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Bridging the Knowledge Gap with Natalie Wexler
Episode 2411th June 2024 • Science of Reading Leadership • Just Right Reader
00:00:00 00:24:47

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“We have lots of evidence that having knowledge of the topic really helps you with reading comprehension.”

In this powerful Science of Reading Leadership episode, we welcome Natalie Wexler, an esteemed education writer and author of "The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System—And How to Fix It." Natalie shares her extensive experience and dives into how we can bridge the educational divide with effective knowledge-building strategies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the Knowledge Gap: Natalie explains the knowledge gap concept, highlighting the disparity in background knowledge that contributes to the reading comprehension gap between socioeconomically diverse groups.
  • Importance of Early Knowledge-Building: Discover the necessity of starting knowledge-building in early education to close the comprehension gap between different student demographics effectively.
  • Strategies for Building Knowledge: Natalie provides practical advice on constructing knowledge in the classroom, emphasizing the importance of starting early and using engaging, content-rich materials.
  • Role of Writing in Learning: Gain insights into how writing significantly boosts learning and retention by helping transfer and retrieve information from long-term memory.
  • Curriculum Development: Learn about the pivotal role of adopting content-rich, knowledge-building curricula in schools.

Important Timestamps

00:00 - Introduction of Natalie Wexler and her contributions to education.

04:26 - Explanation of knowledge-building in K-12 education and its significance.

07:10 - Natalie highlights the importance of comprehension and vocabulary alongside phonics in reading education.

18:25 - Discussion on using a content-rich curriculum and the role of teachers.

21:55 - Natalie's advice for district leaders to accelerate reading achievement.

Connect with Natalie Wexler




Science of Reading Resources

What You Need to Know About the Science of Reading

A Guide to High-Quality Structured Literacy Materials




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