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Dr. Thomas E. Scruggs
PhD, Arizona State University
University Professor Emeritus of Education
Special Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Scruggs

Phone: (703) 993-4138
Fax: (703) 993-2063
Email: tscruggs (

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


Tom Scruggs is University Professor of Special Education in the Division of Special Education and disAbility Research. He received his PhD in 1982 from Arizona State University. His major areas of study were special education and educational psychology.

Dr. Scruggs previously served on the faculties of Utah State University and Purdue University. His interests include cognitive and instructional strategies for students with disabilities, and research synthesis. In addition to his own experimental research, he has conducted several traditional meta-analyses of group-experimental research literature, and has pioneered, with Margo Mastropieri, techniques for integrating single-subject, survey, and qualitative research literatures. His publication activity includes over 200 journal articles and 65 equivalent articles, 61 chapters in books, and 31 co-authored or co-edited books. His most recent co-authored book is The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Instruction (5th ed., with Margo Mastropieri), published by Prentice Hall. He has co-directed numerous federal grants, in test-taking skills, peer tutoring, mnemonic strategy instruction, science and social studies education, and in undergraduate and doctoral training. His work has been widely cited by others, including over 10,000 Google Scholar citations.

From 1992-1997, Dr. Scruggs served as Co-Editor for the journal Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. From 1992 to 2011 he was Co-Editor of the research annual, Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, published by Emerald (UK). Presently he is on the editorial boards of many national and international journals in special and general education, including Behavioral Disorders, Journal of Learning Disabilities, The Teacher Educator, Learning Disability Quarterly, Exceptionality, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, and the Italian journal Difficolta  di Apprendimento [Learning Disorders]. In 2009 he was appointed Co-Editor (with Margo Mastropieri) of the Council for Exceptional Children journal, Exceptional Children.

He is a recipient of the Distinguished Research Award from the American Educational Research Association, Special Education Special Interest Group; the Outstanding Service Award from Emerald Publishing Group, United Kingdom; the Outstanding Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); the Samuel Kirk Award for Research in Learning Disabilities from the CEC Division for Learning Disabilities; the Scholarly Achievement Award from CEHD at George Mason University; the Robert L. Snodgrass Scholar Award from Purdue University; and the Award of Research Excellence and the Joanne Frazier Parachek Research Award from Arizona State University. In 2004, he was invited to address the Secretary of Educations National Summit on Science in Washington, DC. He was named University Professor at George Mason University in 2007, a Fellow of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities in 2009, and elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2011.

Dr. Scruggs received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Masters of Education degree in Special Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also studied at the University of Illinois, where he was an Edmund J. James Scholar, and at Durham University, United Kingdom. He has had teaching experiences in a variety of educational settings in Massachusetts and Arizona (including the Gila River Indian Community), particularly with students with special needs on the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels.

Research Interests
  • Learning and memory
  • Cognitive strategies
  • Science education
  • Literacy
  • Quantitative and qualitative research synthesis
  • Inclusive education
  • Learning and behavioral disorders
Recent Publications
  • Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (2013). Individual differences and learning challenges. Special 50th anniversary issue. Theory into Practice, 52, 63-72.
  • Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (2013). PND at 25: Past, present, and future trends in summarizing single subject research. Remedial and Special Education, 34, 9-19. doi: 10.1177/074193251244-730
  • Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (2013). Teaching students with high-incidence disabilities. In R.A. McWillaim, B.G. Cook, & M. Tankersley (Eds.), Research-based strategies for improving outcomes for target groups of learners (pp. 19-29). Boston: Pearson
  • Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A., & Marshak, M. (2012). Peer mediated instruction in inclusive secondary social studies learning: Direct and indirect learning effects. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 27, 12-2.
  • Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (Eds.) (2011). Assessment and intervention: Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (vol. 24). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
  • Berkeley, S., Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2011). Reading comprehension strategy instruction and attribution retraining for secondary students with learning and other mild disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44, 18-32. doi: 10.1177/0022219410371677
  • Marshak, L., Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2011). Curriculum enhancements for inclusive secondary social studies classes. Exceptionality, 19, 61-74. doi: 10.1080/09362835.2011.562092
  • Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2010). The inclusive classroom: Strategies for effective instruction (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (Eds.) (2010). Literacy and learning: Advances in learing and behavioral disabilities (vol. 23). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
  • Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, Berkeley, S., & Graetz, J. (2010). Do special education interventions improve learning of secondary content? A meta analysis. Remedial and Special Education, 36, 437-449.
  • Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A., Berkeley, S., & Marshak, L. (2010). Mnemonic strategies: Evidence based practice and practice based evidence. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46, 79-86.
  • Berkeley, S., Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (2010). Reading comprehension instruction for students with learning disabilities, 1995-2006: A meta-analysis. Remedial and Special Education, 36, 423-436. doi:10.1177/0741932509355988
  • Scruggs, T.E., & Michaud, K. (2009). The "surplus effect" in developmental disabilities: A function of setting or training (or both)? Life Span and Disability, 12, 141-149.
  • Simpkins, P.M., Scruggs, T.E., & Mastropieri, M.A. (2009). Differentiated curriculum enhancements in inclusive 5th grade science classes. Remedial and Special Education, 30, 300-308.
  • Scruggs, T.E. (2008). Insegnamento di scienze e storia in classi con integrazione scolastica: Didattica differenziale e cooperativa. [Teaching science and social studies in inclusive classes: Differentiated instruction and peer mediation.] In R. Vianello, M. Mariotti, & M. Serra (Eds.), Esperience e ricerche sullintegrazione scolastica e sociale: Convegni Nazionale C.N.I.S. [Research and practice in academic and social integration] (pp. 54-64). Bergamo, Italy: Edizioni Junior.
  • Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A., & Okolo, C. (2008). Science and social studies for students with disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 41(2), 1 - 24.
Assessment and Intervention: Advances in Learning & Behavioral Disabilities
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