Professor of Special Education/Learning Disabilities; Chair of the Department of Special Education
Kate Garnett developed Hunter’s teacher preparation in Learning Disabilities (LD) from its inception and has continued building it over more than 25 years. During that time, she also spent seven years designing The Edison Schools’ special education training and service model, engaging intensively in the preparation of teachers and school leaders as the Edison school reform experiment grew from four to 120 sites nationwide. Prof. Garnett has also consulted extensively within NYC public schools, working with teachers and administrators over many years. Currently, she is working with KIPP Charter Schools and their partners (Uncommon Schools and Achievement First) on a Hunter-KIPP teacher preparation venture.
She designed and developed the HC Learning Lab, which opened more than 25 years ago and continues to grow in exciting ways, under the gifted guidance of her LD colleagues. In 1996, the Lab received the first Allyn & Bacon/DLD Award for Exemplary LD Program, a national commendation for its intensive training of special educators and direct service to hundreds of children with learning disabilities. Prof. Garnett has continued to contribute to the Lab, with ideas, partnership and the seeking of funding to expand its practices. Generous grants to support the Lab have come from the Eleanor Naylor Dana Foundation and the Charles B. Wang Foundation. Most recently the Lab received Wang funding to become engaged with computer and video technology, directions that Hunter’s School of Education is now solidly supporting.
Prof. Garnett has spearheaded many grant programs, from federal teacher preparation grants to individual school and curriculum projects. She has authored dozens of articles, chapters and monographs on a wide range of LD-related topics, has served on editorial boards of professional journals, was the longtime editor of the DLD Times and long time member of DLD’s executive board. She presents extensively on math disabilities, vocabulary building, multiple aspects of reading disabilities, organization skills and classroom practices for students with LD. She has authored a widely distributed monograph, Inclusion and Learning Disabilities: A Teachers Guide, available through CEC. Most recently she has published a Math Foundation Guide to accompany the Tom Snyder Production new FASST Facts computer program.
In her younger years, Prof. Garnett was a theatre person performing with the Guthrie Theatre Company in Minneapolis and the Theatre Company of Boston. She has taught elementary and secondary students with learning disabilities and was the founding teacher of The Churchill School, a special NYC school for students with learning disabilities.
Her undergraduate degree, with a major in Literature, was from Bennington College. Her doctoral studies were in Special Education/Learning Disabilities/Reading at Teachers College, Columbia where, luckily, she was a funded assistant in the federally-supported LD Research Institute and where she also began teaching teachers. She is enormously thankful to have worked for years with Jeannette Fleischner and Margaret Jo Shepherd.