Journalism connecting to special education

The Journalism Center on Children and Families of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland announced the recipients of the 2013 Casey Medals, which celebrate the past year’s best reporting on children, youths, and families in the US. Although not all of these awards represent children and youths with disabilities, enough do that I consider it worth reporting here on Spedpro. Those stories among these that I have read capture concepts, emotions, and current issues in exemplary ways. One might not agree with the perspective represented in each and all of them, but they are compelling pieces of journalism. I’ve selected snippets describing a few that connect to special education here. However, go to the site and review the list to find others that are quite compelling.

Kauffman’s ‘Science’ book recognized

Toward a Science of Education: The Battle Between Rogue and Real Science by James M. Kauffman was named the winner in the Education/Academics section of 2011 International Book Awards (IBA). JPX Media Group announced the winners and finalists of the IBA on 11 May 2011 in Los Angeles (CA, US).

In his summary of his book, Professor Kauffman wrote
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VCU post-docs in positive youth development


The VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development is seeking up to four post-doctoral scholars (full-time) to collaborate on a large-scale community-based intervention project. The Institute is a National Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Institute is housed in the VCU Department of Psychology, but faculty, staff, and students from the School of Education, Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Government & Public Affairs, and Department of Psychiatry, are also represented. The Institute’s mission is to empower youth, schools, families, and other stakeholders to promote the healthy, safe, and otherwise positive development of youth from early adolescence through emerging adulthood. Faculty within the Institute are engaged in a variety of research projects representing both applied research (e.g., risk and protective factors associated with youth violence) and development and evaluation of preventive interventions in school and community settings. Continue reading VCU post-docs in positive youth development

IRA reading grants

The International Reading Association (IRA) published descriptions of its grant awards. I’ve reproduced the descriptions here. See the end of the entry for links to the relevant parts of IRA’s Web site.

The Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award is a US$1,000 annual award to those who have completed their dissertations on reading and literacy between May 15, 2007 and May 14, 2008. Studies using any research approach (e.g., ethnographic, experimental, historical, survey) are encouraged. Each study will be assessed in light of its approach, the scholarly qualification of its reports, and its significant contributions to knowledge within the reading/literacy field. Hurry, submission deadline is October 1, 2008.

The following grant programs, applicants can complete and submit their proposals electronically via IRA’s new online application system. Deadline for submission is January 15, 2009.

The Elva Knight Research Grant is a grant program of up to US$10,000 for research in reading and literacy. Projects should be completed within 2 years. Studies may be carried out using any research method or approach as long as the focus of the project is on research in reading or literacy. Activities such as developing new programs or instructional materials are not eligible for funding except to the extent that these activities are necessary procedures for the conduct of the research.

The Helen M. Robinson Grant is a US$1,000 annual grant to support doctoral students at the early stages of their dissertation research in the area of reading and literacy.

The Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship is a US$6,000 grant to encourage and support reading research by doctoral students. The special emphasis is to support research efforts in the following areas: beginning reading (theory, research, and practice that improves the effectiveness of learning to read); readability (methods of predicting the difficulty of texts); reading difficulty (diagnosis, treatment, and prevention); stages of reading development; the relation of vocabulary to reading; diagnosing and teaching adults with limited reading ability.

The Nila Banton Smith Research Dissemination Support Grant program assists in the dissemination of research (e.g., a literature review, meta-analysis, monograph, or other work) to the educational community. All International Reading Association members, including student members working on a research dissemination activity, are eligible to apply for the grant. The support shall not exceed US$5,000.

The Reading/Literacy Research Fellowship is a US$5,000 award to a researcher residing outside the United States or Canada who has evidenced exceptional promise in reading research and deserves encouragement to continue working in the field of reading. Applicants must have received a doctorate or its equivalent within the past 5 years.

The Steven A. Stahl Research Grant program, established to honor his memory and work, provides support for classroom research in reading and literacy instruction to promising graduate students who have at least three years of teaching experience. This is an annual award of US$1,000.

The Teacher as Researcher Grant program is available to preK-12 teachers with full or permanent half time teaching responsibilities, librarians, Title I teachers, classroom teachers, and resource teachers. Applicants may apply as a collaborative group or individually. Grant requests can be for up to US$5,000; IRA prefers smaller grant awards in order to provide support for as many teacher researchers as possible.

One must be a member of IRA to receive an award. Link to the research section of the IRA site.

DR student research award

Call for Nominations: 2009 Student Research Award

Division for Research, Council for Exceptional Children

The Division for Research seeks nominations for the 2009 Student Research Award. This award recognizes high-quality research across multiple research methodologies conducted by students in the course of their undergraduate or graduate special education training program. The Division will award up to three such awards annually, with one award presented in each of up to three areas of research designs or methodologies: qualitative, single-subject, and quantitative. No award will be given in any research methodology area if an exemplary, high-quality research study is not submitted; thus, there may be fewer than three awards presented in any given year. Nominations are sought across all areas of special education services and are due by October 15, 2008.


  1. The nominated student must be the sole or first author of the nominated manuscript and the research study must represent the student’s intellectual work.
  2. The nominated research study must have been conceptualized and conducted while the first author was a student.
  3. The nominated study must not be in press at the time of submission nor have been published prior to submission for the award.
  4. The nominated manuscript must not exceed 45 double-spaced pages, not including tables and references. Manuscripts should be formatted according to APA 5.0 guidelines.
  5. Independent of the methodological area in which the manuscript is submitted, research studies nominated must adhere to standards for high-quality research advocated for in the field of special education and by the Division for Research. Detailed quality indicators of high-quality research in each of the identified methodological areas (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, single-subject) can be found in the Winter 2005 special issue of Exceptional Children, Volume 71(2), edited by Odom et al. Applicants are referred to this issue for guidance. Please note that the “quantitative” category for this award includes group experimental and quasi-experimental designs (Gerston et al., 2005) and correlational designs (Thompson, Diamond, McWilliam, Snyder, & Snyder, 2005).

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations may be self-nominations or nominations from another person, such as an academic advisor or professional colleague.
  2. Include a brief cover letter (no more than one page, single spaced) that:
    1. identifies the title of the manuscript
    2. states the methodological area in which the research is being submitted for consideration
    3. provides written assurances that the research was conceptualized and conducted by the nominee and while the nominee was a student and has not been accepted for publication; and
    4. provides all current contact information (name, title, position, affiliation, address, telephone number, email address).
  3. Include one or more copies (see subsequent item) of the manuscript reporting the research being nominated.
  4. Nominations may be submitted by mail or email by October 15, 2008. Emailed submissions are preferred. Emailed nominations must be received by October 15. If submitting by postal service, nominations must be postmarked by October 15 and include five copies of the manuscript. Send nominations to

Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D.
Chair, Student Research Award Committee
Professor of Special Education
University of Kansas
1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Room 3136
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


wehmeyer AT

Award Details

The awardee in each research method area will receive payment of registration for the 2009 CEC Annual Convention, to be held in Seattle, Washington; a free membership to CEC-DR for one year; and a certificate. In addition, the recipient(s) will present the award-winning research in a poster session during the CEC-DR Reception.


Gersten, R., Fuchs., L. S., Compton, D., Coyne, M., Greenwood, C., & Innocenti, M. S. (2005).  Quality indicators for group experimental and quasi-experimental research in special education. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 149-164.

Odom, S. L., Bratlinger, E., Gersten, R., Horner, R. H., Thompson, B. & Harris, K. R. (2005).  Research in special education:  Scientific methods and evidence-based practices. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 137-148.

Thompson, B., Diamond, K. E., McWilliam, R., Snyder, P., & Snyder, S. W. (2005).  Evaluating the quality of evidence from correlational research for evidence-based practice. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 181-194.

DR early career research award

Call for Nominations: 2009 Distinguished Early Career Research Award
Division for Research, Council for Exceptional Children

In recognition of the critical role of research to both current practice in and the future of the field of Special Education, the Division for Research seeks nominations for the Distinguished Early Career Research Award.  This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions in special education, in basic and/or applied research, within the first 10 years following receipt of the doctoral degree.  Nominations are sought across all areas of Special Education as well as all forms of research methodology.  For the award, to be presented at the 2009 CEC Annual Convention, nominations of individuals who received their doctoral degrees in 1999 or later are sought.  The award, co sponsored by the Donald D. Hammill Foundation, includes $1000 presented at the 2009 DR reception at the CEC Annual Convention and an invited presentation at CEC the following year. Previous recipients of this award include: Michael Wehmeyer, Ron Nelson, Patricia Mathes, Rollanda O’Connor, Batya Elbaum, Terrance Scott, Kathleen Lane, Frank Symons, Bryan Cook, and Michael Coyne. Further information on previous recipients can be found at
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DR early career publication award


The Division for Research seeks nominations for the 2008 Early Career Publication Award. This award recognizes an outstanding research publication by an individual within five years after completing the doctorate. Nominations are sought across all areas of Special Education as well as all forms of research methodology. The Early Career Publication Award will be presented at the Awards Ceremony and Reception of the Division for Research at the Annual CEC Convention in the spring of 2009. We invite colleagues to nominate candidates for recognition by November 1, 2008.

Nomination Procedures:
To nominate an individual for recognition, submit the following materials to the Chair of the Early Publication Award Committee by November 1, 2008:

  1. Three clear copies of the article being submitted for recognition.
  2. Letter of nomination in which the nominator provides an assessment of the article identifying the research method, the quality of the research, how the study extends the knowledge base, and the impact of the publication. If the article submitted has multiple authors, the contributions of the nominee to the publication must be clearly identified. The nomination letter is not to exceed three pages in length.
  3. Three copies of a current resume for the article’s author.

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