UO's Bateman receives special education lifetime achievement award

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Barbara Bateman
Barbara Bateman

Barbara Bateman, a professor emerita at the University of Oregon and legal special education consultant, was honored this week with the 2013 Council for Exceptional Children's J. E. Wallace Wallin Special Education Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bateman received the award April 3 at the organization's 2013 convention and expo in San Antonio.

The J. E. Wallace Wallin Special Education Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made continued and sustained contributions to the education of children and youth with exceptionalities.

Bateman’s contributions to the field of special education are described pioneering and evolving – addressing critical issues of the day and always based on research. Bateman, whose career has spanned five decades, was honored for her contributions to the field, development of new concepts, publications and dynamic leadership.

Bateman presented the first paper on learning disabilities in 1962, at the 40th Annual CEC Convention. Her paper set the stage for research on learning disabilities and instructional methods, and resulted in special education services to millions of children.

That same year, Bateman and Samuel Kirk published “Diagnosis and Remediation of Learning Disabilities” in Exceptional Children magazine. The piece is considered one of the top 10 classic articles in the field of special education and continues to be referenced more than 50 years later.

Bateman began articulating the importance of identifying specific learning needs by 1977, designing appropriate instruction and evaluating the effectiveness of instruction, rather than using discrepancy formulas.

Among the first special educators to anticipate the importance of legal issues in education, she completed a law degree in 1976. She has since become one of the top U.S. experts in special education law, working with school districts, training teachers and hearing officers, advising families and serving as a consultant to attorneys.

Bateman has served as a consultant to attorneys and/or as an expert witness in more than 50 special education cases across the United States, as well as a hearing officer in Oregon’s first IDEA hearings.

“Her melding of diagnosis and instruction with law not only captures the arc of her career, but also explains her extraordinary contributions to the field of learning disabilities,” said Douglas Carnine, a fellow UO professor and one of Bateman’s nominators.

Bateman required students to use research and the law to inform practice during her tenure as an active UO professor from 1966 to 1994.

“When I first listened to Barb 38 years ago, she was already an outstanding figure in special education, and it was obvious she had command of the sweep of our discipline,” said John Wills Lloyd, one of Bateman’s former students and nominators. “In the ensuing years, she has sustained that command. She has touched many students with her capacity to inspire disciplined analysis, passionate defense of principles and clear communication.”

Bateman has published more than 110 articles, book chapters and books from the 1960s through present.

Edward A. Polloway cited Bateman in 2000, as one of the most influential people in the development of the field of special education, citing her contributions in learning disabilities, textbooks and legal and ethical concerns.

“At 80, Barbara is demonstrating what ‘continued and sustained contributions’ really look like,” said Anita Archer, one of Bateman’s nominators.

- from the UO Office of Strategic Communications