You will have the opportunity to explore the reading brain from the perspectives of education, psychology and neuroscience. Learning to read is an amazingly complex task that requires the development, interconnection and coordination of multiple skills and neural systems. In this interactive seminar, you will examine scientific evidence concerning the development of a brain that can read, from the visual processing of letters, to the linking of those letters with the sounds of language, to making meaningful connections to what the reader already knows. We will also consider children who are struggling to develop these skills and systems. A major theme of the workshop will be the remarkable plasticity of the human brain: Educators and students together are literally building brains that can read. When appropriate, topics will be mapped to the K-5 ELA Common Core State Standards.

Check-in registration begins at 7:45am.

The workshop runs from 8:15am - 2:30pm.


Download Seminar Brochure (pdf)


At this seminar, you will learn information about:

  • How to conceptualize reading as a remarkably complex task, even though it is automatic and effortless for fluent readers
  • How you can use scientific research to unpack the complexity of the brain that can read
  • How students need to use and coordinate various skills and systems to become fluent readers
  • How orthographic, morphological, phonological, semantic, contextual and comprehension processing each play key roles in fluent reading
  • How you can use findings from neuroscience and psychology research to inform educational practice in reading


This seminar will be relevant to elementary education teachers, reading specialists and coaches, other reading instructors, special educators working with struggling readers, school administrators and those preparing to teach in elementary schools.


kochDonna Coch, EdD, is an Associate Professor in the Education Department at Dartmouth College. In her research, she uses a noninvasive brain wave recording technique, in combination with standardized behavioral measures, to explore both what happens in the brain as children learn how to read and how the fl uently reading brain works. She teaches classes on the reading brain and atypical developmental pathways. A goal of both her research and her teaching is to make meaningful connections among mind, brain and education.