Kathleen King Thorius, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Special Education


Résumé/CV on Box

ES 3152


  • 2009 Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Special Education
  • 1999 Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, School Psychology
  • 1998 Master of Education, School Psychology
  • 1996 Bachelor of Arts, Psychology


My research is concerned with educational access, participation, and outcomes for students, with particular attention to the ways in which systemic factors, including educational policy and educators practices, converge in classrooms to shape the experiences of underrepresented students, including those identified with disabilities. More specifically, my research agenda centers on two interconnected arenas within educational systems that impact student experiences: ways in which underrepresented and diverse student groups are represented in educational research and policy language, and teachers professional learning for equity. This first strand of research is centered around the examination of local school factors that shape the ways in which federal, state, and school district policy converge in schools as educators implement a shift in the way that students are identified for special education: Response to Intervention. With regard to my second research strand, professional learning for equity, I am concerned with teachers access to professional learning opportunities that help them address the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population. I seek to understand both the features of professional learning opportunities that lead to improved practice and student outcomes, as well as the process of educators engagement in such opportunities as they explore and seek to understand how their own cultural histories and experiences converge with schools and students cultures in their classrooms.

Courses Taught

  • EDUC-K 201 Schools, Society, and Exceptionality
  • EDUC-K 306 Teaching Students with Special Needs in Secondary Classrooms
  • EDUC-K 505 Introduction to Special Education for Graduate Students
  • EDUC-K 548 Families, School, and Society


  • Racial and Linguistic Disproportionality in Special Education, Inclusive Education, Response to Intervention, Addressing Educational Equity in Teacher Professional Learning

Professional Associations

  • American Anthropological Association Council on Anthropology and Education
  • American Educational Research Association, Division G: Social Context of Education, Division J: Post-secondary Education, Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education
  • Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners, Teacher Education Division