I began my career working as a classroom aide in a development center for children and youth aged 3 to 21, all of whom had severe multiple disabilities—I don’t think I could have asked for a better teacher education than what I got from those kids!
My early research activities focused on social relationships between children and youth with severe disabilities and their non-disabled peers. I had a tremendous opportunity to work with Tom Cooke and Tony Apolloni in one of the first “inclusive” preschools in the state of California, and later, with Adriana Schuler, Tom Haring and Mel Semmel at UC Santa Barbara, where I did my doctoral work focused on the social and communicative development of children with autism and severe disabilities.
Upon completing my graduate work, I joined the faculty at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington—where I had the opportunity to create a new special education program. My research agenda expanded considerably in terms of both theory and method, as I began to engage problems of systems change and policy implementation (this only after several years of very mixed results in getting practitioners and families to take up the research-based social and communicative interventions I’d been busy developing in university-affiliated preschools).
After 15 some years in special education, I concluded that the kinds of experiences kids with disabilities were having in school were not going to change much until we changed the broader education system. I joined the faculty at the new branch campus of Washington State University-Vancouver to create an exciting “field-based” graduate program in elementary education. Over the following years I became increasingly involved with issues of policy and practice related to teacher education—and moved to a new role as Director of Teacher Education, first at University of California, Santa Barbara, and later here at UW (2003-2009). During this time I became very interested (more by necessity than volition) in the uses of evidence for organizational learning and program renewal in teacher education. My current research work draws on socio-cultural theory to analyze processes of learning and change in teacher education.
As somewhat of a sideline to my “day job” in teacher education and special education, I have considerable interest in the arts and learning, and in aesthetic perspectives on the work of education. I am interested in philosophical foundations of diverse research methodologies (including those underlying an unusual array of research methods: applied behavior analysis, ethnography, and arts-based research), and in the development of philosophically coherent mixed methods research designs.
I have noticed over the course of my career that I have a thematic distaste for certainty. My interests tend toward new questions, dilemmas of practice, and “unwrapped gifts and free surprises” (this line stolen from Annie Dillard). I am currently engaged in an intensive practice-based post-graduate course in human development offered (free of charge) by my grandchildren: Luca, Leona, Maybelle, Maria, and Jack.
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1984
Major: Special Education
Minor: Educational Psychology
Outside Cognate: Developmental Psychology
M.A. Sonoma State University, 1976
Specialization: Applied Behavior Analysis
B.A. University of California at Santa Barbara, 1972
Major: Combined Social Science
Some recent publications, selected to offer the reader a sense of my interests and commitments
Peck, C. A., McDonald, M., and Davis, S. (2015) Using data for program improvement in teacher education: A study of promising practices. Washington, D.C.: American
Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.
Peck, C., Singer-Gabella, M., Sloan, T., & Lin, S. (2014). Driving blind: Why we need standardized performance assessment in teacher education. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction.
Peck, C.A., & McDonald, M. (2014) What is a culture of evidence? How do you get one? And… should you want one? Teachers College Record. 116 (3).
Peck, C. & McDonald, M. (2013) Creating cultures of evidence in teacher education: Context, policy and practice in three “high data use” programs. The New Educator, 9, 12-28.
Bier, M., & Peck, C., et al (2013) Design for simultaneous renewal in teacher education: Hitting “The Sweet Spot”. Teacher Education Quarterly.
Peck, C. Gallucci, C. & Sloan, T. (2010) Negotiating implementation of high-stakes performance assessment policies in teacher education: From compliance to inquiry. Journal of Teacher Education 61(5), 451– 463.
Peck, C., Gallucci, C., Sloan, T. & Lippincott, A. (2009) Organizational learning and program renewal in teacher education: A socio-cultural perspective on learning, innovation and change. Education Research Review. 4, 16-25.
Anderson, P. & Peck, C. (2007) Reconstructing practice in teacher education through art-making. The Reading Matrix, 7(1), 19-29.
Peck, C., Staub, D., Gallucci, C., & Schwartz, I. (2004) Parent perceptions of the impacts of inclusion on their nondisabled child. Research and Practice in Developmental Disabilities, 29, 135-143.
Peck, C. (2000) Leaving home: Science, art, and “the journey”. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 25(3), 186-187.