Solutions for Smart but Struggling Students

Session 4: One of the Greatest Myths of 2e

Susan Baum, Ph.D.
Running time: 16:06

[accessally_has_any_tag tag_id='1074210,662974' comment='SBSS_2019_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']



[accessally_missing_all_tag tag_id='1074210,662974' comment='SBSS_2019_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']

Want to put the learning into action and make progress at home?

Enrollment for the IdeaLab program closes Monday October 21 at 10pm Pacific, but it’s not too late join!




  1. Andre and Willa on September 27, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Dr Susan, I love the concept of authentic learning! And that producing is not learning, moreover, there is more than one way to produce learning outcomes 🙂 Thank you for a great talk to both Dr Susan and Debbie 🙂

  2. Jerel Zak on September 26, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you Nicole! I agree 100%.

  3. Nicola on September 26, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Thank you for this fascinating video. It is so great to be able to hear from so many experts in the field, including Dr. Susan Baum. I feel that it should be noted, however, that we need to be very careful when saying that some children may need to just learn to read later in life. This is a traditional approach to dealing with literacy problems, that current research on supporting learning differences does not back. While I can certainly see her point, we need to be very careful when presenting this idea, as there is still a huge culture of waiting for children to ‘grow-into’ reading in schools. This approach is known as the “developmental lag” theory also known as the ‘wait-to-fail’ approach.

    Current research shows that the reason children do not learn to read is due to a skill deficit. These skills do not come naturally to some brain types and therefore need to be taught. This was certainly the case for the children I have taught that have had to leave the Waldorf system due to the fact that they never learned to read.

    While I completely respect Dr. Susan’s thoughts and experience in this area, we do need to remember that as she pointed out, the “Late-bloomer” concept is a theory and is not borne out by research. We, therefore, need to be careful when sharing this perspective as it is a pervasive belief within school systems that we are trying to overturn backed by the research on literacy we have today. Dr. Susan may have the experience to look at a child and see a ‘late-bloomer’ in comparison to a child who would be better served with early intervention. I know that I am not able to do this, nor are most people.

    Until this theory is proven, parents and educators are best served to follow the advice given by governmental organizations and panels which review thousands of studies and produce ‘best practice’ documents for educators and parents to follow. All of which currently site that the best evidence we have today shows early intervention, as being the most effective way to solve reading problems.

    National Reading Panel guidelines on reading instruction.
    The What Works Clearning House Practice guide for struggling readers:
    Reading Rockets – Article debating the ”late-bloomer” theory.

    Thank you again for providing such thought-provoking topics for discussion.

    • Andre and Willa on September 27, 2019 at 12:49 am

      My son is one of these late bloomers …. at first we followed the “best practice” as prescribed by our Department of Education – yet he did not learn to read and he fell behind more and more … then we took a step back and just let him be a kid, let him play and climb for at least 2 years, in this time he was also diagnosed with a mild cerebral palsy … turns out his lack of “skills” linked directly to his low muscle tone and no matter how hard we pushed in the early years, his body and brain was simply not ready to develop these skills … so we focused on building muscle tone instead and now at age 10 he shows signs of being ready and we are working on reading skills again … I am thankful that we had this wisdom because my son is a confident happy chappy in spite of his challenges and I think you all need to hear Dr Susan Baum and perhaps find a way to research late bloomers more … Finland might be a good place to start as they view all kids as of late bloomers – they only introduce reading and writing at the age of 10.

  4. Susan Baum on September 26, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Hi Lama,
    Lovely to hear from you. Why don’t you drop me an email. I think you should have my address. Say hello to all my friends in Kuwait.

  5. Lama on September 25, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you Dr. Susan for this great video. It was very interesting for me to know why learning style was discredited. I am Lama one of your previous students from the Kuwait Cohort of the Buffalo Masters program.

    • Lauren on September 25, 2019 at 7:50 pm

      That is so cool, Lama! She is probably THE most knowledgeable person on 2e. How fortunate to study with her! I am so glad you could tune in for these talks.
      -Lauren with the B&Q Team

Leave a Comment