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Special Education Research

The following list represents a sample of the research projects currently being conducted by Special Education faculty members:

 

Behavior Analysis Internship at the Susan Gray School for Children

This project is designed for current students enrolled in the Behavior Analysis program and either the Early Childhood Special Education or Child Studies programs. During this semester-long internship, students receive individualized supervised experiences collecting data in early childhood settings, assessment and treatment of problem behavior and stereotypy, and assessment of and intervention for improving adaptive and pro-social behaviors.

For further information, contact Jennifer Ledford or Erin Barton.

Efficacy of Parent-implemented Treatment in Infant Siblings of Children with ASD

This 5-year research project funded by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders is a two-site project with the University of Washington. It seeks to move the field toward a new method of managing the risk for communication disorders in infant siblings of children with ASD.

For further information contact Paul Yoder.

Embedding Working Memory Training within Math Problem Solving

In this project, Tier 2 mathematics intervention is conducted one-to-one by Vanderbilt tutors for 15 weeks, three times per week, 30 minutes per session with second-grade children with mathematics difficulty. The goal to improve math concepts, calculations, and word-problem solving skill. Effects of mathematics intervention, with and without working memory training, are examined. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 150 students in approximately 50 classrooms across 12 MNPS schools will participate. (U.S. Department of Education, Institute on Education Sciences)

For further information contact Lynn Fuchs or Doug Fuchs.

Faith and Flourishing Project

This research project explores the place and prominence of faith in the lives of people with disabilities and their families, identifies avenues for equipping congregations to be more welcoming and inclusive, and works to promote movement in seminaries and denominations.

 For further information contact Erik Carter or visit the project Web site.

Improving Reading and Mathematics Outcomes for Students with Learning Disabilities: Next Generation Intensive Interventions

This project, known as A3, has two arms: one in reading and the other in mathematics. In the A3 reading project, Tier 2 reading intervention is conducted by Vanderbilt tutors for 15 weeks, three times per week, 45 minutes per session with students in grades 3-5 who have reading difficulty. The goal to improve decoding, fluency, and comprehension performance. Effects of reading intervention, with/without embedded working memory training and with/without language instruction, are examined. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 200 students in approximately 50 classrooms across 20 MNPS schools will participate. In the A3 math project, Tier 2 mathematics intervention is conducted by Vanderbilt tutors for 15 weeks, three times per week, 45 minutes per session with students in grades 3-5 who have reading difficulty. The goal to improve multiplication skill, fractions performance, and early algebraic thinking. Effects of math intervention, with/without executive function training and with/without embedded language instruction, are examined. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 125 students in approximately 50 classrooms across 12 MNPS schools will participate. (U.S. Department of Education, Institute on Education Sciences)

For further information contact Doug Fuchs or Lynn Fuchs.

Improving Understanding of Fractions among Students with Mathematical Learning Difficulties

 In this project, Tier 2 mathematics intervention is conducted by Vanderbilt tutors for 12 weeks, three times per week, 30 minutes per session with fourth children who have mathematics difficulty. The goal to improve understanding of and operational skill with fractions. Effects of mathematics intervention are examined. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 240 students in approximately 60 classrooms across 12 MNPS schools will participate. (U.S. Department of Education, Institute on Education Sciences)

For further information contact Lynn Fuchs.

Intervention Effects of Intensity and Delivery Style for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This 5-year research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health is a multi-site project with the Universities of California-Davis, and Washington. It seeks to test the relative efficacy of two teaching methods (discrete trial training and play-based training) and two implementation intensities (15 hours vs 25 hours a week) on a variety of outcomes in toddlers with ASD.

For further information contact Paul Yoder.

National Research Center on Learning Disabilities

This five-year research project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, assisted by the University of Kansas through a subcontract, is designed to (1) Identify gaps in knowledge and conduct research on LD identification; (2) Conduct research on state LD assessment and identification policies and practices; (3) Analyze LD prevalence variations across and within states; and (4) Design, implement, and evaluate a dissemination and technical assistance approach that links research with practice.

For further information contact Professor Doug Fuchs or visit www.nrcld.org.

Passport To Literacy

This four-year program of research will provide efficacy and replication trials of a widely used reading intervention. In two studies, we explore reading interventions of varying intensity for students with reading difficulties and disabilities.

For further information contact Jeanne Wanzek.

Preventing and Understanding Mathematics Disability

In this project, Tier 2 mathematics intervention is conducted one-to-one by Vanderbilt tutors for 15 weeks, three times per week, 30 minutes per session with second-grade children with mathematics difficulty. The goal to improve math concepts, calculations, and word-problem solving skill. Effects of mathematics intervention, with and without embedded language instruction, are examined. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 120 students in approximately 75  classrooms across 15 MNPS schools will participate. (National Institutes of Health)

For further information contact Lynn Fuchs or Doug Fuchs.

Reading for Understanding

This research project focuses on instruction to assist students in middle and high school in better comprehending and understanding material in the content areas. In a series of studies, we explore a literacy intervention embedded in social studies content and its effects on content acquisition and reading comprehension for middle and secondary students.

For further information contact Jeanne Wanzek.

Small Group Instruction for Improving Social and Academic Behaviors

This research project is focused on developing procedures for improving social and academic behaviors of young children with ASD through small group instruction in classroom settings; and for assisting typical classroom staff to use the procedures.

For further information, contact Jennifer Ledford.

Tennessee Behavior Change Project

This research and technical assistance project focuses on designing and evaluating high-quality, multi-tiered systems of support for students with and without disabilities. We equip school- and district-level teams to implement schoolwide interventions with fidelity and high impact.  

For further information contact Blair Lloyd or Erik Carter.

TennesseeWorks Employment and Transition Project

This statewide systems change project is focused on improving employment and other postschool outcomes for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It involves research aimed at (a) understanding the professional development needs of educators and service providers, (b) exploring the post-school expectations of students and families members, (c) capturing community-level change efforts, and (d) identifying factors that shape the early outcomes of youth with disabilities.

For further information contact Erik Carter or visit the project Web site.


 
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