Educating students with disabilities poses many unique challenges, not just 
to the public school system, but also to our nation. Professionals in the field 
of special education have bravely faced these challenges by creating, adapting, 
and implementing numerous techniques and strategies that have made a positive 
difference in the lives of students with disabilities. This innovative issue  
of Academic Exchange Quarterly focuses on effective and important research that 
has impacted the academic, social-emotional, and physical aspects of educating 
a child or adult with a disability.

We are proud to offer articles on a wide variety of topics in special education. 
Subjects of interest to special and general education teachers, school psychologists, 
adaptive physical education teachers, counselors, administrators, and teacher 
educators are included. Topics range from emotional intelligence and self-concept 
to strategy training and literacy. Preschool children, elementary, middle, and high 
school students, and adults in higher education are all represented.

This issue was authored by professors, school psychologists, graduate students, 
researchers, special education teachers, university supervisors, inclusion 
facilitators, and an exercise specialist who collectively represent Canada and 
over 22 states. The breadth of experience and depth of knowledge by these authors 
is evident in each of the following articles.

Service delivery options, particularly those related to inclusive environments, 
are much debated topics in special education. K. Sarah Hall, California State 
University, Northridge, and Susan Philhower, Western Illinois University, present 
two different, but equally engaging, efforts to restructure service delivery 
options for students with disabilities.

A number of articles which look at preservice training for teachers are included. 
Lynda Conover, Western Illinois University, discusses preservice efforts to 
target students who are gifted and also have learning disabilities. Wendy Murawski, 
California State University, Northridge, presents the need to incorporate 
co-teaching strategies into teacher preparation programs. Other interesting 
topics which fall under the heading of teacher training include emergent literacy 
issues, teacher attitudes, adaptations and accommodations, and the retention of 
effective special education teachers.

Specific subject area strategies are discussed by several authors. An article 
written collaboratively by a professor and a special education teacher on word 
identification strategies for middle and high school students is presented by 
Darrell Pearson, Troy State University, and Wanda Corley, Zion Chapel High School. 
An effective discussion of motivational strategies for improving writing is 
presented by faculty members and doctoral students from The Florida State 
University, Tallahassee.

Several articles are included which address specific issues related to students 
with emotional/behavioral disorders, such as social skills training, reducing 
challenging behaviors, and antisocial behavior. Reading comprehension strategies, 
participation issues, laptime for preschoolers, disabilities and higher education, 
and specific types of disabilities are just a few of the other topics covered in 
this highly informative issue.

The field of special education spans an extremely broad scope of issues, concepts, 
and strategies unique to this field. As can be seen from the descriptions above, 
this diversity is mirrored by the content of the 26 disability related articles 
presented. In addition to the wide variety of topics related to educating people 
with disabilities, this issue also focuses on service learning and the scholarship 
of teaching. Several outstanding articles address the needs of professionals 
seeking information on distance learning, online courses, field study-consulting 
through service learning, and dialectical notebooks. A creatively written case 
study by Michael Provitera from Saint Peterís College addresses issues facing 
assistant professors. This innovative manuscript lists discussion questions and 
teaching guidelines for prospective professors.

Other engaging topics include an analysis of speech styles of Japanese language 
students, corporate attitudes towards gays and lesbians in the workplace, and 
an article which demonstrates how an evaluation checklist for textbook adoption 
can strengthen and facilitate the textbook review process.

We feel that this issue will make a strong contribution to the field of special 
education, service learning, and the scholarship of teaching and are proud of 
the diversity of topics included. We hope you thoroughly enjoy this edition of 
Academic Exchange Quarterly.

Tamarah M. Ashton, Ph.D.	                   Melinda R. Pierson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor	                   Associate Professor
California State University, Northridge	California State University, Fullerton
E-mail: tamarah.ashton@csun.edu               E-mail: mpierson1@mindspring.com