The National Science Foundation’s SimSE project

Supporting Students with Disabilities in Mathematics Classrooms

TeachSIM has partnered with researchers from Boston University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Virginia to develop a suite of materials, including simulations, to better prepare elementary preservice teachers to support students with disabilities in mathematics lessons.

This work is essential for many reasons, including the following:

  • General education teachers are likely to receive minimal coverage of special education teaching methods in their coursework and have few practice opportunities focused on students with disabilities (Blanton et al., 2011; Blanton et al., 2018; Florian, 2012; National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2019).
  • Students with disabilities lag behind their peers in mathematics achievement as early as in kindergarten, and these gaps only grow over time (Judge & Watson, 2011; Schulte & Stevens, 2015; Wei, Lenz, & Blackorby, 2013).
  • There are several promising mathematical teaching practices that could be leveraged to support students with disabilities, but general educators rarely have opportunities to develop these skills (see Fuchs et al., 2008; Gersten et al., 2009 for recent reviews).

Through this partnership, our teams will aim to meet this challenge by developing a suite of of portable and scalable curricular materials, simulations, and coaching supports. We will be able to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of these materials through randomized control trials across several teacher education programs.

Data collection for this study will occur throughout the 2022-2023 academic year across sites.

See TeachSIM + SimSE: Math: Supporting Students with Disabilities in Mathematics Classroom Partners here.

The SimSE project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2009939. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.