Student Research Positively Impacts Special Ed. Classrooms - Even in a Virtual Learning Environment
Dr. John Palladino
By Rachel Renou, COE Grad Assistant | Published November 16, 2020
Ypsilanti - Here at Eastern Michigan’s College of Education our faculty have made mentoring student research a priority even in a predominantly virtual landscape. Dr. John Palladino, a professor of Special Education and Communications, has pivoted his mentoring tactics online to ensure that his students can still make a positive difference in the field of special education.
This semester Dr. Palladino is working with a variety of students on special education research. For example, Olivia Grace Chandler and Sarah R. Dawson are both performing research that will improve classroom aspects such as the use of co-teaching assignments and administrative support toward special education teachers.
Olivia Grace Chandler is a junior Special Education - Cognitive Impairment/Elementary major. Chandler, who had Dr. Palladino as a professor before, was excited to continue learning from him as a mentor when the research opportunity at EMU arose. Chandler was awarded $1000 when picked as a Symposium Undergraduate Research Fellow at EMU. This monetary support will help her begin conducting research, specifically when designing a survey.
Olivia Grace Chandler
“I am in the process of designing a survey with my faculty mentor based on a combination of scales that measure teachers' perceptions of administrators' fairness, supervision, ethical behaviors, and empowerment. Unique to my project is that the newly formed scale will be administered to special education teachers currently instructing students with disabilities in virtual/online platforms. Our intent is to determine if and how their perceptions relate to their first-time experiences of teaching students with disabilities online.” - Chandler
Chandler looks forward to analyzing her findings from the survey and presenting at the Undergraduate Symposium on March 26th, 2021. She is hopeful that her research with Dr. Palladino will help special education teachers in these unprecedented times.
Education Specialist in Special Education Administration graduate student, Sarah R. Dawson also aims to help special education classrooms excel. Dawson is conducting an independent study capstone project with oversight from Dr. Palladino. In their research they will explore the relationship between special education teachers’ instructional efficacy and their perceptions of administrative support for co-teaching assignments at the middle school level.
Sarah R. Dawson
Dawson made sure to stay vigilant on her project’s timeline. With so many professionals now focusing on online education, Dawson worked with this change and found a method of communication that led her to gather over 100 different responses.
“I sent out recruitment information to all Michigan special education directors and middle school principals. The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) also included my recruitment information in their weekly blast newsletter. After two weeks, 110 participants completed the survey.” - Dawson
Through statistical support for faculty research at EMU's Office of Research Development, Dr. Grigoris Argeros, Associate Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology is assisting with data analysis. Dawson and Palladino intend to publish their findings.
It is through the drive of our students who want to conduct meaningful research and the support of our amazing faculty that Eastern Michigan has been recognized for its commitment to improving education and supporting those in special education.
About The College of Education at Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, The College of Education (COE) at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) continues to be one of the largest producers of educational personnel in the nation. The COE includes a comprehensive variety of programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral program level. Non-degree and certifications are also offered through the COE as well. The COE includes departments for teacher education, special education, and leadership & counseling. All of the professional education programs offered by EMU’s COE are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and are also approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The graduates the EMU produces are highly desired in the field, due to the strong reputation the COE has earned throughout their many established years. The COE has been recognized for its strong success rate by U.S. News and World Report’s: America’s Best Colleges.