Florida Center for Reading Research Affiliate Faculty Receives 2022 Robert M. Gagné Research Award
Dr. Jenny Root, Associate Professor of Special Education in the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University and an affiliate faculty member at the Florida Center for Reading Research, has received the 2022 Robert M. Gagné Research Award from College of Education Council on Research in Education. Dr. Root is a board-certified behavior analyst and uses applied behavior analysis as a theoretical framework in designing and evaluating interventions and practices. Named for Florida State University’s only College of Education faculty member to have served as president of the American Educational Research Association, the award honors Dr. Gagné’s research legacy and the spirit of mentoring with which he worked with students and faculty colleagues.
The award was presented to Dr. Root for her research survey “Experiences of Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Their Caregivers During Covid-19,” which surveyed caregivers of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), a historically marginalized group with chronically poor in and post-school outcomes. Co-authored by Dr. Esther Lindstrom (Lehigh University), Deidre Gilley, (Florida State University), and Rui Chen (Lehigh University), the survey examined student’s instructional experiences before Covid-19, from March through June of 2020, and during Fall of 2020.
“The findings have implications for multiple stakeholders as the pandemic has made irreversible changes to our way of teaching and learning. For teacher educators, we can no longer prepare future teachers for the classrooms and schools we remember, as that is not the environment, they will be working in. Instead, they must be prepared to continue providing high-quality specially designed instruction using non-traditional methods,” stated Root.
While the impacts of the pandemic have been and will continue to be felt by all, individuals with IDD and their families are more vulnerable and susceptible to poor outcomes.
“Collaboration and communication with families is critical; our previous textbooks, lectures, activities, and syllabi are insufficient because there is an entirely new level of communication and collaboration needed between teachers and caregivers of students with IDD,” continued Root. “Critically examining experiences in supporting students with IDD facilitates greater precision in intervention development and identification of supports for all stakeholders presently and moving forward.”
Learn more at www.gcalab.org.