Having been a nurse before entering the field of education, I've always been very interested in how the brain learns. Not long ago, I read the four-book series by David Sousa, "How the Brain Learns." The set includes books for gifted students, students with special needs and how students learn to read. The brain uses different parts for verbal language or written language. The length of time and how students are taught to read has been studied by neuroscientists and should impact classroom and individual reading instruction.
Now Carnegie Mellon University researchers have released a report on 25 fifth-graders who have been in a study for three years. Students were provided 100 hours of reading instruction with brain scans done before and after the 100 hours and then again a year later. The scans of student's brains revealed function similar to students without reading problems--even one year later.
Patricia Hardman, Director of the Dyslexia Research Institute of Tallahassee, said:
"One of the key issues is if we can know initially, at the 4- or 5-year-old level, that a child is not learning and that the reason they're not learning has nothing to do with culture or IQ, but a difference in how their brain works," she said. "Then we could immediately give them the type of instruction that they need to overcome that."