Thomas M. Skrtic

School of Education and Human Sciences - Special Education
Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education
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Thomas M. Skrtic, Ph.D., was a Willamson Family Distinguished Professor of education in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. His academic interests were classical pragmatism, institutional theory, and democratic social reform, which informed several of his published works, including Behind Special Education: A Critical Analysis of Professional Culture and School Organization (1991), Disability and Democracy: Reconstructing (Special) Education for Postmodernity (1995), and more recently, his contributions to Challenging Orthodoxy in Special Education: Dissenting Voices (Gallagher et al., 2004). In 2004 he was recognized in the Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership as one of the two most influential figures in reconceptualizing the philosophy and practice of special education, and in 2009 he received the Senior Scholar Award of the Disability Studies in Education interest group of the American Educational Research Association for his pioneering work in disability studies, as well as Syracuse University's William Pearson Tolley Medal for distinguished leadership in lifelong learning.

Thomas M. Skrtic specialized in organization theory, special education policy and administration, and qualitative research and evaluation.

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Teaching Interests

  • Civic professionalism
  • Qualitative inquiry
  • Special education policy and leadership

Research Interests

  • Racial bias in special education
  • Institutional theory
  • Policy design and implementation

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