Spring 2018


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Susan Manikowski

Content Expert

Jill Kind


This Capstone addresses the research question, what is the effect of critical literacy practices on engagement in secondary special education classrooms? Motivated by a desire to provide secondary special educators with tools to meet diverse learner needs in innovative, engaging and challenging ways, the author chronicles the key experiences that led to the topic choice and reviews the literature related to the research question. Additionally, the document includes an overview of educator professional development methodology and an outline for the design of the final Capstone project. The project derived from this research includes a year-long professional development plan for secondary special educators include agendas, learning targets and materials for 12 PD sessions encompassing 15 hours of cohort learning. The final chapter of the Capstone paper addresses key learnings derived from the process including the value of the literature review in guiding project creation and the insights gained in overcoming difficulties with a collaborative approach, and how these learnings intersect with professional development. Lastly, the paper addresses potential limitations of the project and implications for future research into the intersection of critical literacy, engagement and special education.

Project Type

Professional Development


Literacy, Special Education, Staff Development

Included in

Education Commons