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Learning researcher to discuss at-risk adolescents

March 10, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A noted researcher on adolescent learning will visit the Western Michigan University campus next month to talk about at-risk adolescents and what lies ahead in the wake of federal education legislation.

Dr. Donald Deshler, director of the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, will speak from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 17, in the Fetzer Center. His presentation, titled "At-risk Adolescent Learners in the Shadow of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and RTI (Response to Intervention): Challenges and Reasons for Hope," is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Under Deshler's guidance, the KU's center developed the Strategic Instruction Model, a comprehensive approach to adolescent literacy that addresses the need of students to be able to read and understand large volumes of complex reading materials as well as to express themselves effectively in writing.

Deshler's interests lie in program design and implementation of strategic-based interventions for students at risk for failure and in assisting schools and professionals in the process of educational change and professional growth. His current research projects include: learning disability assessment and identification, literacy instruction for adolescents and adults, multimedia supports for Strategic Instruction Model components, and improving the results of adolescents with disabilities in general education curricula.

Early in the day of his visit, Deshler will address faculty, staff and students in the WMU College of Education. That presentation is titled "Fostering Literacy in Struggling Adolescents Learners: Research-Based Interventions" and is from 10 to 11:15 a.m. in the Bernhard Center.

For more information, call Dr. Monica Harris, WMU assistant professor of special education and literacy, at (269) 387-5941.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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