Special Education Research Journals

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Staying on top of research is important for teachers who want to understand the latest thoughts and theories about how to work most effectively with students. This lesson offers an overview of some of the top-rate journals in special education.

Why Read Research Journals?

As teachers, we are always busy, and it can be hard to find the time and space we need to build our practice and keep up with the latest professional trends. One way to make sure to stay on top of things is to subscribe to and regularly read one or two major research journals. The articles in these journals have undergone a rigorous peer-review process and will not only provide teachers with food for thought but might enhance daily practice. As a special educator, it can be especially important for you to keep up with research on teaching students with a variety of special needs. This lesson describes many of the top-tier journals in the field of special education.

Special Education Journals

The Journal of Special Education

Published out of the University of North Carolina, the Journal of Special Education prints book reviews and articles regarding a broad range of special education issues, including research on students with disabilities that range from mild toward severe. The journal publishes qualitative and quantitative research and prints special issues that sometimes focus on intervention studies with high relevance to educators.

Exceptional Children

Published quarterly, Exceptional Children (EC) is the official journal of the Council on Exceptional Children. Focusing on all ages, EC publishes a wide variety of articles including peer-reviewed research, reviews of other research, literature reviews, and both quantitative and qualitatively supported position papers. Articles in this journal are also sometimes relevant to policy that relates to students with special needs.

Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals

Published only online, the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals has a strong focus on how to support educators and other professionals working in special education. It only publishes original work, and it seeks to make connections among special education teachers, psychologists, researchers, doctors, various kinds of therapists, and other professionals whose work is oriented toward helping students with special needs.

Journal of Special Education Technology

The Journal of Special Education Technology is published by the Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. The articles in this journal are entirely focused on the latest research on the use of technology to support students with special needs. These articles might be especially useful for teachers who are interested in integrating the latest technology into their practice.


Associated with The National Autistic Society, the journal Autism prints articles specifically connected to autism and related developmental disorders. The journal focuses on printing articles with a practical bend, relevant to helping improve the education and overall quality of life for individuals with autism or diagnosis on the autistic spectrum.

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