Max Planck Research Group "REaD" | Reading Education and Development

Reading is one of the most important, but also one of the most complex, inventions in human history. Especially in our modern, information-oriented society, it is vital to be able to read texts accurately and efficiently. This is most apparent in the lives of people who lack the necessary skills: Older people with functional illiteracy often find themselves socially isolated; adolescents who are unable to write a letter of application generally fail to find a job.

In contrast to learning to speak, children do not learn to read spontaneously but need instructional help and support. Even then, many children have problems with reading acquisition and remain unable to understand even simple texts by the end of their compulsory education. How can we help these children?

Reading is a complex cognitive skill that involves a number of interacting component processes located at different levels within a general hierarchy. Which of these processes are important for children’s reading development and how they interact is still unclear. Furthermore, it is likely that different groups of students have different types of deficits and thus need different kinds of support.

The Max Planck Research Group REaD (Reading Education and Development) investigates the underlying structure of students’ reading skills and their development during childhood and adolescence. To this end, we assess students’ component processes longitudinally and analyze their interactions. This approach will allow us to provide a more detailed description of the various subprocesses and to analyze their conditions and consequences. These insights, in turn, will enable us to identify the processes that should be targeted by efficient remedial programs in reading education.

The group started its work in July 2012.

Overview of our research

An article about our group was published in MaxPlanckResearch 4.2013.

Article MaxPlanckResearch

A detailed view on our research is given in the Institute's Research Report 2014-2016.

You can download the chapter about REaD here:


There are several ways to support our group:

Taking part in studies

Bachelor or Master Theses

Internships and Jobs


Research Group Leader
Sascha Schroeder
sascha [dot] schroeder [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de

REaD in Action

Our public activities can be found in REaD in Action.

REaD in Aktion | REaD in Action | MPFG REaD

REad in 3 Minutes

At the Long Night of Sciences, Pauline Schröter held a talk on reading research.


REaD in the "Zeit"-Magazine

In the German Newspaper "DIE ZEIT", an article about the work of REaD was published.