TEACHING Exceptional Children

TEACHING Exceptional Children

Published in Association with Council for Exceptional Children

Kristin Sayeski University of Georgia

eISSN: 21635684 | ISSN: 00400599 | Current volume: 48 | Current issue: 6 Frequency: Bi-monthly
TEACHING Exceptional Children (TEC) features research-to-practice information and materials for classroom use, as well as current issues in special education teaching and learning.

Published six times per year, TEC also brings its readers the latest data on instructional technologies, strategies, procedures, and techniques with applications to students with exceptionalities. The focus of its practical content is on immediate application.

TEACHING Exceptional Children (TEC) is a journal designed specifically for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and other practitioners who work with children and youth with disabilities or who are gifted.

The purpose of TEC is to advance the professional development of practitioners and to provide useful information, resources, and tools for improving education and services for exceptional learners. Consistent with this purpose, we publish articles that share innovative and successful methods and materials based on current evidence-based practice for use in a wide variety of educational programs and settings.

CEC President
Editorial Assistant
Man Fung Lam State University of New York at New Paltz
Associate Editors
Margaret Weiss George Mason University
Editorial Board (Field of Reviewers)
Tammy V. Abernathy University of Nevada, Reno
Jennifer Alexander Comprehensive Behavior Change
Shirin D. Antia University of Arizona
Devender Banda Texas Tech University, USA
Sally Barton-Arwood Belmont University
David Bateman Shippensburg University
Kristen Beach University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Virginia W. Berninger University of Washington
Miriam C. Boesch University of North Texas
Regina Brandon San Diego State University, USA
Monica Brown University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Allison Bruhn University of Iowa
Deborah Bruns Southern Illinois University
Shannon Budin Buffalo State University
Paul Caldarella Brigham Young University
Barbara Chorzempa State University of New York, New Paltz
Jason Chow Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
David Cihak The University of Tennessee, USA
Stephen P. Ciullo Texas State University, USA
Ben Clarke University of Oregon, USA
Elias Clinton Black Hills State University, USA
Mari Beth Coleman University of Tennessee
Lauren Collins University of Hawaii at Manoa - USA
Bryan Cook University of Hawaii at Manoa
Kathleen Cook Augustana University
Lysandra Cook University of Hawaii at Manoa
Sara Cook University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
Karena Cooper-Duffy Western Carolina University
Susan Courey San Francisco State University
Michael Coyne University of Connecticut
Jean Crockett University of Florida, USA
Alexandra Da Fonte Vanderbilt University, USA
Christopher B. Denning University of Massachusetts-Boston
Lindsay Diamond University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA
Christian Doabler The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Nicole Dobbins North Carolina A&T State University, USA
Melissa Driver Kennesaw State University, USA
Charles Dukes Florida Atlantic University
Nicole Edwards Rowan University, USA
David Edyburn University of Central Florida, USA
Anne Foegen Iowa State University, USA
Douglas Fuchs Vanderbilt University
Cindy Gevarter Manhattenville College, USA
Amy Gillespie Rouse Southern Methodist University
Marya Grande Canisius College
Katy Green University of West Georgia, USA
Bethany Hamilton-Jones University of Georgia
Juliet Hart Arizona State University
Lynn Hayes Vanderbilt University
Shanna Hirsch University of Virginia, USA
John L. Hosp University of Iowa, USA
David Houchins Georgia State University
Yun-Ju Hsiao Washington State University, USA
Roxanne Hudson University of Washington, USA
Elizabeth Hughes Pennsylvania State University, USA
Andrea D. Jasper Central Michigan University
Jennifer L. Jolly University of New South Wales, Australia
Vita Jones California State University, Fullerton, USA
Michael Kennedy University of Virginia
Todd Kettler University of North Texas
Timothy Landrum University of Louisville
Holly Lane University of Florida
Justin Lane University of Kentucky
Mark Larson Wayne State University, USA
Melinda Leko University of Kansas, USA
Jennifer Lindstrom University of Georgia
John W. Lloyd University of Virginia
Allison Lombardi University of Connecticut, USA
John Luckner University of Northern Colorado
Joseph Madaus University of Connecticut, USA
Daniel Maggin University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Lawrence Maheady Buffalo State University, USA
Ida Malian Arizona State University West
Sharon Maroney Western Illinois University
Teri Marx American Institutes for Research, USA
Valerie Mazzotti University of Oregon
Tessa McCarthy University of Pittsburg, USA
James McLeskey University of Florida
Lisa Monda-Amaya University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Tanya Moorehead Eastern Connecticut State University
Joseph Morgan University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Robert L. Morgan Utah State University
Nancy Nelson University of Oregon, USA
Cecily Ornelles University of Hawaii at Manoa
Angela Pang Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Kim Paulsen Vanderbilt University, USA
Lindsey Peaster Morgan County Public Schools, GA
Apryl Poch University of Missouri, USA
Sharolyn Pollard-Durodola University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA
Sarah Powell University of Texas, Austin
Lisa Pufpaff Ball State University
Paige Pullen University of Virginia, USA
Paul J. Riccomini The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Anne Rinn University of North Texas
Carly Roberts University of Washington, USA
Marcia Rock The University of North Carolina - Greensboro, USA
Diane Rodriguez Fordham University
Christina Santamaria-Graff Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA
Peggy J. Schaefer Whitby University of Arkansas
Barbara Schirmer The College of Saint Rose, USA
Sally Shepley University of Kentucky, USA
Jane Sileo State University of New York, New Paltz
Robert Simpson Auburn University
Leslie Soodak Pace University
Candice Southall Piedmont College, GA
Louise Spear-Swerling Southern Connecticut State University, USA
Pamela Stecker Clemson University, USA
Robert Stodden University of Hawaii at Manoa
Jonte' C. Taylor Pennsylvania State University
Bill Therrien University of Virginia
Cathy Thomas University of Missouri, USA
Cathy Thomas University of Missouri, USA
Jason Travers University of Kansas
Elizabeth Tuckwiller George Washington University
Naomi Tyler Vanderbilt University
Kimberly Vannest Texas A&M University
Jeanne Wanzek Vanderbilt University, USA
Sharon Ware University of Connecticut
Sarah Watt Miami University, USA
Margaret Weiss George Mason University
Jade Wexler University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Andrew Wiley Kent State University
Brad Witzel Winthrop University, USA
Mitchell Yell University of South Carolina, USA
Rebecca Zumeta American Institutes for Research
CEC Staff
Alexander T. Graham Executive Director
Lorraine Sobson Editor and Manager, Professional Publications
Leah Supulski Program Specialist
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  • Manuscript Submission

    Before submitting your manuscript, please read the information on this page to ensure that your manuscript adheres to the recommended guidelines for content, style, and format. When you are ready to submit a manuscript to the journal, please click here: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tec

    NOTE: TEC+, the online-only, companion version of TEC has been discontinued; we are no longer accepting submissions to TEC+. Archived articles previously published in TEC+ can be accessed here: https://www.cec.sped.org/Publications/CEC-Journals/TEACHING-Exceptional-Children/TEC-Plus.

    The following information is designed to assist authors in preparing material to submit to TEC. This information replaces all earlier versions.


    TEC has an open submissions policy; we accept manuscripts from the field throughout the calendar year on ­topics and issues related to the professional practice of special education teachers, gifted education teachers, general education teachers, related services specialists, and administrators to support their work with students with exceptionalities.

    Manuscript Preparation

    TEC publishes feature-length articles (18–22 pages in length including tables and figures). As a research-to-practice journal, all manuscripts should be grounded in an appropriate research base or founded upon a strong understanding of recent legislation. The key to successful manuscripts for TEC, however, lies in the author’s ability to translate content into actionable guidance for practitioners. Prospective authors are advised to consider the following guidelines prior to the development of a manuscript for TEC.

    Appropriate Content for TEC

    Manuscripts should be well organized and provide an explicit connection to the current, professional literature on evidence-based practice in the field. Manuscripts that have a simple message with immediate application to practice and provide detailed guidelines that enable practitioners to immediately and easily implement the suggested practices in their own settings work best for TEC. Many manuscripts include scenarios or examples (commonly referred to as “fictional vignettes”) illustrating how suggested practices might be implemented with one or more individuals or in different contexts. Specifically, successful manuscripts for TEC:

    1. Have a specific research-to-practice focus. The focus of TEC is on translating research into practice guidelines. Therefore, authors should provide a direct link between offered recommendations and empirical research. Lengthy reviews of the literature, however, are not appropriate for TEC. The typical structure of a TEC manuscript begins with a presentation of a problem of practice followed by a brief synthesis of relevant, recent empirical research. The bulk of the manuscript is then devoted to the delineation of detailed practice guidelines supplemented with tables, figures, and examples.

    NOTE: TEC does NOT publish original research (e.g., action research, pilot studies, qualitative/quantitative studies, program evaluation).

    2. Reflect a direct focus on students with exceptionalities. TEC’s target audience is special educators and other professionals who work directly with students with exceptionalities including students with gifts and talents. As such, manuscripts should focus on the unique needs of students with identified disabilities or gifts and talents.

    NOTE: TEC does not publish manuscripts whose target audience does not work directly with individuals with exceptionalities. In addition, although teacher preparation programs frequently make use of TEC articles, recommendations for the delivery of teacher preparation are not appropriate for TEC.

    3. Include graphic elements to facilitate content understanding and application. Tables and figures are used within TEC manuscripts to provide checklists, sample materials, examples, definitions, etc. Tables and figures should be referred to within the narrative (e.g., “see Table 2 for a list of common terms used”) and potential placement indicated by a notation such as .

    4. Reference current research. As a general rule, references should reflect work published within the past decade. Older references to seminal research or that demonstrate an extensive research history can be included but should be used sparingly. In addition, strong references come from research journals. As such, the majority of references used within a manuscript should not come from textbooks or research-to-practice journals.

    5. Are masked (i.e., “blinded”). An important aspect of the double-blind, peer-review process is that reviewers do not know the identity of authors and visa versa. For TEC, authors should properly cite and reference their own work but should not use phrases such as “In our previous work (Smith, 2011), we presented…,” which identifies the author. Such work should be referred to in the third person, e.g., “Previously Smith (2011) presented…”.

    6. Reflect original work. If manuscripts include several tables or figures that have been published elsewhere, their inclusion within the manuscript may reflect a redundancy in the literature—consider their inclusion carefully. Authors who wish to use material for which they do not own the copyright must obtain written permission from the copyright holder.

    TEC does not publish manuscripts that present descriptive, experimental, or applied research projects, general over­views, literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, book or media reviews, unsolicited editorials, position papers, program or product descriptions, term papers, theses or dissertations, personal experiences or stories, media portrayals, or poetry. We also do not publish manuscripts that present a topic or issue that does not address special education or individuals with exceptionalities at the preschool, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary level. CEC cannot publish manuscripts that contain content that has previously been published elsewhere or that is primarily designed to advertise a commercially available product.

    American Psychological Association Guidelines

    All manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the style and format guidelines specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (http://www.apastyle.org/manual/).

    APA Style

    Hallmarks of APA style are objectivity, precision, and clarity. For TEC, these principles are applied when authors:

    1. Use formal, academic language. Although TEC is a practitioner-friendly journal (i.e., the target audience is largely an audience of school-based personnel), the tone of the manuscript should reflect formal, academic language. To make the content accessible to a large audience, authors should avoid relying on jargon to communicate information. Technical terms, if used, need to be clearly defined with examples provided. Similarly, the excessive use of long, complex sentences inhibits readability. Short, direct sentences facilitate readability and complement the presentation of longer, more complex content. Further, explanation, the use of examples and non-examples, tables and figures, employment of a fictional vignette to serve as an exemplar, etc. facilitate reader understanding of the material. Colloquial language, contractions, expressions, and idioms, however, are not appropriate for TEC—particularly, as an informal tone can be interpreted as condescending or patronizing.

    2. Present data-based information, not emotionally charged position statements. TEC does not publish persuasive essays or thought pieces. Although it can be assumed that authors feel strongly about the topic of their manuscripts, readers are more likely to “hear” the message if it is presented in neutral terms with appropriate data to support the claim or recommendation.

    NOTE: Occasionally, TEC will publish a position paper that has been vetted through the Council for Exceptional Children and/or one of its divisions. These position papers reflect syntheses of research or legislation, the value structure of the organization, and a consensus view of the organization. Publication of these position papers is viewed as a complementary mission of TEC in terms of its role within the organization. Position papers are clearly designated as separate from TEC’s feature manuscripts, which undergo masked peer review.

    3. Consider perspective. First, it is myth that first-person perspective is prohibited under APA guidelines. For TEC, first person point of view (I, we) can be used effectively (e.g., “We recommend a three-step process for…”). However, use of the editorial or royal “we” is not permitted (e.g., “We, as a field, need to do a better job of…”; APA, 2010). Second-person perspective (you, your) can be effective for helping readers connect the content to their own settings and experiences, but more frequently than not, the repeated use of “you” throughout a manuscript creates an authoritarian tone to the manuscript, which can be off-putting for readers. Third-person perspective tends to be the “Goldilocks” point of view for manuscripts for TEC. From the neutral position of observer, readers can think about how a teacher, colleague, or their future self may apply the recommendations provided.

    4. Maintain a consistent voice. If multiple authors contribute to a manuscript, have an independent, third-party reader review the manuscript to ensure a consistent voice and tone are presented across sections. Similarly, the excessive use of direct quotes can impede readability, create an uneven voice, and demonstrate authors’ inability to translate the content into a cohesive narrative. As such, direct quotes should be used sparingly.

    5. Employ “economy of expression” (see p. 67, APA, 2010). Reduce wordiness, redundancy, excessive use of metaphors, and overuse of passive voice to create precise, clear communication.

    6. Avoid bias in language. In particular, when writing about individuals with exceptionalities, use people first language. People first language refers to both the placement of the person prior to the disability (e.g., “student with a learning disability” rather than “LD student”) and avoidance of sensational or demeaning language (e.g., “suffers from ADHD,” “is wheelchair-bound”). Avoid the use of gendered pronouns (he, she, his, hers, he/she, etc.) by making the sentence plural or dropping the pronoun (e.g., “a teacher can call on students” rather than “a teacher can call on her students”).

    APA Format

    Within the publication manual, explicit guidelines for formatting a manuscript are provided. Manuscripts that vary dramatically in presentation from APA will not be sent out for review. To avoid common errors in formatting, authors should:

    1. Adhere to basic, APA formatting conventions. Double space all content within the manuscript (e.g., title page, abstract page, body, quotes, fictional vignettes, references) and use one-inch margins. The preferred font for APA publications is Times New Roman.

    2. Create a concise title. Titles should contain no more than 12 words and include key terminology. As a general rule, avoid the use of rhetorical questions or cutesy titles. As the goal of TEC is to create a direct link between research and practice, clear, direct titles are more likely to get the attention of teachers and teacher educators and meet the mission of the journal. (Hint: Consider how your title would look as a Tweet.)

    3. Develop a brief, focused abstract. Although abstracts are typically not published in TEC, an abstract should be developed for the review process. The editorial team and reviewers use the abstract to determine the appropriateness of the content for the journal and/or their review. Manuscripts for TEC offer a research-based solution to a problem of practice; the abstract should reflect this focus. Finally, if an introductory vignette is not provided with a manuscript, the abstract may be published as the introduction.

    4. Use formatting tools within Microsoft Word or other document processing software. Manuscripts produced without the use of appropriate formatting tools often lose their formatting when translated into the portable document format (PDF) used within SAGE Track (Manuscript Central). This can make the document difficult for reviewers to follow or create an unprofessional look to the document that can be off-putting to reviewers. For example, when formatting a manuscript, use page breaks rather than hard returns, hanging-indent paragraph formatting for references, and alignment tools for centered titles rather than the Tab key.


    Once a manuscript has been developed for TEC, author(s) can begin the submission process. SAGE Track (Manuscript Central) will require authors to provide the following:

    · Cover Letter. In the cover letter, authors must guarantee that the manuscript is an original work that has not been previously published and is not being considered concurrently in whole or in part by another publisher.

    · Author Contact Information. Submitting authors must provide the names and contact information for all co-authors.

    NOTE regarding Ethics in Publishing: The list and order of authors should be finalized prior the first submission of a manuscript. Any addition, deletion, or rearrangement of authors must be conducted prior to final acceptance. If changes are requested after a manuscript has been accepted, SAGE requires the following process: (a) an email must be sent to the Editor with the reason for the addition, removal, or rearrangement of author names; (b) written confirmation from all authors confirming that they approve the changes—confirmation must be submitted individually from institutional email addresses; and (c) a new, signed copyright agreement submitted.

    · Abstract. An abstract of 150 words or fewer should be included.

    · Keywords. Keywords are used by search engines to identify articles that address specific topics. Authors are encouraged to be prudent in identifying keywords. Carefully consider the terms that would likely be used by a reader seeking an article on a topic of interest. For example, an article on teaching reading skills to adolescent students with autism spectrum disorder might use the keywords autism spectrum disorder, reading, and adolescent but would not be helped by terms such as disabilities, secondary, or language arts.

    · Main Document. Manuscripts should be 18-22 pages in length including the body of the manuscript, references, tables, and figures. Manuscripts that exceed page length recommendations may not be sent out for review.

    · References. References should be focused on establishing the evidence base for the suggested practices rather than providing general background information. Include the DOI number for all references (visit http://www.crossref.org/ to obtain DOI numbers). CEC requests that authors include references that are no more than 10 years old, with the exception of references to seminal work.

    Editor and Peer Review

    When a manuscript is submitted to TEC, the Editor reviews it and decides whether to forward the manuscript for peer review. The Editor might not accept a manuscript that:

    · Is on a topic not directly related to the focus of or audience for the journal.

    · Fails to follow the manuscript guidelines concerning length, format, and style.

    · Covers a topic addressed in TEC within the past 2 years or slated for publication in the near future.

    Authors will be promptly notified when manuscripts are not accepted for peer review so that they can seek other avenues for publication.

    After a manuscript passes through the initial review process, the reviewer selection process begins. Typically, at least three reviewers with expertise in the areas addressed by the submission are invited to evaluate the suitability of the manuscript for publication on the basis of the importance of the topic, clarity, accuracy and validity of the content, value of the contribution to the professional literature, implications for special education practitioners, and quality of the writing.

    Peer reviewers send their recommendations to the Editor. Reviewers have the option of providing feedback directly to authors, confidentially to the Editor, or in both formats—directly to authors and confidentially to the Editor. After reviewing peer-review recommendations, the Editor may decline to publish the material, request a revision with a stipulation for further peer review, request a revision subject to additional review by TEC editorial staff, or accept the submission as is. Almost all manuscripts submitted to TEC will involve some level of additional revision prior to publication. The editorial decision and rationale will be communicated in an e-mail to the first author. Decisions to accept or decline a manuscript are informed by reviewers’ comments, content analysis of previously published materials, and previous commitments to publish materials.

    Acceptance Rate

    Data from the last several years indicate that about 20% of manuscripts submitted to TEC are accepted for publication.


    After initial acceptance, manuscripts are placed in a publication queue and assigned to the Editor or Associate Editor for content editing. The editorial staff of TEC reserves the right to make editorial changes that do not materially affect the meaning of the text. Authors may be contacted during this time if there any queries to address or corrections to be made. Content editing typically occurs 60–120 days after initial acceptance. Once final content edits have been addressed by the author(s), the manuscript is exported to SAGE for copyediting and page setting. Authors can expect to receive article proofs from SAGE within 6–8 months after acceptance.

    In addition, TEC editors and CEC publication staff read proofs for errors in typesetting and other defects. Upon publication of an article in TEC, the lead author will receive an electronic copy of the article.


    American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.) Washington, DC: Author.

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