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A caricature of a girl braced on a giant book as if it is a flying carpet is surrounded by a magnifying glass, a key, a lightbulb and another book, floating around her.

Forget the reading wars; there is a science to reading well

ACER news 7 minute read

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has created a resource confirming how effective reading and comprehension skills develop – also dispelling common myths and providing clarity for teachers. 

‘Unpacking the science of reading’ is an online visual resource that explains the ‘Big 6’ pillars of learning to read – and how they interact – so individuals can move from learning to read to reading to learn. ACER researchers Greta Rollo and Dr Kellie Picker have created the resource for educators so more learners can become proficient readers and enjoy the lifelong benefits that reading well brings.


Unpacking the science of reading​
Kellie Picker and Greta Rollo


Meet the researchers

Greta Rollo

I taught children in lots of different settings in diverse communities around Australia over about 15 years, and found that teachers and schools employed different approaches to teaching reading. Through a professional research Masters in Teacher Education (Inclusive Education) and through changing my practice, I realised which skills were keystones to reading. I differentiated my teaching to suit the needs of each student, and the results gave me confidence in my pedagogy. Like all teachers and researchers, I continue to share and champion what works.

Dr Kellie Picker

I’m an early childhood teacher who’s taught children from preschool to upper primary. I was blessed in my undergraduate degree to have a lecturer who taught the importance of the constructs that would become the science of reading. This knowledge has contributed to a successful career as a teacher differentiating instruction to help children learn to read, and as a learning enrichment specialist working with children with learning difficulties or giftedness. It also inspired my Masters and PhD research to understand what and how reading is taught in the early school years, and my work building on this knowledge at ACER.

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