Academically, culturally, and linguistically diverse students; argumentation; cognitive apprenticeships; disciplinary literacy; evidence-based reading and writing instruction; historical thinking; history education; implementation science; learning disabilities; research-practice partnerships; research design; scientific reasoning; science education; single case research design; students with learning disabilities; universal design for learning; writing research.

Dr. De La Paz's scholarship in adolescent literacy intersects the fields of special education, history education and science education through the study of written argumentation. Her research spans both learning to write and writing to learn – and is driven by the need for effective instructional strategies for teachers to facilitate students' planning, translating ideas, and revising skills, as well as to support their use of writing to develop conceptual, epistemic and disciplinary understanding in academic subjects. A consistent theme throughout her research has been the search for stronger and more effective interventions that improve adolescent literacy, especially for those students who struggle due to disability or poor literacy skills —given the diversity in today’s public school classrooms, this includes significant percentages of students who are at risk for school failure or limited post secondary outcomes. Her research has been informed by many colleagues in social studies, science and special education and has yielded several general and disciplinary writing interventions as well as contributed new understandings about cognitive processes underlying effective writing. In 2022 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and study in Vietnam. She was based at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, where she taught a faculty seminar on single case research design, and taught undergraduates about evidence based literacy assessment and instruction; in addition, she provided regional workshops to educators, psychologists, physicians, parents, and the public at universities in Hanoi, Hue, Da Lat, and the American Center in Ho Chi Minh City. She continues to collaborate with faculty at several universities in Vietnam and hopes to recruit special educator colleagues in the US to disseminate their evidence-based interventions in Vietnam. 

Awards, Honors and Recognition

2022     Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Vietnam. 

2021     Excellence in Faculty Mentorship, College of Education, University of Maryland.

2012     Written Communication, Finalist, John R. Hayes Award for Excellence in Writing Research for 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 (4), 412-454.

2000     Learning Disabilities Research and Practice Samuel A. Kirk Award for outstanding research publication, De La Paz, S. (1999). Self-Regulated Strategy Instruction in Regular Education Settings: Improving Outcomes for Students with and without Learning Disabilities.


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

Wissinger, D.R., & De La Paz, S. (in press). Social Studies Literacy. In Creating an Inclusive Social Studies Classroom for Exceptional Learners. Information Age Publishers.

De La Paz, S. & Wissinger, D. R. (in press) Social Studies and History Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities. in Handbook of Learning Disabilities, 3rd Edition.

De La Paz, S., & Nokes J. D. (2020). Strategic Processing in History and Historical Strategy Instruction. Dinsmore, D. L., Fryer, L.K., & Parkinson, M. M. Handbook of Strategies and Strategic Processing. New York: Routledge Press.

Nokes, J. & De La Paz, S. (2018). Writing and Argumentation in History Education. Metzger, S. A. and McArthur Harris, L. (Eds.) International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.

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.

Recent Journal Articles

De La Paz., S. & Van Garderen, D. (in press). Current Research Informing the Conceptualization of STEM Interventions for Students with LD: An Introduction to the Special Series. Learning Disability Quarterly

De La Paz, SOtarola, J. & Butler, C. (2023). Using Virtual Teacher PD to Support Implementation of a Historical Literacy Curriculum). Social Studies Research and Practice, 18(2) pp. 164-179.

Ferretti, R.P., De La Paz, S., & Mason, L.H. (2023). Perspectives about disciplinary argumentation in

the era of post-truth: Introduction to the special issue”, Written Communication, Vol.40, No.2,

pp. 289-299.

Nokes, J., & De La Paz, S. (2023). Historical Argumentation: Watching Historians and Teaching

Youth. Written Communication. Written Communication, Vol.40, No.2.

De La Paz, S., Levin, D. M., & Butler, C. (2023). Addressing an unfulfilled expectation: Teaching students with disabilities to write scientific arguments. Written CommunicationWritten Communication, Vol.40, No.2.

De La Paz, S., Butler, C., Levin, D., Felton, M. (2022, online). The Effects of a Cognitive Apprenticeship on Transfer of Argumentative Writing  in Middle School Science. Learning Disability Quarterly 

Felton, M., Levin, D., De La Paz., S., & Butler, C (online: June 8, 2022). Scientific argumentation and responsive teaching: Using dialogue to teach science in three middle school classrooms. Science Education. 

De La Paz, S., Wissinger, D., Gross, M., & Butler, C. (2022). Strategies that Promote Historical Reasoning and Contextualization: A Pilot Intervention with Urban High School Students Reading and Writing, 35(2), 353–376. .

Lee, Y., & De La Paz, S. (2021). Writing scientific explanations: Effects of a cognitive apprenticeship for students with LD and English learners. Exceptional Children, 87 (4) 

Lee, Y., & De La Paz, S. (2021). Science writing research for students with and at risk for learning disabilities and English learners: A systematic review. Learning Disability Quarterly. 

Levin, D., De La Paz, S., Lee, Y., & Nadal, E. (2021). Supporting students' construction and critique of scientific explanations and arguments: A cognitive apprenticeship for teaching scientific writing in middle school inclusion classrooms. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal.

Wissinger, D. R., De La Paz, S., & Jackson, C. (2021). The effects of historical reading and writing strategy instruction with fourth- through sixth-grade students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 113(1) 49-67. 

Wissinger, D. R., De La Paz, S., (2020). Effects of Discipline-Specific Strategy Instruction on Historical Writing Growth of Students With Writing Difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities. First Published February 7, 2020  

Butler, C., & De La Paz, S. (2020). Self-Regulated Learning and Motivation Outcomes: A Synthesis on the Impact of Self-Regulated Instruction on Motivation Outcomes for Students with Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 

De La Paz, S. & Butler, C. (2018). Promoting motivated writers: Suggestions for teaching and conducting research with students with learning disabilities and struggling learners. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 23 (2) 56-69. 

De La Paz, S. & Levin, D. (2018). Beyond “they cited the text:” Middle school students and teachers’ written critiques of scientific conclusions. Research in Science Education, 48 (6), 1433-1459.

Sherman, C., & De La Paz, S. (2018 – reprint, special issue on high leverage practices in special education). FIX: A strategic approach to writing and revision for students with learning disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 50 (4) 233-241.

De La Paz, S. & Levin, D. (2018). Beyond “they cited the text:” Middle school students and teachers’ written critiques of scientific conclusions. Research in Science Education, 48 (6), 1433-1459.

Perin, D., De La Paz, S., Worland, K., & Peercy, M. M. (2017). The Writing of language minority students: A Literature review on its relation to oral proficiency.  Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties 33 (5), 465-483.

De La Paz, S. & Wissinger, D. (2017) Improving the historical knowledge and writing of students with or at-risk for LD. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50 (6) 658-671 

Monte-Sano, C., De La Paz, S., Felton, M., Worland, K., Yee, L.S., & Carey, R. L. (2017) Learning to Teach Disciplinary Literacy Across Diverse Eighth-Grade History Classrooms Within a District-University Partnership. Teacher Education Quarterly, 44 (4) 98-124 

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 

Project, Becoming US program evaluation, for the National Museum of American History (NMAH) of the Smithsonian Institution.  

Training Grant, "Project ProPELL: Preparing Practice-Based Researchers with Expertise in Language and Literacy to Support High-Need Students with Disabilities. CFDA 84.325D Type A. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. 2015-2020. $1,249,385. Principal Investigator.

Training Grant, "Research Institute for Scholars in Education." CFDA 84.305B. Pathways Training Program to the Education Sciences. U.S. Department of Education. 2017-2022.    $1,070,650. Principal Investigator. (De La Paz, S., & Drakeford, W.)

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.)

De La Paz, S., Senkewicz, R., & Savage, T. Teaching American History Grant Program 2003-2007, $288,082. U. S. Department of Education. Grant also administered through LEA: East Side Union High School District, $374,099. Principal investigator. 
De La Paz, S. AERA/IES Research Grants Program, 2003-2004, $15,000. Principal investigator.  

Single Case Research Design; Theory & Empirical Design in Educational Research; Foundations of Technology Integration for Curriculum Access;  Teaching Students with Disabilities and Gifted Learners in Secondary Classrooms; Assessment and Instruction in Mathematics Special Education; Teaching children with disabilities in elementary classrooms.