Peter Fisher


Professor, National College of Education

Programs/Classes Taught:

M. Ed, Reading Specialist
Ed. D. Reading and Language
M.A.T. Elementary Education

Doctoral Classes

RLD 603 History of reading research.
RLD 604 Current issues in literacy research: Vocabulary Instruction

Masters Classes

RLR 502 Methods and materials for comprehension instruction.
RLR 510 Diagnostic techniques for the reading specialist.
RLR 511 Corrective techniques for the reading specialist.
RLR 592 Practicum in remedial reading.
RLR 593 Seminar in reading research.

Preservice Classes

RLL 539 Literacy Methods II: 5-9

Areas of Expertise:

Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties
Vocabulary Instruction


Peter Fisher taught in elementary and high schools in England prior to coming to the USA to complete his doctoral studies at SUNY at Buffalo. Peter’s research interests include vocabulary development and teaching struggling readers. In 1997 he was inducted into the Illinois Reading Hall of Fame.

Recent Publications

Blachowicz, C.L.Z., Fisher, P. J., Ogle, D. & Watts-Taffe, S. (In press) Teaching academic vocabulary, K-8. New York: The Guilford Press.

Blachowicz, C.L.Z., & Fisher, P.J.L. (1996; 2002; 2006; 2010). Teaching vocabulary in all classrooms. Columbus, OH: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Blachowicz, C. l. Z., Fisher, P. J., & Watts-Taffe, S. (2011). Teaching vocabulary. In T. Rasinski (Ed.) Rebuilding the foundation: Effective reading instruction for 21st. century literacy, (pp.203-222). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Blachowicz, C. L. Z. & Fisher, P. J. (2011). Best practices in vocabulary instruction revisited. In L. M. Morrow, L. B. Gambrell, (Eds.) Best practices in literacy instruction, fourth edition, (pp.224-249). New York: The Guilford Press.

Fisher, P. J., Blachowicz, C.L.Z, & Watts-Taffe, S. (2010). Vocabulary instruction: Three contemporary issues. In D. Lapp & D. Fisher (Eds.) Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts (3rd. edition)(pp.252-257. Erlbaum/TaylorFrancis.

Fisher, P. J., & Bates, A. (2011). Ten do’s and ten don’ts of word study. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 39(3), 3-13.

Blachowicz, C. & Fisher, P. (2011). A word for the words. Educational Leadership Online,


Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo,Reading Education, 1986

M.A., University of Lancaster, England, Reading Studies, 1981

Cert. Ed. Warwick University, England, 1971

B.Sc., Bristol University, England, Philosophy and Politics, 1970

Research and Interests:

Vocabulary Instruction; Struggling Readers

Contact Information:


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
    Info » | Directions »