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Meet Professor Steve Reder
Meet Professor Steve Reder


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.  He is an active member of the Literacy, Language and Technology Research Group (LLTR) at PSU.

As part of his research activities, Professor Reder presents and publishes regularly. He co-edited a book, Tracking Adult Literacy and Numeracy Skills: Findings from Longitudinal Research which was published by Routledge in 2009. 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 University Professor in the Applied Linguistics Department, Dr. Reder actively seeks research dollars and has received an average of about $1 million in grants per year over the past 15 years. 

Current research focuses on three projects:

The Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning followed the learning and progress of 1000 high school drop outs over nearly a 10-year period.  Results from this ground-breaking study have challenged stereotyped ideas about this population whose skills and motivations traditionally have been misinterpreted. The U.S. Department of Education funded the original data collection project as part of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), and continues to fund analyses of the accumulated data to 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) was a collaboration between PSU and Portland Community College (PCC) that drew close connections between research and practice. Adult ESOL programs serve recent immigrants and others who could benefit from improved English skills. The Lab School examined 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.  About 4,000 classroom hours were recorded with multiple cameras and microphones and continue to provide data for researchers and materials for ESOL teacher training and professional development.

The Learner Web, whose development has been funded by the Oregon State Library, the United Parcel Service, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, builds on research findings from the Longitudinal Study to created individualized online learning support for adult learners. A series of service and research projects have been carried out with partner organizations who have implemented Learner Web in 10 states and served more than 20,000 adult learners.

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 large numbers of 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 - Department of Applied Linguistics
office: 335H University Center Building 
phone: (503) 725-3999

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