||School of Charter School of Education
Margaret D. Clark
It is my pleasure to introduce myself as a new faculty member in the Charter School of Education, Division of Special Education. As a third-generation native of Southern California, who attended kindergarten at the elementary school immediately adjoining the CSLA campus, it is exciting for me to take this new professional step. Cal State LA has played an important role throughout my professional career. Although Iím a new tenure-track member of the faculty, I sometimes feel as though I "come with the building", having spent one year as full-time, temporary faculty, and six years as part-time faculty while in graduate school. I earned my doctorate in the CSULA/UCLA Joint Doctoral Program, which gave me a solid foundation in both research and teacher education. Prior to this I received my Bachelorís and Masterís degrees, as well as three teaching credentials here at CSULA. I believe this gives me a helpful perspective on teacher education in the Division of Special Education, both as a faculty member and as a consumer of CSOE services. Equally important are my professional experiences. I was a special day class teacher and Resource Specialist for ten years in the California public schools. Like our students in the Division of Special Education, I faced the challenges and rewards of teaching children with disabilities in an urban, multi-cultural environment. Together, my education, my experiences in the field, and my time as a student at Cal State LA help inform my teaching, research, and practice as a teacher educator in the Division of Special Education.
My teaching interests are centered in the area of mild disability, and particularly learning disability. These include procedures for identifying students with mild disabilities and related issues; instructional methods and program options for students with mild disabilities; building effective working relationships between teachers, special education professionals and parents; general education teachersí professional knowledge base in special education and; legal and socio-political foundations of special education.
My research focuses on how general education and special education think about students with learning disabilities and their role as teachers of these students, as well as how this differs from how they think about non-disabled students. My dissertation research in this area was framed within the context of Weinerís attribution theory, and my graduate research included cross-cultural applications of this theoretical perspective. This program of research has allowed me to present my work at both national (American Educational Research Association, New Orleans/Montreal) and international (International Association of Applied Psychology, Madrid, Spain) conferences. I am currently preparing my dissertation for publication, and have several related lines of inquiry I plan to explore in future research. Recently I have begun to ask a number of questions about how provisionally credentialled teachers who are teaching in the public schools are trained, and how their needs and priorities differ from those of pre-service teachers in teacher education programs. Consequently, I have begun to develop a program of research designed to address these questions so important to our program.
Representative Professional Activities
Ph.D. Special Education June, 1998
Division of Special Education Web Page