story by Claire Miller
College of Education & Human Development Associate Professor Andy Roach and Emily Graybill, director of Georgia State University’s Center for Leadership in Disability, are co-principal investigators on a new five-year, $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to study a professional development program for special education teachers.
In this grant project, Roach and Graybill will work with Jennifer Frank, principal investigator and associate professor at Pennsylvania State University, to implement the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) professional development program in special education classrooms in Georgia.
CARE has been used in general education classrooms in the U.S. to address teacher burnout and to help them improve their students’ academic success.
Research has shown that special education teachers are particularly susceptible to burnout and stress, so this grant – which will impact 228 special education teachers and 2,736 students with disabilities across the state – will give Roach, Graybill and Frank the opportunity to see how CARE can make a difference in special education classrooms.
“Previous research studies with elementary school teachers found CARE significantly improves teacher well-being and reduces stress, while contributing to improved teacher-student interactions and warmer classroom climates,” Roach said. “We believe the CARE program can demonstrate similar benefits for special educators.”