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Professor Elizabeth B. Kozleski

School of Education - Special Education
Professor, Department of Special Education
Ed.D., Special Education , University of Northern Colorado
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 521
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Rd
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101

Professor Elizabeth B. Kozleski is a professor in the Special Education program at the University of Kansas. She has been working on systems transformation for equity and inclusive education for the last 25 years. Her newest book, co-edited by Kathleen King Thorius, was published in January of 2014 by Teachers College Press. Titled Ability, Equity, and Culture: Sustaining Inclusive Urban Education Reform, it describes a 15 year long, federally project on national, urban school and district reform. In 2005, Professor Kozleski received the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive International Research. She was recognized for her leadership in special education teacher education with the 2011 TED-Merrill award.

In addition to the analysis of models of systems change in urban and large school systems, her work has examined how teachers learn in practice in complex, diverse school settings, how culturally responsive practices in the classroom improve student learning, and the impact of professional learning schools on student and teacher learning. As professor of special education at the University of Colorado-Denver, she served as Associate Dean for Research for six years before moving to Arizona State University where she served as Professor in the School of Social Transformation. She has led a number of national technical assistance projects including the center for principals in helping to build inclusive schools (NIUSI-LEADSCAPE), NCCRESt, the national technical assistance center on disproportionality, and the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI) that provided support to urban schools working on creating inclusive schools for all learners. A recent Spencer award focuses on world languages, the migration diaspora, and inclusive education. Along with Professor Pam Hunt from San Francisco State, she is leading an IES grant comparing the ELSB reading intervention with business as usual reading curricula in nine elementary schools in Kansas. A total of 80 children with significant intellectual disabilities are participating in this project, 40 in Kansas and 40 in California. She also works with both the CEEDAR and SWIFT projects. In 2017, Professor Kozleski became an Equity Fellow for the Great Lakes Equity Assistance Center.

The author of numerous articles, chapters, reports, and books, Dr. Kozleski's expertise has been recognized through her work with many national and international organizations including the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the Teacher Education Division (TED), the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal, the National Center for Educational Outcomes (NCEO), the American Institutes for Research, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), National Institutes for Health, TASH, and a variety of state and local education agencies.

In 2011, she co-edited the Harvard Press book, Inclusive Education: Examining Equity on Five Continents. Dr. Kozleski has received more than 30 million dollars in external funds from a variety of sources including the U. S. Department of Education (OSEP), the Motorola, Rose, and Spencer Foundations, the National Education Association, and the Colorado and Wisconsin state education agencies. Dr. Kozleski has presented her work at scientific conferences in Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as the United States and is currently working with an international coalition of researchers studying equity. Professor Kozleski began her career as an early childhood educator, became a special educator working first in Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia and then, in Boulder Valley Public Schools. Her undergraduate and Master’s degrees were from George Mason University. She received her doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado.


Ed.D., Special Education , University of Northern Colorado

M.Ed., Special Education: Emotional Disturbance, George Mason University

B.S., Early Childhood/Elementary Education, George Mason University

Teaching Interests

  • Inclusive education
  • Equity in practice
  • Special education
  • Disability studies
  • Qualitative methodologies

Research Interests

  • Equity
  • Disproportionality
  • Teacher education
  • Urban education
  • Technical assistance methodologies
  • Systems change

Selected Publications

Kozleski, E. B., & Artiles, A. J. (2014). Beyond psychological views of student learning in system reform agendas. In E. Kozleski & K. K. Thorius (Eds.), Ability, Equity, and Culture: The Search for the Holy Grail in Urban Education Reform (pp. 63-79). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Mitchiner, M., McCart, A., Kozleski, E. B, Weeney, H., & Sailor, W. (2014). Emerging trends and future directions in effective, inclusive elementary schools for students with extensive support needs. In J. Mcleskey, N. L Waldron, F. Spooner, & B. Algozzine (Eds.), Handbook of effective inclusive schools: Research and practice. New York: Routledge.

Kozleski, E. B., & Thorius, K. K. (2014). Making Policy Stick: Distributed Networks of Reform. In E. B. Kozleski & K. K. Thorius (Eds.), Ability, Equity, and Culture: Sustaining Inclusive Urban Education Reform (pp. 217-240). New York: Teachers College Press. http://store.tcpress.com/0807754927.shtml

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Academic Degrees

  • Ed.D., Special Education: Research, Teaching and Administration, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, 1985
  • M.Ed., Special Education: Emotional Disturbance, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 1977
  • B.S. Early Childhood/Elementary Education, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 1975:

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