Ed.D. in Special Education Courses



  • The course deepens experienced educators’ knowledge of research-based best practices in diverse classrooms. This is an advanced course with in-depth study of classic and current research on learning theories and related topics in educational psychology as they relate to teaching and learning in schools. Focus is on those theories and research which have transformed and are reforming educational practice.

  • This course offers a theoretical, historical, and practical foundation in critical multicultural and global education. Candidates will gain an understanding of how structures, policies, and practices of schools in U.S. and global contexts tend to perpetuate discriminatory inequities by their effects on students and teachers. Candidates will examine their own identities, cultural assumptions, and instructional practices to enact a philosophy of teaching that disrupts deficit discourses and ensures equitable outcomes for all learners.

  • This course prepares professional educators to examine the relationship between the research base and applied practice especially as they relate to diverse learners (academically and/or culturally and linguistically). Candidates will examine the characteristics and needs of English language learners and students with exceptionalities, explore evidence-based practices for specific populations, employ a curriculum decision-making process that aligns with the Georgia Performance Standards and the Common Core, and translates to improved pedagogy and student achievement, and critically analyze existing curriculum guidelines as they relate to traditionally marginalized learners.

  • This course provides a critical analysis of K-12 education policy at the national, state, and local levels. Topics include issues related to historical, political, cultural, and social contexts of American education. Students examine institutions and processes of public policymaking, the values and assumptions that underlie different types of policies, the political factors that shape their formulation and implementation, and the links between policy and educational practice. The goal of the course is to help teachers think critically about education policy and its influences on their students as learners. Successful candidates will complete a Teaching for Transformative Change Product that includes a) critical analysis of local, state, and national policies as they impact change at all educational levels, b) contextual analysis and evaluation of influence of select policy upon student learning at the classroom and school levels, c) proposal for transformative change, d) proposal for evaluation, e) collected literature and resources.

  • This seminar focuses on critically reviewing research and applying best-practices in formative assessment. Recent research reports effective use of formative assessment enhances student learning and teaching effectiveness. Specific topics include barriers and misconceptions to the formative assessment process, effective practices in formative assessment, theoretical underpinnings of formative assessment, relationships of formative assessment to self-regulated learning and learner autonomy. Additionally, attention will be paid to multicultural formative assessment procedures and concerns relevant to external assessment programs.

  • This course will serve as an introduction to qualitative research and methodologies. Methodological origins, theoretical frameworks, literature reviews, and basic methods of data collection and data analysis will be explored in conjunction with an analysis of relevant literature, educational research reports, and ethics in research. Students will apply basic skills of data collection and analysis. Students will differentiate between the types of qualitative research.

  • Candidates will demonstrate a functional understanding of the nature and design of quantitative research as applied to the educational arena including but not limited to the following topics; the nature and application of descriptive and basic inferential statistics including the concepts of variance, normal distribution, population, sample, power, effect size, hypothesis testing, parametric and nonparametric tests, interaction effects, validity, reliability; the strengths, weaknesses of quantitative research designs; the principles of data collection and analysis using computer software such as SPSS. Candidates will acquire and become proficient in analytical and interpretive skills; and will be prepared to conduct applied quantitative research that will bear positively on schools.

  • This seminar will assist the doctoral candidate in conceptualizing, indentifying the components of, and articulating the emerging conceptual framework of their dissertation. Under the guidance of the course professor and in consultation with their dissertation chair, the candidate will emerge from the course with a draft his/her conceptual framework which includes the purpose and rationale for his/her research as well as a draft of the theoretical underpinnings of the research described through a review of literature followed by preliminary research questions or hypotheses for his/her dissertation.

  • This course is an advanced study of qualitative research methodologies including ethnography, case study, and phenomenology. Students will examine a variety of data sources (e.g. interviews, observations) and methods of analysis (e.g. memo writing, coding). Students will conduct research as they formulate their research questions, collect and analyze data, and write a research report.

  • This course is an in-depth study of and application of selected quantitative research designs. Course also involves advanced study of descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and non-parametric tests traditionally utilized in social and behavioral research. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the process of social and educational research in applied settings. Candidates will deepen their expertise in designing and conducting research and analyzing quantitative data. Candidates will conduct these analyses using quantitative statistical software, interpret their findings, and communicate their results ethically, clearly and effectively.

  • This course addresses the historical evolution of educational services for individuals with disabilities within an ethic of justice framework. Critical analysis of the impact of events related to human rights and cross-cultural views of education and disability are emphasized. Candidates will examine ethical dilemmas from legal, theoretical, contextual and practical perspectives to expand their view of education as it applies to all students in diverse P-12 classrooms.

  • This course engages special education leaders in an in-depth analysis of controversial issues in special and general education. It encourages active debate in three broad areas: 1) special education and society, social policy, and practice; 2) inclusion, philosophies, and epistemologies; and 3) issues about exceptionality and critical considerations about specific issues in the field.

  • The focus of this course is inquiry of educational policies at the local, state, national and international level from multiple analytic perspectives. Analysis of the process of policy development and implementation will include both the benefits and unintended consequences of these policies. Impact of these policies on the education of students with disabilities will include attention to how educators can serve as advocates to correct and/ or support policies.

  • In this course candidates will apply a critical lens to collaboration among key stakeholders to promote equitable practices within culturally sustaining educational contexts, leading to improved outcomes for learners with disabilities. This course extends historical discourse on collaboration by requiring candidates to critically examine the dilemmas, tensions, challenges and questions relative to collaboration within their own work settings and to apply rational and logical thought to actualizing change when critically analyzing their own practice.

  • This course will introduce candidates to theoretical and conceptual frameworks in education research and practice. Candidates will engage with concepts such as history in person, figured worlds, and apply theoretical frameworks in critical theory, critical curriculum studies and disability studies to their analysis of topics in special education. They will also apply these theories to practice, and develop alternative critical pedagogies to meet the challenge of providing socially just and equitable schooling for all students.

  • This course will further candidates’ understandings of national, state, and local data systems. As a result of this course students will: 1) access, analyze, and critique data patterns at multiple levels including student outcome data; 2) design appropriate program evaluation; 3) analyze and critique issues of diversity within special/education data sets; and 4) develop a personal sense of individual research interests and commitment to pursuing relevant and meaningful research in special education.

  • This course is designed to examine the academic and behavioral outcomes for diverse learners including students with disabilities. A particular emphasis will be on exploring high performing high poverty schools, alternative programs in schools, charter schools, and non-schooling contexts. Candidates will critically investigate how alternative institutions, theories, and practices are created to equitably educate diverse learners with an emphasis on the following domains: historical context, teachers, leadership, families and community, student support personnel, and curriculum.

  • This course introduces the design and facilitation of learning environments that apply technology-enhanced instructional strategies to maximize student learning. Candidates will apply current research and instructional design principles to design a 21st century learning experiences for students.