For many years, Dr. S. Kenneth Thurman's research and consultation centered on early intervention, with a particular focus on family-centered practice. He was project director of two grant-funded model demonstration projects that implemented family-centered practices in neonatal intensive care units. Over the course of his career, Dr. Thurman has maintained an interest in ecologically based models of service delivery. More recently his research interests have shifted to the assessment of specific cognitive abilities, mindfulness and gratitude. He teaches courses in special education and human development at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Dr. Thurman is active mentor and advisor to doctoral students and serves on a number of major university committees.

Research Interests

  • Individual Differences
  • Life-Span Development
  • Special Education

Courses Taught




SPED 3211

Effective Instructional Strategies for Young Children with Disabilities


SPED 4109

Educating Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings


SPED 5187

Graduate Assessment Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education


SPED 5211

Effective Instructional Strategies for Young Children with Disabilities


EDUC 5402

Child and Adol Develop


Selected Publications

  • Katowitz, D.S. & Thurman, S.K. (2017). A Critical Examination of the Implicit Assumptions in Special Education: Introduction to the Special Section. Child and Youth Care Forum, 46(2), pp. 157-160. doi: 10.1007/s10566-016-9385-7

  • Bell, D.A., Kaplan, A., & Thurman, S.K. (2016). Types of Homeschool Environments and Need Support for Children’s Achievement Motivation. Journal of School Choice, 10(3), pp. 330-354. doi: 10.1080/15582159.2016.1202072

  • McGrath, M.C., Thurman, S.K., Raisch, M.M., & Lucey, E.M. (2016). Considering individual differences and environmental influences in the assessment of temperament, self-regulation, and social skill development in young children: A framework for practitioners. In Early Childhood Assessment in School and Clinical Child Psychology (pp. 183-202). doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6349-2_9

  • Thurman, S.K. & Torsney, B.M. (2014). Meditation, mindfulness and executive functions in children and adolescents. In Psychology of Meditation (pp. 187-207).

  • Tincani, M., Cucchiarra, M.B., Thurman, S.K., Snyder, M.R., & McCarthy, C.M. (2014). Evaluating NRC's Recommendations for Educating Children with Autism a Decade Later. Child and Youth Care Forum, 43(3), pp. 315-337. doi: 10.1007/s10566-013-9240-z