College of Education *
College of Education *
Susan De La Paz (CHSE)
Susan De La Paz
Contact Information:
Room: 3216 Benjamin Building
Phone: (301) 405-2153

Susan De La Paz (Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park)
Associate Professor, Learning Disabilities; Special Education Program
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE)


Research Interests | Bio | Grants & Projects | Publications |

Research Interests

Writing, disciplinary literacy, and teacher professional development


Professional Biography

Dr. Susan De La Paz has worked for 20 years with middle and high school teachers, developing writing interventions for students with diverse academic abilities. Her scholarship in adolescent literacy intersects the fields of special education, history education, and science education through the study of written argumentation. Dr. De La Paz’s research spans both learning to write and writing to learn and is driven by the need for specific and proven instructional strategies that general and special education teachers can and will use to enable students with and without LD to write successfully, as well as to support students’ use of writing for developing conceptual understanding in subjects such as history and science. She has directed two federally funded grants, a Teaching American History Grant, and a Struggling Readers and Writers Grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, and received funding from the American Educational Research Association.

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Grants & Projects

Research Grant, "Disciplinary Writing Instruction for the Social Studies Classroom: A Path to Adolescent Literacy." Funded by the U. S. Department of Education. 2009-2012. $1,498,632 (Principal Investigator). (De La Paz, S., & Monte-Sano, C.)

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Selected Publications


Monte-Sano, C., De La Paz, S., & Felton, M. (2014.) Reading, thinking, and writing about history: Teaching argument writing to diverse learners in the common core classroom, grades 6-12. New York: Teachers College Press. ISBN: 978-0-8077-5530-3.

Recent Chapters

De La Paz, S. & McCutchen, D. (2017). Learning to write. R. E. Mayer and P. A. Alexander (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction. (2nded.). New York: Routledge Press.

Nokes, J. & De La Paz, S. (in press). Writing and Argumentation in History Education. Metzger, S. A. and McArthur Harris, L. (Eds.) International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning. Wiley-Blackwell.

De La Paz, S. (2012). Effective instruction for history and the social studies: What works for students with learning disabilities, In B.Y. L. Wong & D. L. Butler (Eds.) Learning About Learning Disabilities (4th ed.). Oxford: Elsevier.

Recent Journal Articles

De La Paz, S. & Levin, D. (in press). Beyond “they cited the text:” Middle school students and teachers’ written critiques of scientific conclusions. Research in Science Education.

Perin, D., De La Paz, S., Worland, K., & Peercy, M. M. (published online, December, 2016). The Writing of language minority students: A Literature review on its relation to oral proficiency.  Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties. (PDF)

De La Paz, S. & Wissinger, D. (published online July, 2016) Improving the historical knowledge and writing of students with or at-risk for LD. Journal of Learning Disabilities. (PDF)

Monte-Sano, C., De La Paz, S., Felton, M., Worland, K., Yee, L.S., & Carey, R. L. (in press) Learning to Teach Disciplinary Literacy Across Diverse Eighth-Grade History Classrooms Within a District-University Partnership. Journal of Teacher Education.

De La Paz, S., Monte-Sano, C., Felton, M., Croninger, R., Jackson, C., & Worland, K. (2017). A historical writing apprenticeship for adolescents: Integrating disciplinary learning with cognitive strategies. Reading Research Quarterly.  52(1) 31–52.  doi:10.1002/rrq.147 (PDF)

Wissinger, D.R., & De La Paz, S. (2016). Effects of critical discussions on middle school students’ written historical arguments. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108 (1) 43-59. (PDF)

Sherman, C., & De La Paz, S. (2015). FIX: A strategic approach to writing and revision for students with learning disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 48 (2) 93-101. (PDF)

Monte-Sano. C., De La Paz, S., & Felton, M. (2015). Teaching argument writing and “content: in diverse middle school history classrooms. Social Education, 79 (4) 194-199. (PDF)

De La Paz, S & Wissinger, D. (2015). A comparison of disciplinary writing tasks: Examining argument and summary writing with secondary students with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Experimental Education, 83(1), 110-129. (PDF)

De La Paz, S., Felton, M., Monte-Sano, C., Croninger, B., Jackson, C., Deogracias, J., & Hoffman, B.P. (2014). Developing historical reading and writing with struggling adolescent readers: implementation and learning outcomes. Theory and Research in Social Education, 42, 228-274. (PDF)

Monte-Sano, C., De La Paz, S., & Felton, M. (2014). Implementing a disciplinary literacy curriculum for US history: Learning from expert middle school teachers in diverse classrooms. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 46, (4), 540-575. (PDF)

De La Paz, S. & Hernández-Ramos, P. (2013). Project-based learning in history: Effects on historical thinking for students with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 28, 1-14. (PDF)

De La Paz, S. & Sherman, C. (2013). Revising instruction in inclusive settings: Effects for English learners and novice writers. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 28, 129–141. (PDF)

De La Paz, S. (2013.) Teaching and learning in history: Reform-based practices for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 11, 89-105. (PDF)

De La Paz, S., Ferretti, R.,  Wissinger, D.,  Yee. L., & MacArthur (2012). Adolescents’ disciplinary use of evidence, argumentative strategies, and organizational structure in writing about historical controversies, Written Communication, 29, 412-454.

Monte-Sano, C. & De La Paz, S. (2012). Using writing tasks to elicit adolescents’ historical reasoning, Journal of Literacy Research, 44, 273-299.

De La Paz, S.,  Malkus,N. N., Monte-Sano, C., &  Montanaro, B. (2011). Evaluating American history teachers’ professional development: Effects on student learning. Theory and Research in Social Education, 39, 494-540. (PDF)

De La Paz, S., & Felton, M. (2010). Reading and writing from multiple source documents in history: Effects of strategy instruction with low to average high school writers. Journal of Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35, 174-192.

Hernández-Ramos, P. & De La Paz, S. (2009-10). Learning history in middle school by designing multimedia in project-based learning environments: Evidence of effectiveness. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 42, 151-173.


EDSP 673   Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education 
EDSP 485   Assessment and Instruction in Mathematics in Special Education  
EDSP 499F   Teaching children with disabilities in elementary classrooms  

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