Points of Pride: Membership Accomplishments

Dr. Stephen Ciullo, current DLD Secretary and Associate Professor of Special Education at Texas State University, was awarded a four-year $1.4 million Goal 1 Exploration grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) titled Exploring Writing Instruction Delivered by Teachers Providing Services to Students with Disabilities. Two other DLD members are Co-PIs on this grant: Dr. Alyson Collins at Texas State University and Dr. Steve Graham at Arizona State University.


Stephen, Alyson, and Steve want to shed light on what classroom writing instruction looks like for students with learning disabilities (LD). Their grant will provide initial information on the following question: Is special education writing instruction special?


This research team will observe teacher dyads: general educators and special educators who teach writing to students with disabilities. They will report on the effective instructional practices used by the teachers and examine associations between writing instruction and student outcomes. Stephen’s team will also consider if teacher-level factors (e.g., expertise for teaching students with disabilities) influence these relationships and if special educators and general educators differ in the use of effective instructional practices for teaching writing.


Stephen, Alyson, and Steve Graham will use data from this project to guide professional development in writing and offer recommendations for new writing interventions for students with LD. Stay tuned!