Dr. Donald Deshler - Empowering Adolescents to Thrive Academically and Socially

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Don is most known for the design and validation of interventions for struggling adolescent learners that are both powerful and easy to use

The learning and instructional strategies he’ll share with us are used by thousands of teachers throughout North America and several foreign countries to help close the large achievement gap faced by many struggling adolescent learners.

Something about the Don that really impressed me is his creation of the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) at the Center for Research on Learning. This is an instructional model for improving student performance, and over 400,000 educators across the country have been trained in this model through the Center's International Professional Development Network.

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As we know, some of the symptoms evidenced by adolescents with ADHD can greatly affect how well they learn, remember, and use subject matter material. However, mounting evidence shows when students are taught specific learning strategies their ability to learn and use subject matter content increases dramatically. Likewise, there are specific instructional routines content teachers can use to help focus attention on critical facts and concepts to enhance student learning.

This workshop will explore the following topics in an interactive way:

a. Why  specific learning strategies used by students and instructional routines used by content teachers can foster increased learning for students with ADHD.

b. Examples of what kinds of specific learning strategies have been shown to make a big difference in how students learn, remember, and use new subject matter material. Additionally, the use of learning strategies to learn important social skills will be discussed. 

c. Examples of what kinds of routines (called “Content Enhancement Routines”) can be used by content teachers to teach critical content to classrooms of academically diverse students so all students learn that content.

d. How learning strategies should be taught to students so they can be used independently and effectively by students; and, how Content Enhancement Routines should be incorporated into the planning, teaching, and evaluating of the critical subject matter being taught.

Opportunities to think about and apply how these strategies and routines apply to your specific teaching situation will be considered.

Don Deshler is the Williamson Family Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Special Education as well as the founder and former Director of the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas.

He has served on the board of directors for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the president of the Division for Learning Disabilities, and an advisor on adolescent achievement to several organizations including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Governors’ Association, the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Council on Families and Literacy, and the U. S. State Department.

He received a presidential appointment at the National Institute for Literacy, and he is currently a Fellow for the Wheatley Institute at Brigham Young University.

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