NOTE: This work is part of a larger, on-going effort to strengthen reading coursework in Higher Education in Ohio and across the nation. We would love your feedback and ideas! If you have suggestions please contact Dr. Amy Murdoch at Thanks! 


The documents presented on this webpage were created to support higher education faculty as they work to fully incorporate the science of reading in their teacher preparation programs. The work includes an introduction document explaining the construction of the model syllabi, a set of 4 model syllabi that are coordinated to teach the required 12-hour reading core in Ohio, and a planning checklist to aid faculty as they revise their courses. This work was done at the request of Ohio’s Department of Education with permission to share. Through sharing this work (and welcoming feedback) we hope to further our combined efforts to strengthen how we prepare future teachers. 


The aim is to inspire faculty to view their courses as a bridge between what is known (science) and what is done (practice).  University professors have autonomy in the selection of course topics, objectives, readings, assignments, and field experiences. This set of syllabi demonstrates one collaborative example of how the 12-hour Ohio Reading Core in teacher preparation can be organized and coordinated to teach key knowledge and skills based in the science of reading. It is key that faculty work together to create a coordinated reading core that builds the knowledge and skills of our future teachers within a consistent model built on the science of reading. The model syllabi and supporting documents were collaboratively developed by three faculty of Mount St. Joseph University’s Reading Science Program. All three faculty members (two full-time faculty and one adjunct) involved in this work have extensive knowledge of the science of reading as well as a wealth of experience in both K-12 public schools and teaching undergraduate and graduate students.


The definition of The Science of Reading used in Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement and systematically used to guide the development of these model syllabi includes:

  • How Students Learn to Read: research from cognitive science on how children learn
  • Essential Elements of Reading: the skills that support literacy and how student needs change across development
  • Essential Elements of Effective Instruction: instructional approaches that are based in research and best practice
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support: the application of data-based decision making to the creation of systems of support for all students.

Presentation at IDA-Portland, Murdoch & Saylor (Nov. 2019). 

Professional Learning Series for Faculty & District Partners -- Session 1: The Science of Reading

This professional learning series was designed as part of the Ohio Dean's Compact grant. It was designed for a partnership between a University's reading faculty & a school district's faculty (reading & intervention specialists). The purpose was to work together to deepen all participants' knowledge and skill in teaching reading; create a meaningful partnership between University faculty & School District faculty; support all participants ability to share this content with teachers in their schools or teacher candidates at the University; and to get input on strengthening our teacher preparation program including finding strong field placements for teacher candidates. All materials used in the professional learning sessions will be shared so participants (and others) can use these materials with their teachers and teacher candidates. 

In this first professional learning sessions the Science of Reading is outlined & discussed. The two books that will be used across the series are previewed--Dr. David Kilpatrick books are used and provided to all participants. The session ends with a discuss of Emily Hanford's At a Loss for Words. Participants were asked to listen to this podcast before the first meeting. 

Professional Learning Session 2: Phonological Awareness & Orthographic Mapping

In this second professional learning sessions we dive into Dr. Kilpatrick's books. We focus on Chapters 1-4 in the Essentials book and Part 1 in the Equipped book. 


Session 3: Part 2, Phonological Awareness and Orthographic Mapping

This session reviews and discusses Ch. 7 & 8 in Dr. Kilpatrick's Essentials Book and Part 2 & 3 of Equipped. 

Session 4: Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Writing

This session focuses on teaching vocabulary, comprehension and writing. It completes the Kilpatrick Essentials book with a focus on chapters 5 & 9. It also discusses Hochman & Wexler (2017) article focused on writing instruction: 

Hochman, J., Wexler, M., (2017). One sentence at a time: The need for explicit instruction in teaching students to write well. American Educator. Retrieved from: file:///D:/FH/ae_summer2017_hochman_and_wexler.pdf



This is a 90-minute recorded presentation by Dr David Kilpatrick about phonemic proficiency. This was presented at the 2019 Ohio Literacy Academy and made available by the Ohio Dept of Education


This website contains wonderful resources (materials and videos of the author) for each chapter of Dr. David Kilpatrick's Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties.