Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2022


Variable research spans several decades on how emergent readers should be taught. Literacy experts and governmental reports document evidence-based reading acquisition. Yet, a wide gap remains between the state of research and a professional understanding and application of how teachers should maximize daily literacy instruction in elementary classrooms. Teaching students how to crack the alphabetic code is crucial and forms the foundation for further reading acquisition as students mature. Robust scientific consensus overwhelmingly supports utilizing explicit, systematic phonics instruction in the initial stages of learning to read. Therefore, educators must prioritize strong foundational phonics skills in grades K-2 to help their learners become confident, successful readers. A comprehensive review of critical influences on reading in the early grades will enhance instructional adjustments for improving literacy instruction. Consequently, this action research study provides school leaders and teachers with the scientific, theoretical, and historical background to elevate K-2 instructional methods and promote evidenced-based literacy instruction. To improve student achievement and pedagogy, school leaders must empower teachers with professional learning opportunities to understand and apply the science of reading research so they may begin crafting relevant curricula that employ explicit, systematic phonics instruction in K-2 classrooms.