The Delores Soderquist Brehm

Center for Special Education Scholarship & Research

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About the Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research

2013-2014 Brehm Scholars

2013-2014 Brehm Scholars. Visit the Brehm Scholars page to learn more.

Vision

Creating transformational research and the next generation of leaders in special education.

Mission

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.

Principles

The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research (Brehm Center) is based on two mutually supporting principles of transformational education:

  1. Research
  2. Scholar/Teacher/Leader Development.

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.

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Program Elements

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.

  1. Delores S. Brehm Endowed Scholarship in Special Education. The Delores S. Brehm Endowed Scholarship in Special Education supports a total of eight exemplary Special Education students each academic year. Students may be undergraduate or graduate students. Students may be enrolled in any of the programs offered in the Department of Special Education.
  2. Annual Brehm Scholars Research Planning Conference. The Brehm Scholars Research Planning Conference is a three (3) credit-hour experience under the supervision of Department of Special Education faculty, held generally in early July, for the eight new Brehm Scholars selected by the Department each spring. The scope of the Conference covers research methods and practice for special education professionals, and also is intended to cultivate professional collaboration amongst the new Scholars. An important result will be the Scholars' decisions regarding the selection of Projects for the coming academic year.
  3. Annual Special Education Summer Institute. The Special Education Summer Institute is a three (3) credit-hour experience held generally in late June under the supervision of Department of Special Education faculty, which is open to graduate students, senior-level undergraduate students, Brehm Scholars alumnae/i, and others by invitation. (The new Scholar-selectees may also attend but may not receive academic credit.) The Institute focuses on current research and best practices as a venue in the ongoing transformation of the field of Special Education.
  4. Annual Brehm Scholars Research Partnership Projects. The Brehm Scholars Research Partnership Projects is an annual program of research projects involving selected Department of Special Education faculty members and the eight Brehm Scholars.

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.

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