Dr. Edward J. Kame’enui is a native Hawaiian, born in Hilo, Hawaii and raised in Kalihi on the Island of Oahu. He graduated from the Kamehameha Schools, a school for native Hawaiian children. Dr. Kame’enui’s scholarly interests are in reading, writing systems, language development, and academic interventions which he attributes to his experience growing up speaking “pidgin English” fluently, reading connected text infrequently and dysfluently, and communicating, albeit haphazardly, with his deaf mother and bigger twin brother.
From 2005-2007, Dr. Kame’enui served as the nation’s Founding Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which serves as the research and statistical arm of the U. S. Department of Education. He has had the honor of speaking at the White House, participating in round tables and other WH events (e.g., UNESCO presentation in Paris) with then First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush, and directing several national federal research and technical support initiatives on reading. He also served on the original advisory boards for the PBS television shows “Between the Lions” and WETA’s “Reading Rockets.” He is Dean-Knight Professor Emeritus at the College of Education, University of Oregon.
Dr. Kame’enui has co-authored 20 college textbooks, including 5th editions of two books, on teaching reading, curriculum design, vocabulary instruction, higher order thinking, and classroom management. He has more than 200 publications including 120+ refereed research articles and 55 book chapters on a range of topics including learning disabilities, early reading intervention, vocabulary instruction and development, school-wide reading improvement, the design of high quality educational materials, and the architecture of instruction.
During the almost 30-year period from 1990 to his full retirement in 2018, Dr. Kame’enui and his colleagues at the Center on Teaching and Learning (CTL) (for which he is the Founding Director) were awarded more than $70 million of federal, state, and private research and training funds, which included directing and implementing several national and state reading and academic intervention initiatives.