Professor Kame’enui was born in Hilo, Hawaii, and as a native Hawaiian, attended the Kamehameha Schools, a K-12 private school for children of Hawaiian ancestry only. He was the first member of his family to obtain a college degree.
Professor Kame’enui was a houseparent and special education teacher at a residential treatment center for children identified with serious academic and behavioral problems. He taught at the University of Montana (1980-1983) and Purdue University (1983-1987), where he received early promotion and tenure. Professor Kame’enui began his faculty appointment at the University of Oregon in 1988 and retired in 2018, after 30-years of service, including as Dean-Knight Professor of Education.
Professor Kame’enui is co-author of 20 college textbooks, 109 peer-reviewed journal articles, 52 book chapters, numerous government publications, and one state curriculum framework. In addition, he served as guest journal editor of 8 special issues and co-author of four commercially published reading and writing curriculum programs. Professor Kame’enui has mentored 13 Ph. D., and 5 D. Ed. students and served as program advisor to numerous master’s and undergraduate students.
From 2005-2007, Professor Kame’enui served as the Founding Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which is the research, evaluation and statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
Professor Kame’enui has spoken at the White House, directed numerous national federal research initiatives, and served on the original advisory boards for the PBS television shows “Between the Lions” and WETA’s “Reading Rockets.”
Ph. D., 1980, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Major: Special Education
Major Professor: Douglas W. Carnine
M.A., 1975, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Major: Special Education
Secondary Certification, English, 1974-1975
University of Montana, Missoula, MT
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI
B.A., 1970, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
Major: English Literature
Honors and Awards
2015 Outstanding Alumni, College of Education, University of Oregon
2006 Distinguished Special Education Researcher, Special Education Research Group, American Educational Research Association (AERA)
2002 Invited Speaker, White House, Washington, DC
1996-98 Committee Member, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties In Young Children, Division on Education, Labor, and Human Performance, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
1992 Invited Minority Scholar, College of Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Kame’enui, E.J. (in press). Ode to Zig (and the Bard): In support of an incomplete logical-empirical model of Direct Instruction. Perspectives on Behavior Science.
Gearin B., Turtura, J.S., Kame'enui, E.J., Nelson, N.J., and Fien, H. (2018). A multiple streams analysis of recent changes to state-level dyslexia education law. Educational Policy. doi: 10.1177/0895904818807328
Crone, D. A., Stoolmiller, M., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., Turtura, J., Cary, M. S., Kennedy, P., Nelson, N. J., & Kame’enui, E. J. (2018). Addressing the practice-to-research gap: A rigorous evaluation of local education agency (LEA)-based interventions for struggling readers in sixth grade. Assessment for Effective Intervention. doi: 0.1177/1534508418756730
Kame’enui, E. J., & Godbold, J. (2017). An ode to clarity in communicating the written word on research: A synopsis of the IES “REL program writer’s guide and style guide (May 2015).” Elementary School Journal.
Carnine, D., Silbert, J., Kame'enui, E. J., Travers, P. A., & Slocum, T. (2017). Direct instruction reading (6th ed.). Pearson Prentice Hall.
Kame’enui, E.J., (2015). Special education as “specially designed instruction:” Ode to the architecture of information and the message. In B. Bateman, J. Wills Lloyd, M. Tankersley (Eds.). Issues in Special Education: Personal Perspectives (pp. 74-92). Taylor & Francis Group.
Kame’enui, E. J., & Baumann, J. F. (2012). Reading vocabulary instruction: Research to practice (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.
Simmons, D. C., & Kame'enui, E. J. (1998). Reading/Language Arts Curriculum Framework K-12. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.
Professor Kame’enui conducted research on the prevention (and remediation) of academic learning problems, particularly in beginning reading, language and vocabulary development, and reading comprehension. He examined issues in the design or “architecture” of instruction and investigated (descriptively and experimentally), the effects on student learning of manipulating highly specified features of instruction (e.g., presentation form—teacher directed vs. student directed; selection and sequencing of examples and non-examples; rule-based learning). In 2000, Professor Kame’enui established the Center on Teaching and Learning (CTL) as a research and outreach unit in the College of Education. As Founding Director of CTL, he served as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI for more than $61 Million representing over 50 federal and private research and training grant awards. In addition, he and CTL colleagues provided technical assistance to all 50 states and the Virgin Islands, as well as a range of countries, including Australia and Qatar.