School & District Management

Brainstorming Research Priorities in Special Education

By Christina A. Samuels — August 25, 2010 1 min read
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University of Virginia professor of education and friend-of-the-blog John Wills Lloyd has two interesting “crowdsourcing” posts up on his own blogs, LD Blog (focusing on learning disabilities) and EBD Blog (focusing on children with emotional or behavioral disturbances.)

His question to his readers: what are the “big picture” research queries that should be investigated by the Insitute of Education Sciences (a branch of the U.S. Department of Education)?

As John notes, he’s looking for questions that are both general AND testable. I’m impressed by the quality of responses he has received so far. For example, “organized chaos” on the LD blog asks, “I’d love to know more about the benefits of inclusion. Schools tend to either have full pull-out programs, or be set up for full-inclusion. Does inclusion promote better academic outcomes for students with learning disabilities, or do students with learning disabilities lose out on instruction that would best benefit their needs with inclusion? What is the best model for inclusion?” A great question.

And on EBD Blog, “jla” asks, “How can education, social services, mental health, and criminal justice/'corrections’ systems collaborate more together to strengthen prevention and treatment efforts to improve the outcomes of troubled members of our society?” Another excellent inquiry, though possibly difficult to test.

I encourage readers to stop by his blogs and add their thoughts. And don’t forget to tell the people who count: IES is accepting comments on priorities to be proposed to the National Board of Education Sciences. You can see the proposed priorities here; the deadline to submit comments is Sept. 7.

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.