TEACHING Exceptional Children Welcomes Our New Editor, Barbara Ludlow

Teaching Exceptional Children, November/December 2009 | Go to article overview

TEACHING Exceptional Children Welcomes Our New Editor, Barbara Ludlow


In July 2009, Barbara Ludlow, Ph.D., was selected as the next editor of TEACHING Exceptional Children. Dr. Ludlow is Professor of Special Education and Chair of the Department of Special Education at the West Virginia University.

Q What do you see as the place of TEC in the field today? Who do you see as the authence of TEC?

TEC is the journal that has the most widespread and significant impact on practice in the field today. Not only does it reach the largest authence of special educators overall, but it is also frequently used within preparation programs for professionals-in-training as well as in individual and group professional development activities for practicing personnel. TEC has a critical role to play in influencing practice in the field at all levels and in all contexts. Along with my associate editors, Lisa Dieker and Sean Smith, I am looking forward to supporting and extending this role over the next several years.

Traditionally, TEC has focused on American and Canadian readers, but it may be time to consider potential readers from other countries as well. Serving such a diverse readership will be no easy task, but working to include all of these groups in the TEC conversation can help us identify our common bonds within the field and create a truly worldwide community of practice.

Q What issues and trends are emerging and need to be addressed through TEC?

The mission of special education is no longer simply to provide equal access to public education and other community services. Instead, we need to work to promote equitable outcomes for children (and adults) with exceptionalities so that they can participate fully in a global society and achieve success in school and adult life. TEC will continue to publish articles on new ideas for increasing learning in academic content areas.

The persistent concern over appropriate identification of and intervention for students from diverse backgrounds, coupled with the fact that students in these groups may soon become the new majority in schools. means that we must devote more space to culturally responsive practices related to assessment, instruction, behavior support, and transition. TEC has led the way in providing information that practitioners can use with diverse students and will continue to promote sensitivity to cultural differences and proven techniques to prevent discrimination and ensure student success.

Schools are beginning to realize that they must develop 21st century skills for all students so that they can use new technologies, compete in a global economy, and become lifelong learners. If students with exceptionalities are to achieve success in this exciting new world, TEC has a responsibility to disseminate information about how special educators can use emerging technologies to empower students to learn, work and care for themselves, and also how they can apply strategies to help students to become the problem solvers and creative thinkers who will contribute to innovations in the years to come.

Q What are the most critical issues in bridging research and practice in special education and the ways TEC can or should address those issues?

Special education has always struggled to find ways to translate research findings into practical applications, partly because researchers and practitioners have had difficulty finding a common language to exchange ideas. As the editor of a journal for practitioners, I know I play a major role in making sure research findings are translated into practical applications that are easy to understand as well as guaranteeing that suggestions for policy and practice are grounded in current research. TEC must reinforce the idea of evidence-based practice by encouraging practitioners to engage in systematic inquiry in their own work settings and to share the results of these research efforts with others by publishing in the journal.

Q How would you address practitioner needs and perspectives in the content of the journal? …

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