebrating Award-Winners, Finalists & Judges.


Full Credits

Emily Hanford (Senior Correspondent, Producer, Host), Christopher Peak (Reporter), Catherine Winter (Editor), Chris Julin (Mixing, Sound Design, Original Music), Emily Haavik (Mixing & Sound Design), Will Callan, Chole Marie Rivera, Angela Caputo (Research & Reporting), Andy Kruse, Dave Mann (Digital Editors), Betsy Towner Levine (Fact Checking), Jim Brunberg, Ben Landsverk (Theme Music Composers), Derek Ramirez, Alex Simpson, Cameron Wiley (Engineers)


produced by

Chris Julin

Chris Julin is a producer, editor and sound designer.


Featured in


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