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Meet Dr. Phyllis Fischer

Phyllis E. Fischer, the developer of Concept Phonics™ and author/designer of many other Oxton House publications, grew up in and around Minnesota’s Twin Cities. With her grandmother, mother, and two aunts as teachers before her, she moved naturally into the field of education.  She began her professional career more than four decades ago as a third grade teacher in Hopkins, Minnesota.  After earning a B.S. in Education and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, she taught at the university level for more than 35 years, in Connecticut, Australia, and Maine.  She is now Professor Emerita of Learning Disabilities at the University of Maine at Farmington, where for years she supervised a clinic for children with learning disabilities.

Dr. Fischer also serves as a school consultant for students with special academic needs, presents workshops on teaching reading, spelling and numeracy, and maintains a small private practice to evaluate students for possible learning disabilities and to teach reading and arithmetic.

The inspiration for creating her educational materials emerged from blending her teaching experience and doctoral research.  In Phyllis Fischer’s own words:

The driving motivation behind the development of Concept Phonics™ was speed. Struggling readers need to become automatic decoders just as fast as possible. Combining the  psychology research on concept-training paradigms with reading research on teaching multiple vowel sounds and my Orton-Gillingham training led to the beginning of the Concept Phonics™ program. Working with children in clinics and in inner-city schools led to the emphasis on automaticity at every step of the teaching-learning process.

Dr. Fischer is one of those unusual individuals in our field who has command of the scientific research literature in reading, language, and learning disabilities, and who knows intimately the rationale and processes for teaching any student to read.

She consulted with us for several years on the NICHD Early Interven-tions Project.  She was successful under adverse conditions in low-performing schools with challenging children and needy teachers. The teachers liked and welcomed her instruction, and many improved their practices as a result. I credit her with helping us to raise the achievement of the children to the national average and above.”

Louisa Moats, Ed.D., Director
NICHD Early Interventions Project

When Phyllis Fischer is not teaching, writing, or consulting, one might find her busy gardening, reading a good book, or knitting a sweater to keep warm during Maine’s long winter months.  She lives in Farmington with her husband and their two cats.

Dr. Phyllis Fischer

“Dr. Phyllis Fischer [has] a wealth of knowledge about early reading acquisition and years of successful experience in teaching.... She has developed theoretically sound, clinically proven materials to train children in an intelligently sequenced and orderly fashion in the skills basic to the reading process.”

Prof. Isabelle Y. Liberman

University of Connecticut

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