Michael J. Orosco

School of Education - Special Education
Associate Professor
PhD, Bilingual Special Education, University of Colorado at Boulder
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 539
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Rd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101

Michael J. Orosco is an associate professor in education specializing in bilingual special education at the University of Kansas. He was a bilingual special education teacher in Colorado for five years before earning a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Interdisciplinary research includes developing a theoretical model of learning disabilities for English Language Learners (ELLs) that includes the bilingual cognitive mechanisms that moderate reading and mathematical performance. The research program includes developing dynamic assessment situations that accurately diagnose learning disabilities and designing interventions to facilitate bilingual cognitive processes related to math and reading comprehension in ELLs. Finally, his research program also includes enhancing the sustainability of bilingual cognitive interventions through professional development. Professor Orosco has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences and Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services. Professor Orosco has published in several journals, including Exceptional Children, Exceptionality, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Special Education, Learning Disability Quarterly, Learning and Individual Differences, Reading & Writing Quarterly, and Theory into Practice. In 2014, Professor Orosco won the Samuel Kirk Award for outstanding article awarded at the Council for Exceptional Children (the premiere research organization in Special Education), Effects of Cognitive Strategy Interventions and Cognitive Moderators on Word Problem Solving in Children at Risk for Problem Solving Difficulties. Also, in 2011, Professor Orosco won the Frank Pajares Award for Outstanding Theory into Practice article awarded at the American Educational Research Association (the predominant research organization in the broad field of education), A Sociocultural Examination of Response to Intervention with Latino English Language Learners). Professor Orosco serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Literacy Research, Multiple Voices, Review of Research in Education, and Theory into Practice. Professor Orosco is a member of the American Education Research Association, Council for Exceptional Children and International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities.


PhD, Bilingual Special Education, University of Colorado at Boulder


My teaching philosophy is grounded in a social constructivist theoretical framework. From this perspective, I believe that I should provide direct and explicit instruction that wraps around my research knowledge and my student’s social capital. I am a firm believer that learning is an actively reciprocated process between the teacher and student, one is constantly shaping the other, bound by the socially inherited knowledge that contains the participant’s social capital necessary to mediate comprehension. I am a firm believer that learning appears to be enriched when it occurs in contexts that are socially and linguistically meaningful and students’ sociocultural experiences are centrally included in classroom curricula and activities.

Selected Publications

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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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