About the author and the brilliant mind behind THE SPALDING METHOD®

Romalda Bishop Spalding was passionate about making sure every child could read.

After realizing that her exceptional preparation was not enough to teach all children to read and write successfully, she sought guidance and training from the distinguished neurologist Dr. Samuel T. Orton, a leader and specialist in helping dyslexic and other children with learning difficulties. As a result, Romalda Spalding created a method that empowered children to become fluent and thoughtful readers and writers and she established The Spalding Education Foundation in 1986.

The purpose of introducing the Spalding Education Foundation (now Spalding Education International) to the world was to perpetuate her method and to transmit the principles and procedures that, to this day, make THE SPALDING METHOD® so effective.

Spalding Education International (SEI) is a non-profit corporation. To promote and advance the method further, we offer courses and online components to certify, teachers, and instructors in THE SPALDING METHOD®. We also provide SEI Accreditation and onsite staff development for schools, and districts.

romalda spalding young

Birthplace and Date
Santa Rosa, Honduras on February 1, 1899

Place and Date of Death
Honolulu, Hawaii on January 29, 1994


  • Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of Illinois, 1921
  • Master of Arts and diploma, Supervisor of Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1932

Additional studies

  • Studied under Dr. Samuel T. Orton, distinguished neurologist, who specialized in helping dyslexic and other learning-disabled children
  • Mrs. Spalding tutored children under Dr. Orton’s supervision
  • Mrs. Spalding taught older children with Dr. Orton’s guidance and realized that the techniques that worked so well with the child having the most difficulty it also prevented problems from developing in other children in her classes.
  • At Dr. Orton’s invitation, she attended a course he gave to pediatricians where she learned that the method of teaching determines which pathways develop in the brain.


  • The Writing Road to Reading, with a recording of the sounds of seventy phonograms commonly used in English, William Morrow and Company, 1957, 1962, 1969, 1986, 1990, 2003

Special Honors and Awards

  • Men and Women of Hawaii, 1954, 1966, 1977
  • Two Thousand Women of Achievement, Melrose Press, London, England, 1972
  • Who’s Who of American Women, Marquis, 1975, Ninth Edition
  • Chaminade University inaugurated the Spalding Institute to carry on The Writing Road to Reading method, 1980
  • 1986 Washburn Award from Reading Reform Foundation
  • 1989 Teachers Medal from Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge

Professional and Honorary Societies

  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 1975
  • Member, National League of American Pen Women
  • Advisor to International Montessori Society
  • Council of Advisors, Orton Dyslexia Society, 1985 until death
  • Founder and Chairman of Spalding Education Foundation, 1986 until death

Romalda's Experience


Classroom teacher, Community School, St. Louis, Missouri


Classroom teacher, Katherine Branson School, Ross, California


Classroom teacher, Birch Walthen School, New York City


M.A. Columbia University


Classroom teacher, Bronxville Public Elementary Schools, Bronxville, New York


Taught a boy from the middle of his kindergarten year through second grade, directly under the meticulous supervision of Dr. Samuel T. Orten. Later taught several older students under his direction.


Shady Hill School, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Teacher of Students with language problems from third through ninth grade. Taught each year groups of graduates from Smith, Vassar, Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr and other girls’ schools. These girls spent a year at Shady Hill School in order to learn to teach. Worked with physicians of Children’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School.


Marriage to Commander Walter T. Spalding


Tutoring at two private schools and consulting in Hawaii


Member of Summer School Staff at Chaminade University of Honolulu


Consultant in reading to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for state of Hawaii


Taught hundreds of individual students of all ages


Summer Instructor at Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts


Instructor of approximately 120 college credit Spalding classes of teachers and parents in mainland states, Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada.


Spalding consultant to more than 50 schools in mainland states and Hawaii; certified first 16 Spalding Teacher Instructors.