Associate Professor, Special Education
Mary Beth Coleman is an assistant professor
of special education, who loves teaching teachers and preservice teachers. She says it’s exciting that she might have a small impact on teachers’ attitudes toward working with students who have disabilities and their abilities to provide instruction that will maximize their students’ potential. Prior to coming to UT, she taught PreK–12 students for 13 years in Georgia and then worked at Georgia State University (GSU) for four years while finishing her PhD.
During her years of PreK–12 classroom instruction, she taught middle school students with moderate to profound mental retardation, special needs preschool, and elementary students with physical disabilities. She left teaching to work on a grant project based at GSU, the Georgia Bureau for Students with Physical and Health Impairments. In this position, she trained teachers across the state to provide appropriate literacy instruction for students with physical disabilities. Coleman then worked as a clinical instructor at GSU, teaching an undergraduate introduction to special education course and a graduate-level course in assistive technology. She also supervised practicum students in the areas of early childhood special education, mental retardation, and physical disabilities. Coleman says she really enjoys working with teachers and preservice teachers in classrooms to help them make the connection between knowledge acquired in university coursework and application of effective instructional practices.
Additionally, she is the immediate past president of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities. Her research interests focus on effective instructional strategies and the use of assistive technology to promote academic, social, or functional skills for students with a wide range of abilities.