Episode 38: Improving writing instruction for students with disabilities with Alyson Collins and Stephen Ciullo

Alyson Collins
Alyson Collins

Texas State University’s Alyson Collins, an assistant professor, and Stephen Ciullo, an associate professor, both in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University, join the Big Ideas TXST podcast to discuss their program to improve writing instruction for students with disabilities.

A survey of fourth-grade general and special education teachers indicated fewer than 20% of them felt adequately prepared to teach writing to students with and at risk for disabilities. Through that, Collins and Ciullo identified a need to provide special and general educators professional development in writing to help them be more prepared to address the needs of students with disabilities. Their program, “Turning the TIDE: Building Teacher Capacity to Accelerate Text-Based Writing Performance of Students With and At Risk for Disabilities,” will provide the necessary professional development for these teachers to collaboratively deliver intensive intervention in text-based writing to students with and at risk for disabilities.

Stephen Ciullo
Stephen Ciullo

Collins has nine years of teaching experience in Texas public schools and an extensive background in implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS). Her research focuses on effective intervention and assessment for students with learning disabilities, specifically in the areas of reading and writing.

Ciullo’s research focuses on two topics. First, he studies the extent to which classroom writing instruction provided to students with disabilities aligns with research evidence, and how observed instruction relates to students’ writing performance. Second, he is interested in interventions that enhance teachers’ effectiveness in the area of writing and content-area knowledge.

Further reading:
Research To Accelerate Pandemic Recovery in Special Education: Grantee Spotlight Blog Series Featuring Dr. Alyson Collins
Turning the TIDE: Building Teacher Capacity to Accelerate Text-Based Writing Performance of Students With and At Risk for Disabilities


About the Show

Big Ideas TXST goes inside the fascinating minds forging innovation, research and creativity at Texas State University and beyond. Hosted by Daniel Seed, episodes showcase the thought leaders, breakthroughs and creative expression making the world a better place, one BIG idea at a time. Produced by University Communications at Texas State.

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About the Host

Daniel Seed is a lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University, specializing in electronic media. Prior to coming to Texas State, he worked as a news reporter and anchor, sports director and sports anchor during a career that began at WHDH-TV in Boston and continued at stations in Oklahoma and Texas. He is three-time winner of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Award for best sportscast (non-metro category) and a winner of the OAB’s Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Awards for Spot News and General News.

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