Learn About My Research

My research interests are broad and this is reflected in the diversity of projects that I have conducted over the years. On this page I have included select projects by research topic. Click on the titles below to see the citation, abstract and executive summary of the project.

Topic: Special Education Teacher Education

State’s description of common core state standards to support students with severe disabilities  

A review of State Department of Education and school district websites was conducted to determine how policy related to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) was communicated to teachers of students with severe disabilities. Four states were selected: California, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. State Department of Education websites and three local school districts within each state were chosen for review using locale codes to ensure representation of city, suburban, and rural districts. A total of 16 websites were analyzed using an original instrument designed to capture information about CCSS implementation efforts. Results indicate that there is little information about students with severe disabilities or instructional/pedagogical guidance for teachers in regard to the CCSS on these sites. Thus, it may be difficult for teachers, based on this sample of websites, to translate standards into educational programming for students.

Dukes, C., Darling, S. M., &Bielskus-Barone, K. (2017). State’s description of common core state standards to support students with severe disabilities. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 143-154.

(Click on poster to download PDF)

What unites us all: Establishing special education teacher education universals  

The theoretical base that supports human universals served as a model for proposing special education teacher education universals. The human universals model is explained and put forth as a basis for identifying special education teacher education universals. Twenty-four English language journals from different countries representing four continents were searched for special education teacher education universals, represented by four broadly defined categories: (a) policy, (b) practice, (c) pedagogy, and (d) teacher preparation/co-curricular activities. Each journal was searched from 2004 to 2015, and articles were coded using the aforementioned categories. Results indicated an overwhelming presence of teacher preparation/co-curricular descriptions, representing 51% of the total (n = 815) articles categorized. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to defining and describing special education teacher preparation universals.

Darling, S. M., Dukes, C., & Hall, K. (2016). What unites us all: Establishing special education teacher education universals. Teacher Education and Special Education, 39(3), 209-216. doi 10.1177/0888406416650729.

(Click on poster to download PDF)


Topic: Skill Development for Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Experimental Behavioral Research in Education: When People Benefit from Participating in Research  

An often-asked question regarding research with human subjects is: What benefits do the participants of research gain from being involved in experimental research? This poster summarizes a series of studies by educational researchers in which the participants of research realize direct benefits from their participation as research subjects. As researchers pursue the systematic study of educational phenomena, some people can and do experience improvements in their skills and performance. This poster presents three studies in which adults and children saw improvements in their learning and performance as outcomes of the experimental studies. Studies include: fire safety skills for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), social communication skills in the context of making purchases in community settings for adolescents with ASD and on line safety or social media safety kills for young adults with ASD.

(Click on poster to download PDF)

Additional topics coming soon...