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Alida Anderson Professor SOE School of Education

Additional Positions at AU
PhD, Special Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
MA, Learning Disabilities, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
BA, Art/Art History and Asian Studies, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Alida Anderson is a professor in the School of Education at American University. She earned her PhD in special education from the University of Maryland, College Park focusing on early childhood language development. Anderson’s research and teaching interests focus on contextual factors of language development and literacy acquisition in preschool and school age students with and without exceptionalities. Research projects have focused on developing language skills in preschool and school age children with language impairments and learning disabilities. Anderson’s dyslexia research includes study of cross-linguistic features that predict reading ability in school age monolingual and bilingual English-Chinese speakers with reading disabilities, and response-to-intervention mathematics practices for primary grade students in under-resourced urban school settings. Current projects include investigating the influences of arts integration on students’ language and social-emotional learning in academic settings, improving school professionals’ dyslexia knowledge and practice, and investigating spatial thinking skills across disciplinary classroom activities. Anderson’s sole-edited volume Arts Integration and Special Education, connects interdisciplinary frameworks in human development and linguistics, special education, and urban education with primary action research by special educators. Presentations include papers given at the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, Council for Exceptional Children, International Mind, Brain, and Education Society, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, and VSA International/John F. Kennedy Center.
See Also
Special Education Program
School of Education (SOE)
Arts Integration and Special Education
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2023

  • EDU-644 Language Develop & Remediation

  • EDU-646 Learning Disabilities II

Fall 2023

  • EDU-645 Learning Disabilities I

  • EDU-665 Exceptionality: Art in Spec Ed

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities


Event summary on inclusive arts integration interventions:

Recent contribution to Arts Integration: Teachers and Teaching Artists as Agents of Change.

Featured speaker on Kennedy Center/VSA’s webinar series on theater and Autism:  Teaching Students with Autism: What Teaching Theater Teaches Us