Thursday, March 21, 2002
Distinguished Professor Ronald Cramer
Ronald Cramer, professor of education, is a widely-published and recognized authority on the teaching of language arts, an exemplary teacher, an energetic leader of the faculty association, and a builder in the School of Education and Human Services. By every measure, his accomplishments merit the rank of Distinguished Professor.
Professor Cramer joined the Oakland faculty in 1967 and soon received the first of a long series of grants from the U.S. Department of Education for the development of training materials and early childhood educators. These grants led to the establishment of the Early Childhood Master’s Degree and the Lowry Center.
Between 1968 and the present, he has published seven books on reading and language arts, the most recent being "Creative Power: The Nature and Nurture of Children’s Writing" (Addison Wesley Longman 2001). He also has published 68 scholarly articles and book chapters. For the textbook publisher Scott Foresman, he has been author or co-author of 13 reading and spelling textbooks in separate editions for every grade level, 1 through 8, totaling more than 100 books. Together with several doctoral students, he currently is engaged in researching a national database in order to understand spelling variations in the writing samples of students in grades 1 through 8.
In 1996, Cramer received both the Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award and the Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. In both undergraduate and graduate courses, he develops self-discovery strategies as a substitute for presentational modes of teaching, emphasizing learning as a personal journey. He has directed the doctoral dissertations of 25 students and has served on the doctoral committees of 18 others as part of Oakland University’s Ph.D. program in reading and language arts.
Cramer’s service contributions have been extensive. Because of his expertise in reading and language arts, his participation in the development of the relatively large Ph.D. program in the School of Education and Human Services has been critical. He has been deeply committed to the goals of the faculty association and has served three terms on its Executive Committee, one term as vice president and two terms as president. He has been chief negotiator twice. He also has served four times on the Faculty Review and Promotion Committee and numerous other committees vital to the smooth functioning of academic governance.
Because of his extensive publications and his work with teaching professionals through Oakland University’s graduate programs, Cramer has exerted a significant positive influence on the teaching of reading and language arts in Southeastern Michigan and throughout the nation.