Professor Cumming is a Professor of Special Education in the School of Education and Academic Lead Education for the Disability Innovation Institute.
Terry has had extensive leadership experiences in learning and teaching, including a three-year term as Deputy Head of School, Learning and Teaching, and membership on the Faculty Academic Programs and Academic Quality Committees. Her teaching and research focus on promoting the use of evidence-based practices to support the learning and behaviour of students with disabilities and the use of technology to create inclusive, accessible, and engaging learning environments. Her expertise in special education has been acknowledged through invitations to be a panellist providing evidence to the Legislative Council’s Committee investigation on the education of students with disabilities and a consultant to the NSW Ombudsman inquiry into behaviour management in schools.
Terry’s passion for teaching has been recognised with two Faulty of Arts and Social Science Dean’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, an UNSW Australia Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Australian College of Educators Ralph Rawlinson Award for Education of Students with Disadvantage. Her publications include 3 co-authored books and a co-edited book, as well as many book chapters, journal articles and national and international conference papers. Prior to her university and research work, Terry has many years’ experience as a special educator and behaviour mentor in the United States.
Title: Research Methods in Special Education (Course)
Description: This course is designed to support students to explore and critique their chosen area of research by locating it in the context of key issues and approaches in special education and viewing it from a diversity of methodological perspectives. The course provides an introduction to the impact of different epistemological and methodological approaches in special education research and will also encourage students to build collaboration with others in the course using self and peer review.
It will be a core course in our MEd Special Education program, giving students both accreditation as special education teachers and a pathway into higher degree research if they so wish.
Title: Specialist service provision for students with disability in rural and remote schools: Contextualising a multi-tiered culturally responsive system of support (MTCRSS) with Strnadová, I., O’Neill, S., Bishop, K., Lee, J. S., and Kimonis, E.
Description: The CIs will examine the provision of specialist services provided by schools in rural and remote areas for the 20% of students with disability designated as needing specialist support, identified through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (Education Council, 2018). The research team will identify gaps in practice, as well as exemplar schools and their characteristics. They will also contextualise and apply a multi-tiered culturally responsive system of support (MTCRSS), a model with a strong evidence base for improving students’ academic, behavioural, and socio-emotional outcomes. This will enable the CIs to make recommendations to guide policy and practice regarding the provision of specialist services provided by schools in rural and remote areas. This project aims to improve educational equity, access and excellence, which are foundational aims of the Gonski Institute for Education.
UNSW level contributions
- UNSW Scientia Education Academy
- UNSW Women in Research Network
External level contributions
- Australian Association for Special Education (Nominated NSW Committee Member)
- Australian Teacher Education Association
- ANZMLearn: Australian & New Zealand Mobile Learning Group
- Council for Learning Disabilities
This reflects a lack of accessibility in how we present information. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a relatively new concept in higher education and requires us to reconceptualise how we think about educational practice so that a greater diversity of students is included. This means thinking past traditional lecture and text-based learning.
In order to respond more effectively to the different learning requirements of our diverse population of students, we need to rethink the system. Universal Design for Learning means designing learning to be accessible from the start, limiting the amount of accommodations and modifications that must be made. This involves providing multiple means of representation, action/expression, and engagement. A/Prof Cumming discussed the importance of UDL and ways that UDL can be implemented in a university setting.