Robert C. Titzer
|Born||June 1960 (age 58)|
|Alma mater||San Diego State University|
University of Southern Indiana
Pennsylvania State University
Indiana University Bloomington
He has been a professor, teacher, and public speaker on human learning for around 20 years, and taught his own children to read using the multi-sensory approach that he developed. He is the founder of the Infant Learning Company, a company that produces learning products for infants.
Education and degrees
Titzer received his teaching credentials from San Diego State University. In the late 1980s, he taught at public schools in Guam and California. In 1985, he earned a communications degree from the University of Southern Indiana. He later completed a Master of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University and received a doctorate in human performance from the Indiana University Bloomington. At Bloomington, he did experiments in infant learning at developmental psychology laboratories. During his tenure as professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, Titzer developed a program to teach toddlers to read. He has also been a professor at Pennsylvania State University, Indiana University, and California State University, Fullerton.
A search of the PsychINFO database reveals three publications which include Titzer as an author. He was one of four co-authors of a paper which was published in 1999 in Psychological Review, titled "The Task Dynamics of the A-Not-B Error". The other two citations in PsychInfo include his dissertation, which concerned the infant's understanding of the visual cliff, and a paper he co-authored in 1993, "The influence of reminder trials on contextual interference effects."
In 1997, Titzer began selling "Your Baby Can Read!" videos. By 2003, around 60,000 had been sold. In September 2007, Dr. Titzer and his company sold the rights to his programs to a new company that exclusively advertised and sold the products in North America. In April 2011, a complaint was filed with the FTC against this new company. The complaint, by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said the new company's advertising claims were false and deceptive. In July 2012, the new company folded, citing the high cost of fighting legal battles. At that time, the rights to the programs reverted to Dr. Titzer and his company. Titzer also trains preschool teachers in many countries and he consults with learning centers and preschools in India, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, the United States, and China.
Though there have been millions of fans of Dr. Titzer and his products, some people have criticized Titzer's videos as being suspect because they lack rigorous scientific review and are commercial products.
In November 2010, Jeff Rossen and Robert Powell of NBC's Today wrote that Titzer "calls himself an infant learning expert but actually holds a graduate degree in 'human performance' — the study of motor skills."
Maryanne Wolf, Tufts University's director of cognitive neuroscience, said: "It's an extraordinary manipulation of facts." Today interviewed ten experts who affirmed that the brains of babies and toddlers had not attained the requisite development to read at "the level the way the enticing television ads claim they can". Titzer argued against these claims, saying that scientific research supported the effectiveness of Your Baby Can Read. There have been more than a dozen mostly very positive studies on the program which is likely more than any other baby learning product.
On August 22, 2014, a press release from the Federal Trade Commission related the following: "Your Baby Can Read creator, Dr. Robert Titzer, and his company, Infant Learning, Inc. d/b/a The Infant Learning Company have settled charges that they made baseless claims about the effectiveness of the Your Baby Can Read program and misrepresented that scientific studies proved the claims.". Dr. Titzer now has broken his ties with the marketing company which used infomercials to sell the products in huge numbers. He now often works with people in the field of early childhood education to market the products.
- Gale, Elaine (August 29, 1998). "Too Young To Read?; Education: Robert Titzer Says He Can Help Parents Teach Even Infants How with His Videotapes and Books". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Koay, Allan (June 8, 2007). "Window of Opportunity". The Star. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Brackemyre, J (2005). On Target. Joplin, Missouri: College Press Publications. p. 55. ISBN 0899009409.
- "Teaching Baby To Read". WLS-TV. June 13, 2006. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Ludwig, Jason (June 15, 2007). "Expert: Your baby can read". Ahwatukee Foothills News. Freedom Communications. Archived from the original on February 17, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Rossen, Jeff; Powell, Robert (November 1, 2010). "'Your Baby Can Read' Claims Overblown, Experts Say". Today. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2011.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Defendants Settle FTC Charges Related to "Your Baby Can Read" Program" (Press release). Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection. August 22, 2014.
- Shaulis, Sherri L. (June 28, 2002). "Even Babies Can Read, California Researcher Says". The Vindicator. Archived from the original on June 2, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.