Department of Teaching & Learning

Patricia Mathes

TI Endowed Chair in Evidence-Based Education & Professor

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Expressway Tower
6116 N. Central Expressway
Suite 1150
Dallas 75206
Box 381
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Patricia G. Mathes, Ph.D. is an internationally respected reading researcher and teacher educator whose life mission is to ensure all children succeed in school.  She holds the Texas Instruments Endowed Chair of Evidence-Based Education and is a Professor of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University’ Simmons School of Education.  After graduating from Baylor in 1984, she entered the classroom where she taught middle and high school students with learning disabilities. While teaching, she earned her Master’s in Education at the University Houston in 1987.  In 1989, she left the classroom to pursue doctoral training, receiving her Ph.D. in 1992 in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt University.  She has since served on the faculties of Pediatrics at the University of Texas – Houston Medical School, the College of Education at Florida State University, and Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University.  Since 1991, she has been conducting large-scale classroom based reading intervention research with funding from multiple sources including the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Science Foundation, as well as state agencies and foundations. Through this research, she has proven that it is possible to reduce the incidence of reading failure to less than 1 percent.  Her mission now is to translate what is possible into reality in classrooms across the nation.

Dr. Mathes is also the recipient of several prodigious awards including: the 2005 Albert J. Harris award from the International Reading Association; the 2002 Interpretive Scholar award from the American Educational Research Association; the 2001 Distinguished Early Career Researcher award from the Council for Exceptional Children, and the 1999 Samuel A. Kirk award from Council for Exceptional Children Division of Learning Disabilities.  She is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and books, and curricular materials related to reading and reading disabilities, accommodating academic diversity, and best practices for struggling readers. Likewise, she serves the Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Dyslexia, sits on the Board for the Council for Learning Disabilities, is on the editorial board of several scholarly journals and provides nationwide teacher/staff development focused on translating research into practice. 

Dr. Mathes currently directs the Institute for Evidence-Based Education at SMU. Under her leadership, the Institute has been very successful in obtaining external funds to conduct large-scale research projects to further understanding about how to best prepare our nation’s children for the 21st century. Her current projects include:  the development of Computer Adaptive Testing tools to provide teachers and schools with continuous progress monitoring data of literacy growth for children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12; the examination of the role of technology in supporting teachers to implement Response-to-Intervention in early reading;  providing coaching support to teachers through the use of technology; and  using computer gaming to engage struggling middle school students in literacy and science learning.


Denton, C.A., Nimon, K., Mathes, P.G., Swanson, E.A., Kethley, C., Kurz, T., & Shih, M. (2010). The effectiveness of a supplemental early reading intervention scaled up in multiple schools. Exceptional Children, 76, 394-416.

Tong, F., Irby, B.J., Lara-Alecio, R., Yoon, M., & Mathes, P. (2010). Hispanic English Learners’ Responses to Longitudinal English Instructional Intervention and the Effect of Gender: A Multilevel Analysis. The Elementary School Journal, 110, 542-566.

Denton, C.A., Foorman, B.R., Mathes, P.G. (2003) Perspective: Schools the Beat the Odds” – Implication. Remedial and Special Education, 24, 258-272.

Grek, M.L. Mathes, P.G., & Torgesen, J.K. (2003). Observations of supplemental reading instruction. In S.Vaughn & K. Briggs (Eds.) Observational Techniques in Educational Research, Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks.

Mathes P.G. Torgesen, J.K, Menchetti, J.C., Santi, K., Nicholas, K., Robinson, C.  A  (2003). Comparison of Teacher-Directed versus Peer-Assisted Instruction to Struggling First-Grade Readers. Elementary School Journal, 103, 459-479.

Mathes, P. G., & Denton, C.A.  (2003). Reading disability: A construct in transition. In S. Goldman (Ed.) The encyclopedia of education.

Mathes, P. G., Denton, C. A., Fletcher, J. M., Anthony, J. L., Francis, D. J., & Schatschneider, C. (in press). An evaluation of two reading interventions derived from diverse models. Reading Research Quarterly.

Mathes, P.G, & Denton, C.A “Slow-Responders” in Early Literacy Interventions. (2003). In B. Foorman (Ed.) Effective Preventions and Interventions for Children At-Risk of Reading Difficulties or with Identified Reading Disabilities.  Baltimore, MD: York Press.

Pearson, J.M.,  Mathes, P.G., Liberman, D. Allor, J.A., Burridge, A. (in press). The Effect of Peer-Assisted Literacy Strategies on Phonemic Awareness and Lexical Retrieval for Low-achieving First-grade Readers. Reading Psychology.

Vaughn S., Linan-Thompson, S., Mathes, P.G., Cirinio, P.T., Carlson,C., Francis, D.G., Duradola, S.P, & Hagan, E.C., (in press). Effectiveness of Spanish Intervention for 1st Grade English Language Learners At Risk for Reading Difficulties. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Vaughn, S.R., Mathes, P.G., & Linan-Thompson (in press) Teaching English language learners at risk for reading difficulties to read in Spanish or English. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice

Curricular Materials

Mathes, P.G., Torgesen, J.K, Menchetti, J.C., Wahl, M., & Grek, M.K. (2004) Proactive Early Intervention in Reading. (Teacher guides, daily lessons materials, and student activity books for first-grade reading intervention). Columbus, Ohio: SRA/McGraw-Hill.

Mathes, P. G., Linan-Thompson, S., Pollard-Duradola, S. D., Hagan, E. C., & Vaughn, S. (2003). Lectura proactive para principiantes: Intensive small group instruction for Spanish speaking readers. Developed with funds provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (#HD-99-012), Development of English Literacy in Spanish Speaking Children.

Mathes, P.G., Torgesen, J.K., & Herron, J. Continuous Monitoring of Early Reading Skills (CMERS) ( In press)[Computer software]. San Rafael, CA: Talking Fingers, Inc