Teaching and Learning, Ph.D.

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Specialization in Special Education (SPED)

The focus of our Department’s specialization in Special Education is on the intersectionality of disability, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other aspects of students’ socially determined identities as learners. Within this framework, our faculty engage in research relating to a wide range of issues, including interventions for students who struggle in reading or mathematics, disproportionality in the identification of students for special education services, secondary transition, teacher preparation, school-family collaborations, and children’s language development in inclusive preschool classrooms.

Our aim is to prepare graduates to pursue educational careers that contribute to and/or are informed by empirical research. These careers include faculty positions in higher education, leadership positions in schools and districts, and designers of innovative educational interventions. We encourage students to develop skills in a range of research approaches and to collaborate with faculty in related disciplines and with practitioners and agencies in the community.

What some recent graduates say about their experience

“The critical and often intersectional lens through which we learned to read, analyze, and conduct research [in the Teaching and Learning Department] broadened my intellectual capacity and allowed me to examine and challenge my own beliefs about teaching and learning. This process, alongside strong mentoring and support from faculty, shaped what I like to call my “transition” from a teacher to a teacher educator.”

Lindsey A. Chapman, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies
College of Education
University of Florida

"In addition to the irreplaceable campus aesthetics, the University of Miami provided me with opportunities that prepared me for the next step in my career. Earning my Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning was a challenging journey that was nurtured by my fabulous peer cohort, generous Department faculty, expert faculty across campus, and an advisor whose knowledge and guidance ensured my success."

Chelsea T. Morris, PhD
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
Department of Literacy and Special Education
College of Education
University of West Georgia


Mary Beth Calhoon

Associate Professor

305 284 4149

Office: Max Orovitz Building 230 K

Batya Elbaum


305 284 4218

Office: Merrick Building 308 A

Jennifer Krawec

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice

305 284 1308

Office: Max Orovitz Building 237 - A

Wendy Morrison-Cavendish


305 284 5192

Office: Merrick Building 222-E

Core SPED Courses

TAL 753: Cognitive Psychology in Special Education
Learn about different cognitive theorists and discuss various theoretical positions as to their strengths and weaknesses within and across theories.

TAL 756: Research in Special Education
Critical analysis of empirical research studies in selected areas of special education research focusing on research designs, data analysis methods, and interpretation.

TAL 755: Current Issues in Special Education
Current issues and trends in special education from historical, societal, policy, practice, and research perspectives.

TAL 752: Seminar in Reading and Learning Disabilities
Open only to advanced graduate students in reading and learning disabilities pursuing specialist or doctoral degrees.

TAL 754: Disability and Diversity
Critical views: Examines critical issues in the cultural/historical conceptualization of the field of special education, against the background of cross-cultural views of disabilities.

Program Contacts

Admission Inquiries (Special Education)

Batya Elbaum
Orovitz 308A

Application Process Questions

Graduate Studies Office