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Amber Benedict

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Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5411

Amber Benedict is an assistant professor at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Her work focuses on inclusive and collaborative instruction, and supporting general and special education teachers who work with students who struggle to read. In addition, she studies teacher instructional quality and supporting teams of teachers in effective instruction.Amber has published articles in Exceptionality, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, Teaching Exceptional Children,andIntervention School and Clinic.  She is committed to collaborative grant writing and is the co-principal investigator of literacy projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. 

A former special education teacher, Amber has taught in Iowa, Arizona, and Florida, and was a post-doctoral associate at Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center) and clinical assistant professor within the College of Education at University of Florida. 

  • Ph.D. Special Education (Literacy), University of Florida, 2014
  • M.A. Special Education, University of Northern Iowa, 2006
  • B.A. Elementary Education, University of Northern Iowa, 2004
Research Interests

Guiding Research Questions:

  • How can we best support teachers, or teams of teachers, who are working with students who struggle to read?
  • What types of professional learning experiences are most useful in improving teachers’ instructional practice?


Current projects:

Amber is Co-Principal Investigator on Project Coordinate, which is a professional development grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES). In this project, Amber supports teams of general and special education teachers to increase their shared knowledge and skills about multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) which includes instruction with continuous data collection and assessment to help students who struggle to read. This project currently involves 16 school partners in Arizona. 


For Project DIMES: Diagnostic Instrument for Morphology of Elementary Students, an IES measurement grant, Amber serves as Co-Principal Investigator on a project to develop a computer based diagnostic assessment of morphological awareness (K-6 students’ knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and base words). She is working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Florida, University of Iowa, and Vanderbilt to develop this instrument.


In a third project, Amber serves as Co-Principal Investigator for a cybersecurity codebreaking grant funded by the National Science Foundation. Working with an interdisciplinary team from educational neuroscience and computer sciences at the University of Florida and consultants in cyber security, they design hybrid modules that are app-based and face-to-face, to teach students about cybersecurity, code writing, and hacking (breaking code). Amber’s role is to embed literacy instruction within this scope, given her knowledge of student development and literacy content. 




Lauterbach, A., Benedict, A., Yakut, A., & Garcia, A. (accepted). Improving student outcomes in inclusive secondary science classrooms through design-based professional development. 

Brownell, M., Benedict, A., Leko, Peyton, D., Pua, D., Richards-Tutor, C. (accepted). A continuum of pedagogies for preparing teachers to use high-leverage practices (HLPs). Remedial and Special Education.

Benedict, A. E., Brownell, M. T., Park, Y., Bettini, E. A., & Lauterbach, A. A. (2014).  Taking charge of your professional learning: Tips for cultivating special educator expertise.Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(6), 147-157.

Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SPE 423Cross-Categorical Spec Ed I