Louisa C. Moats is a nationally recognized authority on how children learn to read and why some fail to learn. Moats has served as an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas, Houston. She spent 15 years in private practice as a licensed psychologist in Vermont, specializing in evaluation and consultation with individuals of all ages who experienced difficulty with reading, spelling, writing, and oral language. After advising the California Reading Initiative for one year, Moats spent four years as site director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Interventions Project in Washington, D.C., which included daily work with inner-city teachers and children. Conducted through the University of Texas at Houston, this longitudinal, large-scale project investigated the causes and remedies for reading failure in high-poverty urban schools.
Moats began her professional career as a neuropsychology technician and teacher of students with learning disabilities. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College, her master’s degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and her doctorate in reading and human development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has been licensed to teach in three states.
Dr. Moats is the author or coauthor of numerous publications on reading instruction, the professional development of teachers, and the relationship between language, reading and spelling, including Speech to Print; Straight Talk About Reading; and Basic Facts About Dyslexia. She created the professional learning program Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (Sopris West). Instructional materials include Spellography and Primary Spelling by Pattern. She also has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, and policy papers, including the American Federation of Teachers’ “Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science,” the Learning First Alliance’s “Every Child Reading: A Professional Development Guide,” and Reading First’s “Blueprint for Professional Development.”