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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Margo A. Mastropieri
PhD, Arizona State University
University Professor Emerita of Education
Special Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Mastropieri

Phone: (703) 993-4136
Fax: (703) 993-2063
Email: mmastrop (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Finley Building 201B
4400 University Dr.
MS 1F2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Margo A. Mastropieri is a University Professor and Professor Emerita of Special Education in the College of Education and Human Development. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University in 1983, her M.Ed. and B.A. degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Before coming to George Mason, she worked at Utah State University and Purdue University. Prior to working in higher education, Mastropieri was a high school teacher in Massachusetts, an elementary teacher in Arizona, and a Diagnostician at the Mt. Holyoke College Learning Disabilities Center.

Professor Mastropieri is interested in how students with disabilities learn in school and much of her research has focused on cognitive strategies designed to promote learning and retention of school-related information. She has also studied what happens during inclusive instruction with students with disabilities and suggested instructional strategies to facilitate inclusive efforts. Her publications include over 180 journal articles, 48 book chapters, and 28 co-authored or co-edited books. Book titles include: A Practical Guide for Teaching to Science to Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings (Pro-Ed), Teaching Students Ways to Remember: Strategies for Learning Mnemonically (Brookline), and The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Differentiated Instruction (Prentice Hall, 2010).

Mastropieri is the editor with Tom Scruggs of the Council for Exceptional Children's journal, Exceptional Children and the research annual, Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (Emerald). She served as co-editor of Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, the journal of the Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children from 1991 to 1999 and served as Chair of the Division for Learning Disabilities Research Committee. In that role coordinated the editing of the joint Division for Learning Disabilities and Division for Research Alerts that highlight effective practices for students with learning disabilities. She has served on the Editorial Boards of a number of professional journals, including Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Educational Psychology Review, Exceptional Children, Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, Learning Disability Quarterly, The Teacher Educator, The Journal of Special Education, Remedial and Special Education, Exceptionality, and Behavioral Disorders.

One of Mastropieri's co-authored articles (with Tom Scruggs) received the Samuel Kirk Award for Research and Practice in Learning Disabilities, Outstanding Article published in Learning Disabilities Research & Practice from the Division for Learning Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children in April, 2003. In 2006, Mastropieri and Scruggs were recipients of the field of special education's most prestigious research award, the Council for Exceptional Children Outstanding Research Award. In 2007 Mastropieri was awarded the distinguished University Professor title from George Mason University. In the spring 2008 semester, Mastropieri was the recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award at George Mason University. In the spring of 2010, Mastropieri was the recipient of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award which is the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. In the Spring of 2011, Mastropieri and Scruggs were awarded the AERA Special Education Research SIG, DIstinguished Researcher Award.

Research Interests
  • Learning and memory of students with disabilities
  • Strategies for effective inclusive instruction
  • Literacy strategies for students with disabilities
Recent Publications


Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2010). The inclusive classroom: Strategies for effective instruction (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Marshak, L., Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2011). Curriculum enhancements for inclusive secondary social studies classes. Exceptionality, 19 (2), 61-74. doi: 10.1080/09362835.2011.562092

Mastropieri, M.A., Scruggs, T.E., Mills, S., Irby, N., Cuenca-Sanchez, Y., Bronaugh, D.A., Thompson, C., Guckert, M., & Regan, K. (2009). Teaching students with emotional disabilities to write fluently. Behavioral Disorders, 35, 19-40.<

Mastropieri, M.A.., Berkeley, S., McDuffie, K., Graff, H., Marshak, L., Conners, N., Diamond, C.M., Simpkins, P., Bowdey, F. R., Fulcher, A., Scruggs, T.E., & Cuenca-Sanchez, Y. (2009). What is published in the field of special education? An analysis of 11 prominent journals. Exceptional Children, 76, 95-109.

Mastropieri, M.A., Berkeley, S., Scruggs, T.E., & Marshak, L. (2008). Improving content area instruction using evidenced based practices. Insights on Learning Disabilities, 5(1), 73-88.

Mastropieri, M.A., Scruggs, T.E., & Berkeley, S. (2007). Peers helping peers. Educational Leadership, 64, 54-58.

McDuffie, K.,Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2009). Promoting success in content area classes: Is value added through co-teaching? Exceptional Children, 75, 493-510.

Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A., & Berkeley, S., & Graetz, J. (2011). Do special education interventions improve learning of secondary content? A meta-analysis. Remedial and Special Education, 36, 437-449. doi: 10.1177/0741932508327465

Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A., & Okolo, C.M. (2008). Science and social studies for students with disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 41(2), 1-24.

Scruggs, T.E. & Mastropieri, M.A. (2007). Science learning in special education: The case for constructed vs. instructed learning. Exceptionality, 15, 57-74.

Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A., & McDuffie, K.A. (2007). Co-teaching in inclusive classrooms: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research. Exceptional Children, 73, 392-416.

Simpkins, P.M., Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2009). Differentiated curriculum enhancements in inclusive 5th grade science classes. Remedial and Special Education, 30, 300-308.

Graetz, J.S.,Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E., (2009). Promoting social behavior for adolescents with autism with social stories. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44, 91-104.

Assessment and Intervention: Advances in Learning & Behavioral Disabilities