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Creating transformational research and the next generation of leaders in special education.
The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research explores best and emerging practices in special education and develops caring, dynamic, and critical educational leaders.
The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research (Brehm Center) is based on two mutually supporting principles of transformational education:
The goal is to create special education professionals and researchers whose focus is on understanding and exploring best practices for supporting people with disabilities. These individuals collaborate with families, people with disabilities, and educational organizations to identify and share best practices, and ultimately transform special education by way of their leadership in schools and other organizations.
Principle #1: Research
The Brehm Center's approach to research is interdisciplinary, based in both theory and practice. Faculty and students collaborate to develop research partnerships with families, people with disabilities, policy makers, and schools, to explore best and emerging practices for supporting people with disabilities and their families in a democratic and diverse society.
Principle #2: Scholar/Teacher/Leader Development
The Brehm Center is founded on the premise that educational leaders must continuously explore and critique schools and other educational institutions. To do this requires intensive leadership development, and the skills needed to become critical teacher-researchers. Faculty scholars mentor students, collaborating with them to learn about the transdisciplinary field of special educational inquiry.
The Brehm Center is a magnet for best practice and action research and scholarship in the field of special education. It actively recruits faculty and student scholars, innovators, and change agents, all eager to explore and understand ways of transforming schools and society to meet the needs and dreams of people with disabilities and their families.
The Brehm Center offers student scholarships to support exemplary and creative study, and supports an annual summer institute. It also provides support for an annual planning conference for student scholars to learn inquiry and research skills, and arranges for faculty-student research partnerships to carry out research projects. Research symposia and monographs provide opportunities for dissemination of their inquiry.
This work is orchestrated and facilitated by a faculty Executive Director, who manages and organizes scholarships, co-teaches the summer institute and planning conference, plans symposia presentations, and publishes monographs and maintains website content. The Executive Director works to develop a community of faculty and student scholars, acts as a liaison to the Brehm family, and provides ongoing support of previous student scholars.
The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research is comprised of four elements; all aimed at the development of future professionals utilizing best practices for the transformation of the field of inclusive special education.
Because dissemination is an essential part of the research process, the annual Brehm Scholars Research Symposium and accompanying monograph provides an opportunity for the eight Brehm Scholars to share their research. The Symposium is held towards the end of the Scholars' year of research where each may present his/her research to faculty, family, and friends. A monograph of the presented papers is published for this event.