For more than three decades, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has served as a laboratory for developing, evaluating, and disseminating innovative educational practices for children with diverse learning needs.
Inclusive early education for children with and without disabilities was pioneered here in the early 1970s. Curricula for children with multiple disabilities, sensory losses, and other special needs have been developed here and disseminated nationally.
This annual series of workshops provides training for general and special education teachers, with the goal of improving the quality of education for students with diverse learning needs in inclusive settings.
CASL was a multi-university research center that developed and disseminated strategies to accelerate learning for students with disabilities in the early grades and thereby provided a solid foundation for strong achievement in the intermediate grades and beyond. CASL provided a free newsletter, research reports, manuals, videotapes, and other materials. The program was discontinued, but the its materials are still available.
The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) is a national resource center for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country.
Weekly Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) tests provide systematic, frequent feedback to students and teachers. CBM is one of several validated classroom-based and school-wide interventions developed to increase educators' capacity to improve students' learning and to accommodate diverse learning needs.
Rigorous implementation of RTI includes a combination of high quality, culturally and linguistically responsive instruction; assessment; and evidence-based intervention. Comprehensive RTI implementation will contribute to more meaningful identification of learning and behavioral problems, improve instructional quality, provide all students with the best opportunities to succeed in school, and assist with the identification of learning disabilities and other disabilities.
PALS Reading and PALS Math enable classroom teachers to accommodate diverse learners and to help a large proportion of these students achieve success.
PAVE provides technical assistance for teachers of students with low vision, as well as for parents, and direct instruction for children. PAVE assists any child with low vision, age 3 to 21 in Lead Education Agencies in Tennessee, private schools, or the Tennessee School for the Blind.
TREDS (Tennessee Technical Assistance and Resources for Enhancing Deafblind Supports) provides training for educators through workshops, conferences, and in-service activities. Topics include positive behavior supports and communication, assistive technology, transition issues, and family issues. TREDS provides a free newsletter.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the IRIS Center develops training enhancement materials to be used by faculty and professional development providers for the preparation of current and future school personnel.
The Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders is committed to the provision of exemplary autism-specific training to parents, service providers, and future professionals, including training programs for teachers and school systems.
Robert Crouch, Ph.D., Research Liaison to Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, (615) 343-2677