Recognizing Effective Special Education Teachers

Picture of teachers in training.Overview

Delivering effective, specialized instruction to students with learning disabilities is challenging – special education teachers need training to provide instruction that meets the unique needs of the students they serve. For over 30 years, there has been a national shortage of special education teachers. Many positions are filled by people eager to make a difference, but lacking the necessary training.

As partners to the RESET project at Boise State University, we are helping to develop observation and feedback tools for special education teachers to improve their ability to deliver high quality, evidence-based instruction to their students.

The RESET project is led by Dr. Evelyn Johnson and a team of researchers at Boise State University, with collaboration from Lee Pesky Learning Center. Teachers at LPLC provided instructional video to demonstrate best practice.


  • Create the only set of validated observation tools specifically aligned with evidence-based instructional practices in special education
  • Improve special education teacher practice through the use of observation rubrics and structured feedback.
  • Long-term goal is to promote systems change in the way that special education teachers are trained, evaluated and supported to better serve students with disabilities.

Project Details

July 2015 – June 2020

U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES), Award Number R324A150152


  • One page document name (PDF 1.5 mb)
  • Second document name (PDF 665k)


  • One page document name (PDF 1.5 mb)