The University of Iowa

A Novel Idea Podcast

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Coming June 8: A Novel Idea: The History of the Science of Reading Movement

In this eight-episode documentary podcast series, host Meg Mechelke will explore the history of literacy instruction in the United States, starting from the Age of Enlightenment and progressing to the development of controversies and debates that are still happening today. We will define and discuss hot-button literacy terms and concepts, such as “Reading Recovery,” “the cueing system,” and “structured literacy.” We will examine the historical roots of instructional approaches such as look-say and whole language. And we will work to understand how these ideas became commonplace in classrooms across the country.

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Trailer: A Novel Idea: The History of the Science of Reading

Transcript and sources

For exclusive content from upcoming podcast guests, check out our series of science of reading Q&A blog posts:

A graphic featuring a photo of Dr. G. Reid Lyon and the words: with Dr. G. Reid Lyon Distinguished Scientist Emeritus in Neruoscience & Cognition, University of Texas Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Southern Methodist University
The Neuroscience of Reading With Dr. G. Reid Lyon

By Meg Mechelke 
Posted on May 25, 2023


Picture of Timothy Shanahan with words: QA with Dr. Timothy Shanahan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago
The Importance of Evidence-Based Instruction With Dr. Timothy Shanahan

By: Meg Mechelke
Posted on: May 2, 2023


A speech bubble reads "Q&A," below which is the text "with Melissa Loftus & Lori Sappington, hosts of podcast Melissa and Lori Love Literacy. A photo is included of the two women smiling.
Loving the Science of Reading With Melissa and Lori

By: Meg Mechelke
Posted on: March 28, 2023


A speech bubble reads "Q&A," below which is the text "with Dr. Kymyona Burk, Senior Policy Fellow at ExcelinEd. A photo of Dr. Burk is included. She is a Black woman with medium length, dark hair. She is wearing a gray blouse and red lipstick.
Putting the Science of Reading Into Policy With Dr. Kymyona Burk

By: Meg Mechelke
Posted on: March 7, 2023