JAMES M. KAUFFMAN
James M. Kauffman photo

Misattribution of the authorship of an "open letter" to Dr. Laura Schlessinger (see the Snopes page about the Dr. Laura letter) has led to my receiving many communications, the story of which may be accessed by clicking Dr. Laura Letter.  


I joined the UVA faculty in 1970. My primary categorical areas of interest in special education are emotional and behavioral disorders (or, in the language of current federal law, "emotional disturbance") and learning disabilities. I'm also interested in policy and ethical issues in education, both general and special, and in the history of special education.

I'm now Professor Emeritus of education. From 1999 until I retired in June, 2003, I held the Charles S. Robb Chair in education at UVA. I also held the William Clay Parrish, Jr. chair for two years (1992-1994). For three years I was Associate Dean for Research and for four years was Chair of the Department of Special Education in our Curry School of Education. Three of my former doctoral students very kindly edited a Festschrift in my honor: Jean B. Crockett, Michael M. Gerber, and Timothy J. Landrum (2007), Achieving the radical reform of special education: Essays in honor of James M. Kauffman. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

I received my undergraduate degree in elementary education from Goshen College in 1962 and my M.Ed. in teaching in the elementary school from Washburn University in 1966. My professional experience includes teaching regular elementary students in Indiana and Kansas public schools, emotionally disturbed students in a public elementary school special class in Kansas, and severely emotionally disturbed students of elementary and middle school age at Southard School (the Children's Division of the Menninger Clinic, then located in Topeka, KS). In 1969, I received my Ed.D. in special education from the University of Kansas.

I'm nearly always working on publications of one kind or another, including books such as the following (see my vita for a more complete listing of publications):

  • Handbook of Special Education (co-edited with Daniel P. Hallahan, 2011)
  • Toward a Science of Education: The Battle Between Rogue and Real Science (2011)
  • The Tragicomedy of Public Education: Laughing and Crying, Thinking and Fixing (2010)
  • Characteristics of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children and Youth (now in its 9th edition, 2009, co-authored with Timothy J. Landrum; also published with the 9th edition is the 2nd edition of a separate casebook, also co-authored with Timothy J. Landrum)
  • Exceptional Learners: An introduction to Special Education (co-authored with Daniel P. Hallahan and Paige C. Pullen, now in its12th edition, 2012)
  • Working with Troubled Children (co-authored with Frederick J. Brigham, 2009)
  • An Introduction to Students with High-Incidence Disabilities (coauthored with Janine Stichter and Maureen Conroy, 2008)
  • Challenging the Refusal of Reasoning in Special Education (co-edited with Mark P. Mostert and Kenneth A. Kavale, 2008)
  • Managing Classroom Behavior: A Reflective Case-Based Approach (co-authored with Patricia L. Pullen, Mark P. Mostert, and Stanley C. Trent, now in its 5th edition, 2011)
  • Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: A History of Their Education (co-authored with Timothy J. Landrum, 2006)
  • Learning Disabilities: Foundations, Characteristics, and Effective Teaching (co-authored with Daniel P. Hallahan, John Wills Lloyd, Margaret P. Weiss, and Elizabeth A. Martinez (now in its 3rd edition, 2005)
  • Special Education: What It Is and Why We Need It (co-authored with Daniel P. Hallahan, 2005)
  • The Illusion of Full Inclusion: A Comprehensive Critique of a Current Special Education Bandwagon (co-edited with Daniel P. Hallahan; now in its 2nd edition, 2005)
  • Education Deform: Bright People Sometimes Say Stupid Things About Education (2002)
  • The Least Restrictive Environment: Its Origins and Interpretations in Special Education (co-authored with Jean B. Crockett, 1999)
  • Issues in Educational Placement: Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (co-edited with John Wills Lloyd, Daniel P. Hallahan, and Terry A. Astuto, 1995)