- Ph.D., Special Education, Arizona State University, 1984
- M.Ed., Special Education, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1975
- B.A., English, Saint Louis University, 1971
Key Professional Appointments
- Full Professor, Special Education, University of Illinois, 2007--
- Adjunct, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, 2004--
- Affiliate, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois, 2002--
- Senior Researcher, Center for the Study of Reading, University of Illinois, 1988--
- Associate Professor, Special Education, University of Illinois, 1994-2007
- Assistant Professor, Special Education, University of Illinois, 1988-1994
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Special Education, University of Illinois, 1987-1988
- Assistant Professor, Special Education, University of Mississippi, 1984-1987
Activities & Honors
- Reading Recovery Trainer Emeritus, Reading Recovery University Trainer Emeritus, Reading Recovery Council of North America, 2011- present
- Faculty Fellow, Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, 2009- present
- Associate Chair, Reading and Literacy Working Group for ED 08, National Academy of Education, 2008-2009
- Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching, Teaching Award, Office of the Provost, 2007-2008
- Editorial Board Member, International Reading Association, Reading Research Quarterly, 2006- present
- Graduate Teaching Award, College of Education, 2006-2007
- Faculty Associate, Center for Advanced Study, 2004-2005
- Editorial Board Member, National Reading Conference, Journal of Literacy Research, 2001- present
- Alan C. Purves Research Award, National Council of Teachers of English, 1999-2000
- Undergraduate Teaching Award, Award, College of Education, 1998-1999
- Board of Reviewers, Board of Reviewers, Teacher Education and Special Education Journal, 1984- present
Janet S. Gaffney is a professor in the Department of Special Education with affiliate appointments in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her research focuses on developing teachers' expertise to facilitate the independent literacy learning of children and youth with and without disabilities who are not making adequate progress. She works collaboratively with district partners to design organic, high-impact, system-wide, long-term, professional learning opportunities that lead to documented and sustainable literacy outcomes for children. Her theoretical approach is that effective literacy learning-teaching interactions are grounded in purposeful oral and written communication (including assisted and augmentative communication) and that learning, including academic learning, begins prior to school and occurs across the lifespan.
She has co-edited two books and authored numerous articles and chapters, including "Trends in Reading Research in the United States" with Richard C. Anderson in the Handbook of Reading Research, Vol. III (2000). She is a past recipient of the Alan C. Purves Research Award of the National Council for Teachers in English and was appointed an Associate in the Center for Advanced Study at the University. She was also the recipient of the 2006 College of Education’s Graduate Teaching Award and the 2007 University’s Distinguished Graduate and Professional Teaching Award. She is Associate Chair of the Reading and Literacy White Paper for the National Academy of Education’s Transition in Education federal policy recommendations. She has been the PI, co-PI, or Senior Scientist of federal and foundation research and personnel preparation grants. Through multiple Spencer grants, she participated on the Learning-to-Read-Chinese research team. She is currently collaborating with faculty across campus on an National Science Foundation grant on Entrepreneurial Leadership in STEM teaching. She serves on the Editorial Boards of multiple journals including Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, and Teacher Education and Special Education. She is an active member of committees for the American Education Research Association, National Reading Conference, International Reading Association, and the Council for Exceptional Children.
- Senior Personnel, Entrepreneurial Leadership in STEM Teaching & Learning (EnLiST), National Science Foundation, 2009-2013
- Principal Investigator, Literacy Leadership & Curricular Access for All, Quincy Public School District # 172, 2006-2007
- Co-Principal Investigator, Preparing Leaders in Access by Design (PLAD), U.S. Department of Education, 2006-2010
- Muwana, F., & Gaffney, J. S. (2011). Service-learning experiences of college freshmen, community partners, and consumers with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 34(1), 21-36. DOI:10.1177/0888406410371354
- Ruppar, A. L., & Gaffney, J. S. (2011). IEP team decisions for a student with significant support needs: Conversations, negotiations, and power. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 36, 11-22.NOTE: In Press and Published in 2011
- Jeong, J. S., Gaffney, J. S., & Choi, J. O. (2010). Availability and use of informational text in second, third, and fourth grades. Research in the Teaching of English. 44, 435-456.
- March, E. Z., & Gaffney, J. S. (2010). Relational identities of students, families, and educators: Shaping educational pathways. Remedial and Special Education, 31, 3-16.
- Wu, X., Anderson, R. C., Li, W., Wu, X., Li, H., Zhang, J., et al. (2009). Morphological awareness and Chinese children’s literacy development: An intervention study. Scientific Studies of Reading, 13, 26-52.
- Anderson, R. C., Wang, Q., & Gaffney, J. S. (2006). Comprehension research over the past three decades. In K. A. D. Stahl & M. C. McKenna (Eds.), Reading research at work: Foundations of effective practice (pp. 275-283). New York: Guilford Press.
- Ostrosky, M. M., Gaffney, J. S., & Thomas, D. V. (2006). The interplay between literacy and relationships in early childhood settings. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 22(2), 173-191.
- Packard, J., Chen, X., Li, W., Wu, X., Gaffney, J. S., Li, H., & Anderson, R. C. (2006). Explicit instruction in orthographic structure and word morphology helps Chinese children learn to write characters. Reading and Writing, 19(5), 457-487.
- Gaffney, J. S., Methven, J. M., & Bagdasarian, S. (2002). Assisting older students to read expository text in a tutorial setting: An argument for a high impact intervention. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 18, 119-150.
- Li, W., Gaffney, J. S., & Packard, J. (Eds.) (2002). Chinese children's reading acquisition: Theoretical and pedagogical issues. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic.
- Gaffney, J.S., & Anderson, R. C. (2000). Trends in reading research in the United States: Changing intellectual currents over thirty years. In M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.). Handbook of Reading Research, Vol. III (pp. 53-74). New York: Erlbaum.
- Gaffney, J. S., & Askew, B. J. (1999). Stirring the waters: The influence of Marie Clay. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
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