Doing research - a pair of eyeglasses on a book

Research Projects

While students are completing their degree programs they are welcomed and encouraged to join faculty in the many exciting research projects currently being conducted by EPSE faculty:

Aphasia research projects seek to better understand the psychological and physiological stress response in people living with aphasia, to investigate how caregivers of people with aphasia cope with stress, and to explain the use of alternative therapies.

The Center for the Study of Adult Literacy is committed to understanding the reading-related characteristics that are critical to helping adult learners reach their reading goals and to developing instructional approaches that are tailored to adult learners’ needs and interests.

The Center on Literacy and Deafness is studying reading in children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The Urban Child Study Center is focused on understanding and supporting the development, academic achievement, and overall well-being of children living in urban areas.

Project SCEIs: funded by Georgia’s Babies Can’t Wait Early Intervention program, is training personnel and families across the state to work with infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The Research Innovation Hub is committed to the study of reading development in African-American children.

Research investigating the integration of technology through the use of iPads across curriculum domains for students with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Research aimed at understanding K-16 students’ scientific thinking and how it affects learning in the science classroom.

Research on positive behavior intervention systems (PBIS)

We do a cover a broad spectrum of research within our fields. Here are a few:

Principal Investigator: Nicole Patton Terry (EPSE)
The primary purpose of The E-SERF Project is to examine the relationship between participation in Early Reading First pre-kindergarten programs and later language and literacy achievement. Early Reading First is a federal grant program designed to help early childhood education programs become “centers of excellence” that provide children with quality, early language and literacy experiences. With a focus on prevention of reading difficulties among children who may be at-risk for later school failure, these primary purpose of these programs is to prepare young children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to successful in school. In order to investigate the benefits of the program, E-SERF children’s growth in langauge and literacy skills will be followed from kindergarten through second grade. This project is sponsored by The United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Smart Start through a supplemental grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Please visit our website for the Georgia Sensory Assistance Project.

Principal Investigator: Kathy Heller (EPSE)
The Georgia Sensory Assistance Project works with state agencies to identify children with deaf-blindness and provide assistance to these children primarily through dissemination of research on best practices and through statewide technical assistance to school personnel, families, agencies, and others who provide services to children with deaf-blindness (from birth to twenty-two years of age) . The project collaborates with and supports the Georgia Deaf-blind Stakeholders and Advisory Committee and national projects, such as the National Deafblind Cochlear Implant Research Project. The Georgia Sensory Assistance Project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

You can visit our website for the Alliance Theatre to learn more.

Principal Investigator: Ann Cale Kruger (EPSE)
Ann Cale Kruger leads a research team to evaluate the effects of the Alliance Theatre Company’s outreach program, Georgia Wolf Trap, for low-income children in kindergarten. Over three years, the researchers will collect data to investigate the effects of the program on students’ verbal and nonverbal communication and on their performances on the state-mandated test for school readiness and as emergent writers. The researchers will investigate how drama affects Georgia students’ emergent literacy skills, enhances their emotional understandings, and increases their awareness of the art of theatre. This project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education through its Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program.

Principal Investigator: Jacqueline Laures-Gore (EPSE)
This project is funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), R03. The study investigates the role that physiological stress, as measured by salivary cortisol, plays in the recovery of aphasia post-stroke.
Principal Investigator: Amy Lederberg (EPSE)
Co-Investigators: Susan Easterbrooks (EPSE) and Carol Connor
Funded by Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
The purpose of this study is to develop and obtain preliminary evidence on the efficacy of a curriculum designed to foster emergent literacy skills in deaf and hard of hearing preschoolers. The curriculum is designed to foster phonics, phonological awareness, vocabulary, narrative and comprehension skills in deaf and hard of hearing children. Specifically, the researchers will examine what instructional strategies and degree of individualization will improve literacy outcomes.
Principal Investigator: Paul A. Alberto (EPSE)
Co-Principal Investigator: Laura Fredrick (EPSE)
Funded by Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)

The purpose of this project is development of a comprehensive framework for literacy, for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Project components are integrated and accessible across levels of student functioning and age. The three project curricular components are: visual literacy instruction, sight word instruction, and phonics instruction. The contents within each component and the connections among components will enable a teacher and IEP committee to select an appropriate entry point for students of any age and at a wide range of functioning levels. This accessibility will allow accommodations for literacy instruction for the elementary or secondary student from the level of learning to identify persons in pictures through phonically decoding connected environmental text.
Principal Investigator: Nicole Patton Terry (EPSE)
In 2005, the Southeast Regional Center for Get Ready to Read! was established in Atlanta, Georgia through a partnership between the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Smart Start, the early education arm of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. The Center’s mission is to assure that young children in Georgia and the southeastern region of the United States enter kindergarten with the language and literacy skills they need to be ready to benefit from quality literacy instruction. Dr. Terry contributes to the succes of the program by evaluating program effectiveness, providing professional development throughout the metropolitan area, and assiting the Center in implementing the program in schools and programs throughout the state. This project is sponsored by The United Way Metropolitan Atlanta, Smart Start and the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) through funding from The Goizueta Foundation.
Contact: Amy Lederberg (EPSE)
Funded by: Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
The goal of this training program is to offer individualized research experiences within the context of interdisciplinary research teams. Program faculty have projects designed to empirically validate educational interventions that promote language or literacy dev elopement in special populations: children, adolescents, or adults at risk for, or with, identified disabilities. Trainees will have the opportunity to work on one of the IES or NIH funded projects, as well as work on archival data sets.
Principal Investigator: David Houchins (EPSE)
Co-Investigator: Kristine Jolivette (EPSE)
Liberate is a $2.94 million four year study. Funding is provided by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The primary purpose of Project LIBERATE is to determine the comparative effectiveness of three literacy instructional packages (two treatments and one control group) on the reading, writing, and spelling performance of incarcerated struggling readers with and without disabilities. Student motivational and teacher implementation factors also will be considered. Much has been learned in recent years about how to teach literacy skills at the elementary school level yet little is known about how to teach literacy at the secondary level, particularly to struggling readers who are on the fringe of society. Estimates suggest that up to 45% of the incarcerated students in Georgia have disabilities. No data are available regarding comprehensive literacy instruction for these students.

Additional participants include Dr. Chris Henrich (data manager), Dr. Candy Steventon (project manager), and Rich Lambert (statistician). For additional information, please contact Dr. Houchins at 404-413-8338 or dhouchins@gsu.edu.

Visit our website for SCEIs.

Principal Investigator: Peggy Gallagher (EPSE)
The goal of the Georgia State University Skilled, Credentialed Early Interventionists (SCEIs) project with Georgia’s Babies Can’t Wait program is to assist in the implementation and evaluation of preservice and in-service training provided to public and private provides of early intervention services as well as to families who have children in the Babies Can’t Wait program. The Babies Can’t Wait program provides services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays or disabilities and their families. This project is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

The goal of the Georgia State University Skilled, Credentialed Early Interventionists (SCEIs) project with Georgia’s Babies Can’t Wait program is to assist in the implementation and evaluation of preservice and in-service training provided to public and private provides of early intervention services as well as to families who have children in the Babies Can’t Wait program. The Babies Can’t Wait program provides services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays or disabilities and their families. This project is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Principal Investigator: David Houchins (EPSE)
Co-Principal Investigator: Kristine Jolivette (EPSE)
A collaboration with the Department of Criminal Justice, this project provides financial support to doctoral-level students concentrating in juvenile justice special education beginning in 2006. The emphasis of the project is on increasing high-quality research, instruction, and service in juvenile justice special education. This project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
Principal Investigator: Daphne Greenberg (EPSE)
Daphne Greenberg leads a team of researchers from the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences to investigate reading instructional approaches for use with adults who read between a 3.0 and 5.9 word reading grade equivalency. The team is evaluating a number of instructional strategies for effectiveness with a focus on which strategies are most effective for different subtypes of adult learners. Additionally, the researchers are using Functional M.R.I. technology to measure the effects of instruction on adult learners’ neural activation. This project is sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,  the National Institute for Literacy, and the U.S. Department of Education, grant #1 R01 HD 43801-01.