The Mastery Series

If we’re serious about changing the lives of struggling readers, then as OG Practitioners we must be lifelong learners and develop a deep understanding of current research, best practices, and practical applications. We want to gather every month (virtually) to learn from each other and create a true Orton Gillingham Community. We’re providing monthly online opportunities for educators to learn together, share ideas, and support one another. Please join us!


  • Seminars, book studies, or workshops are held ONLINE on the 4th Thursday of the month, January through October, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CENTRAL. (No Mastery Series is presented in November or December)
  • There is no cost for the Mastery Series, but you must purchase your own books and materials, where applicable.
  • View the course syllabus here.
  • Our next Mastery Series Book Study begins soon! Please join us – register below!
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Starting January 2023

Reading in the Brain,
The New Science of How We Read
by Stanislas Dehaene

How can a few black marks on a white page evoke an entire universe of sounds and meanings? In this riveting investigation, renowned cognitive neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene provides a highly accessible description of the brain circuitry at work behind reading. He sheds light on the main issues related to the “reading paradox” — our cortex is the outcome of millions of years of evolution in a world without writing, so why can it adapt to the specific challenges posed by written word recognition? Stanislas Dehaene proposes a powerful “neuronal recycling” hypothesis, which postulates that cultural inventions invade evolutionarily older brain circuits, and while doing so inherit many of their structural constraints.

Reading in the Brain also describes groundbreaking research on how the brain processes languages. It reveals the hidden logic of spelling and the existence of powerful unconscious mechanisms for decoding words of any size, case, or font.

This is a book for everyone. It is eye-opening and will fascinate not only readers interested in science and culture, but educators concerned with the contested issues of how we learn to read, and of pathologies like dyslexia. Like Steven Pinker, Dehaene argues that the mind is not a blank slate: writing systems across all cultures rely on the same brain circuitry, and reading is only possible insofar as it fits within the limits of a primate brain. Setting cutting-edge science in the context of cultural debate, Reading in the Brain is an unparalleled guide to a uniquely human capability.

Starting August 2023

Beneath the Surface of Words: What English Spelling Reveals and Why It Matters,
by Sue Scibetta Hegland

English spelling has an undeserved reputation as unreliable and riddled with frustrating quirks. In the pages of this book, you’ll find stories, examples, and explanations that will reorient your perspective and reveal the integrated system that makes sense of the spelling of English words.

This book will answer questions like these:

– Why is there a W in answer and an L in talk?

– What’s going on with words like move and comfortable?

– Why isn’t hasten spelled like basin or mason?

These spellings make sense once we are aware of all that’s conveyed by a written word—information about so much more than just its pronunciation. This book will introduce the structural (morphological) framework that is present in every English word, reveal the signals of relationships that are embedded in our most interesting spellings, and provide enlightening evidence to support a reevaluation of some traditional spelling rules.

The compelling explanations of English spelling contained in this book allow all of us to understand and reconstruct many spellings, rather than memorizing them, while expanding vocabulary and deepening reading comprehension. This is particularly important for those with dyslexia.

Set aside what you know about spelling for the moment, and take a journey below the surface of words. Together, we’ll uncover the surprising coherence, depth, and clarity of the English writing system.

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