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Douglas Fuchs - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Douglas Fuchs

Professor of Special Education and Nicholas Hobbs Chair of Special Education and Human Development and Professor Pediatrics in the Vanderbilt University Medical School | Vanderbilt University


Special education expert on interventions for children with learning disabilities and behavior disorders.





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A look at Special Education (M.Ed.) with Doug Fuchs RTI Thought Leaders Network: Doug Fuchs on the Role of Collaboration in School Success Responsiveness to Intervention: Drs. Doug and Lynn Fuchs



Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1985, Doug Fuchs was an assistant first-grade teacher in a private school in Baltimore for children with severe behavior problems. He also was a fourth-grade classroom teacher in a public school outside Philadelphia and a school psychologist in the Minneapolis Public Schools. At Vanderbilt, he has been principal investigator of 50 federally-sponsored research grants. They have facilitated development of models of service delivery, assessments and instructional approaches. He is currently exploring the importance of “hybrid” cognitively-focused and skills-based academic interventions for most difficult-to-teach children.

Areas of Expertise (16)

Classroom Management

Learning Disabilities and Behaviour

Response to Intervention

Reading Comprehension

Urban Education

Classroom Assessment

Instruction of Students at Risk for School Failure because of Disability or Poverty

Inclusive Classrooms

Reading and Math Learning Disorders


Peer-Mediated Learning

School Improvement and School Reform

Special Education Policy

Special Education

Learning Disabilities

Learning Disorders

Accomplishments (5)

Learning Disabilities Association of American, Lifetime Achievement Award (professional)


Identified by Thomson Reuters as among the most highly cited in the social sciences (professional)


International Literacy Association’s (formerly, International Reading Association’s) Albert J. Harris Research Award (professional)


Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award, American Educational Research Association (professional)


Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award, presented by the Division of Research of The Council for Exceptional Children and Routledge Press (professional)


Education (3)

University of Minnesota: Ph.D., Educational Psychology 1978

University of Pennsylvania: M.S., Elementary Education 1973

John Hopkins University: B.A., Major Psychology 1972

Affiliations (1)

  • National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention

Selected Media Appearances (3)

Explainer: Texas was educating 30% fewer special-ed kids. Here's how we figured out why.

Chron  online


Have innovative new teaching techniques reduced the need for special education? This is the Texas Education Agency's explanation, and so to evaluate it thoroughly, the Chronicle brought it to Douglas Fuchs, a Vanderbilt University professor who played a leading role in developing the techniques at issue, known as "Response to Intervention." Fuchs said the techniques are being used nationwide and haven't lowered special ed rates anywhere else. "RTI has not reduced the number of kids requiring special ed," he said. (The numbers bear that out: The states that have passed laws implementing RTI actually serve a higher percentage of kids in special ed than states that have not passed such laws, according to a Chronicle data analysis).

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Why 2 Vanderbilt professors are warning against a report on a common education practice

Tennessean  online


But Vanderbilt University professors Doug and Lynn Fuchs say within a report studying the there are flaws in the national study, and there are enough anecdotal results to bring into question the national study's findings. "There are lots and lots of questions surrounding this evaluation of RTI," Doug Fuchs said. "When we came to a conclusion after looking at the study, we found you can't conclude anything about how it is conducted."

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Benefits Seen for Students Teaching Virtual Pupils

Education Week  online


Douglas H. Fuchs, a special education professor at Vanderbilt and developer of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies, a popular reciprocal-learning program, said he has seen similar benefits in his own studies of real-life students involved in peer tutoring in math. In those studies, high-achieving students, as well as tutees, benefited, which Mr. Fuchs said could mean “there really is something important for the ‘teacher’ if the context is smartly set up and children are provided with appropriate training, guidance [and] direction.”

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Selected Articles (3)

Cognitive Correlates of the Covariance in Reading and Arithmetic Fluency: Importance of Serial Retrieval Fluency

Child Development

Tuire Koponen, Kenneth Eklund, Riikka Heikkilä, Jonna Salminen, Lynn Fuchs, Douglas Fuchs, Mikko Aro

2019 This study examines the core predictors of the covariance in reading and arithmetic fluency and the domain‐general cognitive skills that explain the core predictors and covariance. Seven‐year‐old Finnish children (N = 200) were assessed on rapid automatized naming (RAN), phonological awareness, letter knowledge, verbal counting, number writing, number comparison, memory skills, and processing and articulation speed in the spring of Grade 1 and on reading and arithmetic fluency in the fall of Grade 2.

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Embedding Self-Regulation Instruction Within Fractions Intervention for Third Graders With Mathematics Difficulties

Journal of Learning Disabilities

Amber Y Wang, Lynn S Fuchs, Douglas Fuchs, Jennifer K Gilbert, Sarah Krowka, Rebecca Abramson

2019 The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of fractions intervention with and without an embedded self-regulation (SR) component for third-grade students at risk for mathematics disabilities. Fractions intervention focused on magnitude understanding and word problems.

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Connections Between Reading Comprehension and Word‐Problem Solving via Oral Language Comprehension: Implications for Comorbid Learning Disabilities

New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development

Lynn S Fuchs, Douglas Fuchs, Pamela M Seethaler, Laurie E Cutting, Jeannette Mancilla‐Martinez

2019 In this article, we discuss the approach adopted within the Vanderbilt University Learning Disabilities Innovation Hub, which focuses on students with higher‐order comorbidity: students with concurrent difficulty with reading comprehension and word‐problem solving.

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