Lana Edwards Santoro

Research Professor

Dr. Lana Edwards Santoro is a research professor in the Special Education program at BU Wheelock. She has presented extensively on how to apply evidence-based instructional strategies in the classroom. She has also coauthored multiple reading programs for elementary-grade students who struggle with reading, including Early Reading Intervention (Pearson), and Moving-up Literacy’s Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI) and Read Aloud!: Developing Narrative and Scientific Literacy.

Santoro consults with state, local, and private agencies, including  the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), where she helped develop content related to multitiered systems of support in the areas of writing and intensive intervention for students with dyslexia and language-based challenges in reading. In addition, she applies her knowledge of research and disability and support for individualized, interdisciplinary approaches to both education and treatment in her advocacy work with the International Research Association for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Santoro has been a special education teacher in elementary and middle school settings and has taught pre- and in-service teachers and leaders at the undergraduate and graduate level.

PhD, Special Education, University of Oregon

MEd, Education, Boston University

BA, Education & Psychology, Wittenberg University

Dr. Santoro’s research focuses on literacy instruction for struggling readers. Her current work is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to develop and test a highly intensive (Tier 3) reading intervention for elementary grade students who do not respond adequately to core and supplemental reading instruction (e.g., Tier 1 and Tier 2) or who might otherwise have or be at risk for reading disabilities, including dyslexia. Santoro has also served as co-principal investigator (co-PI) on a series of IES research studies focused on the use of teacher read-alouds, classroom discourse, and instructional conversations to improve the vocabulary and comprehension of students at risk of reading and writing failure.

Santoro is also interested in instructional quality and the use of explicit and systematic instructional routines. She served as co-PI on an on an IES funded study investigating the impact of enhanced core reading instruction (Tier 1) on the early literacy achievement of Spanish-speaking English learners in transitional bilingual programs, and as co-PI on another IES research study focused on the use of teacher study groups to improve classroom instruction in comprehension and vocabulary. Santoro's teacher study group work evaluated how the use of small groups, lesson study, and collaborative planning can be used as a method of professional learning for teachers. Santoro’s research been recognized with awards from the Council for Exceptional Children and the American Educational Research Association.

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