Photo of Elizabeth Swanson

Research Interests and Expertise

Effective instructional methods for struggling readers and students with disabilities

Research Projects and Grants

  • Strategies for Reading Information and Vocabulary Effectively (STRIVE), Institute of Education Sciences, 2015–2019, $3,500,500, Principal Investigator
  • Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text (PACT), Institute of Education Sciences, 2010–2016, $20,000,500, Co-Investigator
  • Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text + Responsive Instruction for Students with Disabilities (PACT+), Office of Special Education Programs, 2015–2019, $1,600,000, Co-Principal Investigator

Representative Publications


Klingner, J. K., Vaughn, S., Boardman, A. G., & Swanson, E. (2012). Now we get it! Boosting comprehension with collaborative strategic reading. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Refereed Articles

Swanson, E., Wanzek, J., Vaughn, S., Fall, A.-M., Roberts, G., Hall, C., & Miller, V. (in press). Middle school reading comprehension and content learning intervention for below average readers. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties.

Wanzek, J., Swanson, E., Vaughn, S., & Roberts, G. (in press). Improving content acquisition and comprehension in general education social studies classes for English learner and non-English learner students with disabilities. Exceptional Children.

Vaughn, S., & Swanson, E. (in press). Special education research advances knowledge in education. Exceptional Children.

Swanson, E., Wanzek, J., McCulley, L., Stillman-Spisak, S., Vaughn, S., Simmons, D., . . . Hairrell, A. (2015). Literacy and text reading in middle and high school social studies and English language arts classrooms. Reading and Writing Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/10573569.2014.910718

Swanson, E., Wanzek, J., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., & Fall, A. (2015). Improving reading comprehension and social studies knowledge among middle school students with disabilities. Exceptional Children. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0014402914563704

Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., Swanson, E. A., Wanzek, J., Fall, A.-M., & Stillman-Spisak, S. J. (2014). Improving middle school students’ knowledge and comprehension in social studies: A replication. Educational Psychology Review. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10648-014-9274-2

Swanson, E., & Wanzek, J. (2014). Applying research in reading comprehension to social studies instruction for middle and high school students. Intervention in School and Clinic, 49(3), 142–147.

Swanson, E. A., Wanzek, J., Haring, C., Ciullo, S. P., & McCulley, L. V. (2013). Intervention fidelity in special and general education research journals. The Journal of Special Education, 47(1), 3–13. doi:10.1177/0022466911419516

Vaughn, S., Swanson, E. A., Roberts, G., Wanzek, J., Stillman-Spisak, S. J., Solis, M., & Simmons, D. (2013). Improving reading comprehension and social studies knowledge in middle school. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(1) 77–93. doi:10.1002/rrq.039

Swanson, E., Hairrell, A., Kent, S., Ciullo, S., Wanzek, J., & Vaughn, S. (2012). A synthesis and meta-analysis of reading interventions using social studies content for students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0022219412451131

Swanson, E., Solis, M., Ciullo, S., & McKenna, J. (2012). Special education teachers’ perceptions and instructional practices in response to intervention implementation. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35, 115–126.

Vaughn, S., Klingner, J. K., Swanson, E. A., Boardman, A. G., Roberts, G., Mohammed, S. S., & Stillman-Spisak, S. J. (2011). Efficacy of Collaborative Strategic Reading with middle school students. American Educational Research Journal. Advance online publication. doi:10.3102/0002831211410305

Swanson, E. A., Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J., Petscher, Y., Heckert, J., Cavanaugh, C., . . . Klingner, K. (2011). A synthesis of read-aloud interventions on early reading outcomes among preschool through third graders at risk for reading difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44, 258–275.

Swanson, E. A., Edmonds, M. S., Hairrell, A., Vaughn, S., & Simmons, D. (2011). Applying a cohesive set of comprehension strategies to content area instruction. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46, 266–272.