Donna Scanlon

Donna Scanlon

Professor Emeritus
Department of Literacy Teaching & Learning
School of Education

BA, PhD, University at Albany, State University of New York 

Dr. Donna Scanlon

Dr. Scanlon joined the Reading Department faculty in Fall 2000, and has been affiliated with the University's Child Research and Study Center (CRSC) for many years. The CRSC is an organized research center that focuses primarily on reading development and reading difficulties.

Dr. Scanlon’s research has focused on the characteristics of children who experience substantial difficulty in learning to read and on how to prevent and remediate reading difficulties. In the course of this research, she and her colleagues developed an approach to early literacy instruction and intervention, the Interactive Strategies Approach (ISA), which has been found to be effective in helping teachers to reduce the incidence of reading difficulties in the early primary grades. The ISA has been successfully implemented by classroom teachers as well as by intervention teachers in small group and one-to-one contexts and is therefore an appropriate approach for use in Response to Intervention (RTI) contexts. The ISA-RTI Professional Development Project, which is housed at the Child Research and Study Center, currently uses distance learning technologies to offer extended, job-embedded professional development for teachers.

Dr. Scanlon’s current research focuses on extending the ISA for use with older struggling readers and on evaluating the utility of providing teacher educators with ISA-based instructional resources for use in their undergraduate and graduate literacy methods courses with the goal of enhancing new and in-service teachers' ability to understand and address the needs of beginning and struggling literacy learners. Most of Dr. Scanlon’s research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the United States Department of Education.

Dr. Scanlon has presented both locally and nationally on Response to Intervention, and is the author of several recent publications on the topic, and is a member of the International Reading Associations' RtI Task Force.

Read the Literacy Research Association's 2021-released report authored by Dr. Scanlon and Dr. Peter Johnston, An Examination of Dyslexia Research and Instruction.