Denyse Ritchie Interview: The THRASS institute provides a road (not the road) for creating empowered, informed. teachers Blog entry by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Denyse Ritchie Interview: The THRASS institute provides a road (not the road) for creating empowered, informed. teachers Blog entry by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Last week I said it had been over five decades since the 1st-grade studies were carried out LINK. That complete and comprehensive set of studies laid the groundwork for all future studies of the teaching of reading. They demonstrated that no one method works for every child every time.  They found that teachers predicted more of the variance in reading achievement than particular methods. In a nutshell- good teachers get good results. My conclusions about what good literacy instruction should look like are the same now as they were then. The best path to improving literacy instruction is to empower teachers. Train them in both the art and the science of teaching. Give them a background in all the ways to break the code and all the ways to help children make meaning. Empowered, informed teachers are the key to a successful literacy program. One size never has and never will fit all LINK.

Last week I had the privilege of talking to one such empowered, informed teacher. Her name is Narelle Lynch.  Last week as you listened to her talk about her teaching, you saw the depth of knowledge she has about orthographic information and her openness to learning about all ways of providing reading instruction LINK . Your feedback was quite positive, and that blog post had almost triple the usual visits.

Narelle received a great deal of training at the Thrass Institute in Australia. This week I interviewed Denyse Ritchie, the head of THRASS in Australia.  There are some things to keep in mind as you listen to the interview. As Denyse talks during the interview, she uses one of the forms of a THRASS chart. I have done a screen capture from the THRASS Facebook page that includes a copy of the chart.  Know that it takes a great deal of training to make proper use of the chart. Also, notice that spelling and writing are important aspects of the program.  I hope the information in this screen capture will give you the background you need to listen to what Denyse has to say and to learn how she is able to foster the creation of empowered, informed teachers of reading


Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka the guy in the center happily taking flak from all sides)

Copyright 2021 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the author’s view and do not necessarily reflect any other person or organization’s views.

PS If you found the blog through Facebook or Twitter, please consider following the blog to make sure you won’t miss it.  Use the “follow” entry on the sidebar of the blog.


There are two major THRASS hubs in the world- one in Australia and one in England. Each serves specific parts of the globe. For folks in the US and Canada, please go to the UK site. Folks in Australia use the Australian site. In sum, when using links for services/materials provided below, be sure to use the links for your particular area of the globe.

THE MAP -users click on their country to be taken to the appropriate web site.

The UK link

THRASS -Teaching Handwriting Reading And Spelling Skills THRASS UK is licensed to supply customers in the UNITED KINGDOM, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA (and the Cayman and Caribbean islands), the

Let's talk! What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.