The George Graham Lecture In Reading 2017


Date:  June 15, 2017
Time: 9 am - 2pm
Ruffner Hall Auditorium

Topic: Dyslexia Redux

Speaker:  Professor Julian (Joe) Elliott, Durham University, UK

Professor Elliott is Principal of Collingwood College and Professor of Educational Psychology at Durham University, UK.  His review of dyslexia/reading disability (with Elena Grigorenko) across the fields of genetics, neuroscience, psychology, education and social policy, The Dyslexia Debate (2014), was the product of 40 years’ experience as a teacher in special and mainstream schools, an educational (school) psychologist, a teacher trainer, and a researcher.

His argument that dyslexia is a scientifically flawed concept, a position often misreported, misrepresented, and misunderstood, has been met by fury and disdain in some quarters, particularly in settings where emotion, rather than rational, scientific analysis, tends to dominate, or where powerful vested interests are challenged. His arguments are particularly timely for researchers and practitioners in the United States where fierce lobbying has resulted in federal and state legislation driven by a powerful dyslexia industry that, he will argue, is unlikely to serve the interests of many young people.

Professor Elliott will outline the reasons why dyslexia is a problematic concept, discuss which forms of intervention have scientific support and which should be avoided, and then explain why his arguments have often been met by hostility. Finally, he will conclude by outlining how the needs of children with reading disabilities may be best served.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. Peter Patrick, Dr. Donna Scanlon and Dr. Bill Therien,  who are experts in the fields of cognitive psychology, assessment and intervention, and special education.

Past Graham Speakers