Teaching to read before the age of 6 is harmful

Scientific Evidence Platform Hoax Teaching to read before the age of 6 is harmful
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I have heard on numerous occasions that teaching reading before the age of 6 is harmful. In many schools this hoax is deeply ingrained and they do not teach reading or writing until they reach primary school. It is also spreading to families. This hoax is reproducing and increasing inequalities among students because some children do have more interactions with everything that has to do with reading at home and others can only have this opportunity at school. I am concerned about the impact this hoax is having on the achievement of academic success for boys and girls who come from environments that are already at risk of social exclusion.

Evidence shows that the first childhood (0-3 years old) is a critical period for human development that has consequences on learning, among others. The positive effects of promoting skills related to reading, such as interactions with letters, sounds, poetry, listening and the dialogues where the reading is dialogued through comments or questions have been proved. Authors such as Vygotsky or Montessori were in favor of teaching to reading and writing from very young ages and today neuroscience has demonstrated that it is the optimal period for the greatest learning to take place. It can be done in many ways, including letters and words in games, reading stories and books to amplify the vocabulary and discussing around what is being read, taking turn to speak and giving the oportunities to provide reasons.

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Gontzal Uriarte

This article concludes in this way:

“Emergent reading experience is crucial since it affects the development of reading. The formal reading curriculum usually starts in kindergarten. Before kindergarten, genetic and environmental factors have already affected the starting point for children. Research studies on DD have provided a rich body of evidence that reading acquisition is influenced by complex genetic and environmental interactions Recent studies started to focus on the importance of home literacy environment and emergent reading stage using brain imaging evidence.”



Last edited 11 months ago by Beatriz Villarejo Carballido
Esther Roca

I think it is very important to eradicate this HOAX due to the multiple implications it has for the future of boys and girls (cognitive, developmental, academic, overcoming inequalities, etc.). On this occasion I would like to share another aspect: the protective role and the creation of values ​​and feelings that reading in early childhood has in people’s lives.
I have been coordinating a teacher training seminar for almost 10 years. One of the courses we debated more than 100 people, most of them teachers, the book, “Creative Friendships”. In the first chapter, “Childhood Dreams”, through a biographical research, he recounts how education from the early years and reading classic books during childhood contributed to the search for egalitarian relationships and a world without violence. Many teachers saw it very clearly also in their classrooms when they did dialogical literary gatherings or shared dialogic reading spaces literary works, from the earliest ages.
Hoaxes like this can take us away from other very important challenges we have with childhood: how to contribute so that the feelings that we as humanity have created emerge and dialogue between boys and girls as soon as possible.
Free book: https://bit.ly/2WVoHS1
Elisenda Giner (2018). Creative Friendships. Hipatia Press

Last edited 11 months ago by Beatriz Villarejo Carballido
Marta Font


In the United States, the Head Start Program has been implemented since 1965 by the Department of Health and Human Services. This institutional program has been focused on health, nutrition, parent participation and early childhood education. Therefore, literacy skills are given high priority in Head Start programs. Several studies point that Head Start programs have a positive impact in early literacy skills that contribute to mitigate achievement gaps. For this reason, early childhood literacy programs such as Head Start are considered protective experiences for children.

Last edited 11 months ago by Beatriz Villarejo Carballido

En línea con lo que aquí se comenta, la primera infancia, es un período crucial en el desarrollo humano, que tiene consecuencias en el aprendizaje. No son pocos los autores que se encuentran a favor de la enseñanza de la lectura y la escritura desde edades muy tempranas y, cada vez más estudios visibilizan las desigualdades causadas a raíz de este engaño. “ Pines (1969) describe en los siguientes términos sus preocupaciones al respecto: “Se causa un daño irreparable a millones de niños cuando se les priva de una estimulación intelectual durante los años cruciales que van desde el nacimiento hasta los seis años. Si para las clases medias, esta carencia supone obtener menos brillantez, para las clases desfavorecidas es una predestinación al fracaso escolar en la vida adulta”. (Condemarín, M. 1986). Por lo que no cabe duda que si la escuela tiene como objetivo principal erradicar las desigualdades sociales, debe de empezar con la idea de la estimulación de la lectura y la escritura desde edades tempranas. “Los especialistas recomiendan que los bebés tengan contacto con los libros durante los primeros seis años de vida porque en esta etapa los niños/as sientan las bases para ser lectores competentes. También diversos pronunciamientos legales enfatizan en esta cuestión, como la LOMCE (2013: art. 14.5), cuando se refiere a la Educación Infantil y afirma que “corresponde a las Administraciones educativas fomentar una primera aproximación a la lectura y a la escritura”. (do Nascimento, L. R., & Álvarez, C. Á. 2016) Por lo que para concluir, creo que es apropiado decir que, como bien dice el post, incurrir en este engaño conlleva consecuencias devastadoras para los niños y niñas, por lo tanto, se hace la necesidad de una introducción a la lectura y a la escritura desde los primeros años de vida.


  • Condemarín, M. (1986). Iniciación temprana en la lectura: interrogantes y respuestas. Lectura y vida, 7(2), 1-14.
  • do Nascimento, L. R., & Álvarez, C. Á. (2016). Estimulación temprana de la lectura desde la Educación Infantil. Lenguaje y textos, (43), 123-128.
Last edited 11 months ago by Beatriz Villarejo Carballido
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