Professor Steve Reder earned his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1977, and for the next nearly twenty years he conducted research in West Africa, Alaska and the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. He joined the faculty of PSU in 1995. His many interests include how adults learn language, literacy skills, language education, and the role of language, literacy and technology in everyday life.
As part of his research activities, Professor Reder presents and publishes regularly. His upcoming book: "Dropping Out and Moving On: Life, Literacy and Development Among High School Drop Outs" Harvard University Press, is due to be published in 2006. He previously authored a book, Literacy in America, published by the National Institute for Literacy. He co-edited a book, Learning Disabilities, Literacy, and Adult Education, published by Paul Brookes Co., and has contributed many journal articles and chapters in various volumes.
As Professor and Chair of the Applied Linguistics Department, Dr. Reder actively seeks research dollars and received more than $1 million in grants in during the past year alone. Current research focuses on three projects.
- The Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (1998-2006) is following the progress of 1000 high school drop outs, a population whose skills and motivations traditionally have been misinterpreted. This ground-breaking study sponsored by the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) will both advance understanding of literacy development during adulthood and facilitate sound decision making by program designers and policymakers.
- The ESOL Lab School (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is a collaboration between PSU and Portland Community College (PCC) that draws connections between research and practice. Adult ESOL programs serve recent immigrants and others who could benefit from improved English skills. The Lab School examines the important implications and applications of basic research by engaging in nationally-known classroom-based research, regular dissemination of research findings and innovative professional development in adult ESOL.
- The Learner Web, funded by the Oregon State Library and United Parcel Service, uses applications from the Longitudinal Study to created individualized online support plans for adult learners. This project, a partnership with Oregon Literacy, Inc., will help high school dropouts form realistic goals and then connect them to the matching resources. Ultimately learners in any location will have their own customized web page that matches them to appropriate local resources. Currently the website is under construction, after the successful creation of a prototype, and will go live in the winter of 2006.
In the classroom Professor Reder grounds his teaching in personal experience and research. He believes students benefit greatly from hands-on investigation and in turn student involvement enriches the results. It is not unusual for as many as 15 to 25 students to be engaged at any given time in research projects with him and his colleagues. Professor Reder understands that drawing the connection between research and practice ultimately strengthens our academic programs and creates more engaged lifelong learners.
In addition to his teaching and research, Steve enjoys playing tennis, skiing and outdoor adventures.
Name: Steve Reder
Title: Professor, Chair - Department of Applied Linguistics
office: 122B East Hall
phone: (503) 725-3999