Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Chicago
Inductee, Reading Hall of Fame 2007
Past President, International Literacy Association

Dr. Timothy Shanahan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is Founding Director of the UIC Center for Literacy. He operates a popular website for educators, www.shanahanonliteracy.com, and his provocative blogs are carried regularly on Reading Rockets, http://www.readingrockets.org/blogs/shanahan-on-literacy. He was Director of Reading for Chicago Public Schools and recently served as Visiting Research Professor at Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the author/editor of more than 200 publications and books. His research emphasizes the connections between learning to read and learning to write, literacy in the disciplines, and improvement of reading achievement. Dr. Shanahan served on the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy. He took a leadership role on the National Reading Panel (NRP), convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the request of Congress to evaluate research on methods for teaching reading. He chaired two other federal research review panels: The National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth, and the National Early Literacy Panel and he helped write the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). He was co-principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Title I Study of Implementation and Outcomes: Early Childhood Language Development funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. He received the William S. Gray Citation for Lifetime Achievement and the Albert J. Harris Award for outstanding research on reading disability from the International Literacy Association (ILA), the P. David Pearson Award for Scholarly Influence from the Literacy Research Association, the Milton D. Jacobson Readability Research Award, the Amoco Award for Outstanding Teaching and the University of Delaware’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement. In 2009, he was selected as Researcher of the Year at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Social Sciences/Humanities). He co-developed Project FLAME, a family literacy program for Latino immigrants, which received an Academic Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Education. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware in 1980. He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007 and is a former first-grade teacher.


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  • University of Illinois, Chicago (Professional)
  • University of Delaware, Newark (Ph.D.)
  • Oakland University, Rochester, MI (B.A.; M.A.)


  • Close Reading
  • Complex Text
  • Teaching Reading with Writing
  • Oral Reading Fluency
  • Foundational Skills Instruction
  • Common Core


  • Texas Wonders and Texas StudySync


  • Shanahan, T., & Lonigan, C. (Eds.). (2012). Literacy in preschool and kindergarten children: The National Early Literacy Panel and beyond. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.
  • Shanahan, T., Callison, K., Carriere, C., Duke, N. K., Pearson, P. D., Schatschneider, C., & Torgesen, J. (2010). Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through third grade: A practice guide (NCEE #). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
  • August, D., & Shanahan, T. (Eds.). (2008). Developing Reading and Writing in Second-Language Learners: Lessons from the Report of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth. New York: Routledge.

My hope for Texas students is that they will come to see themselves as able to make sense of even difficult texts—that their reading determination and perseverance can be keys to their academic success.

Dr. Timothy Shanahan