Mira Cole Williams, PhD

Mira Cole Williams

Mira Cole Williams, PhD, is an associate professor in the Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department at James Madison University. Dr. Williams earned a doctoral degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education from the University of Virginia. She also received her Master’s of Teaching and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Dr. Williams taught for six years in inclusive early childhood preschool and elementary classrooms in Virginia. In addition, she served as an educational specialist, consulting with teachers and families of children with disabilities, focusing on differentiating instruction and providing curricular access to all children.

She is a strong advocate of high-quality teacher preparation in the area of Early Childhood Inclusive and Special Education and is focused on social justice and equity for young children and their families. She presents locally and nationally on a range of topics related to improving teacher preparation, inclusive practices in early childhood education, and disrupting microaggressions in P-16 educational settings.

I always tell my students…small actions can ignite large change, it starts with YOU today!

Scholarship

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kavanagh, K., Thacker, E., Williams, M. C., Merritt, J., Bodle, A., & Jafee, A. T. (under review). Disrupting Microaggressions in P-16 Schools: A Facilitated Workshop Approach Using Critical Case Analysis. Multicultural Perspectives.

Newton, J. R., & Williams, M. C. (submit in Jan 2021). Instagram as a professional development tool: How teachers use social media to interact, support, and learn. Journal of Special Education Technology.

Newton, J. R, Williams, M. C., & Feeney, D. M (2020). Implementing non-traditional assessment strategies in teacher preparation: Opportunities and challenges. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 3(1), 39-51. https://doi.org/10.46303/jcve.03.01.3

Hill, C. F., Newton, J. R., & Williams, M. C. (2017). Check your judgment: Reframing techniques to support strengths-based approaches to family-centered practices. In C. M. Trivette & B. Keilty (Eds.), DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series: Using DEC Family Practices with All Families. Arlington, VA: Division for Early Childhood.

Ely, E., Williams, M. C., & Alves, K. (in preparation). Using multimedia-based instruction to improve teacher knowledge about evidence-based practices for CSR reading comprehension strategy

Newton, J. R., Williams, M. C., & Hill (in preparation). Every family has a story: Preparing Early Childhood Professionals to Embrace and Celebrate Families. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education

Brown, T. S. & Williams, M. C. (under review). We can do more to help compounding views of teacher and paraprofessional interactions in multicultural classrooms. Submitted to JORSEN

Williams, M. C., Pullen, P.C., & Ely, E. (in review). The effect of parent-child literacy training using content acquisition podcasts with children at-risk for reading disability. Journal of Early Intervention.

Pullen, P. C., Williams, M. C., Ely, E., & (in preparation). Using digital pen technology to enhance reading fluency assessments for students with reading disability. Teaching Exceptional Children.

Ely, E., Pullen, P.C., Kennedy, M. J., & Williams, M. C. (2015). A multimedia tool to deliver professional development of vocabulary instruction. Journal of Special Education Technology, 30, 59-72.

Ely, E., Kennedy, M.J., Pullen, P.C., Williams, M. C., & Hirsch, S. E. (2014). Improving instruction of future teachers: A multimedia approach that support implementation of evidence-based vocabulary practices. Teaching and Teacher Education, 44, 35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2014.07.012.

Ely, E., Pullen, P. C., Kennedy, M. J., Hirsch, S.E., & Williams, M. C. (2014). Use of instructional technology to improve teacher candidate knowledge of vocabulary instruction. Computers & Education, doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.01.013.

Driver, M. K., Pullen, P. C., Kennedy, M. J., Williams, M. C., & Ely, E. (2014). Using instructional technology to improve preservice teachers’ knowledge of phonological awareness. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 37, 309-329. doi: 10.1177/08884064145537902.

Ely, E., Kennedy, M. J., Pullen, P. C., Williams, M. C., & Hirsch, S. E. (2013). Improving instruction of future teachers: A multimedia approach that supports implementation of evidence-based vocabulary practices. Teaching and Teacher Education, 44, 35-43. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2014.07.012.

Kennedy, M. J., Lloyd, J. W., Cole, M., & Ely, E. (2012). Specially designed vocabulary instruction in the content areas: What does high quality instruction look like? Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 45(1), 7. Retrieved from http://tecplus.org/articles/article/1/0

Kennedy, M. J., Driver, M. K., Pullen, P. C., Ely, E., & Cole, M. T. (2013). Improving teacher candidates’ knowledge of phonological awareness: A multimedia approach. Computers and Education, 64, 42-51.

Kennedy, M. J., Ely, E., Thomas, C. N., Pullen, P. C, Newton, J. R, Ashworth, K, Cole, M, T., & Lovelace, S. P. (2012). Using multimedia tools to support teacher candidates’ learning. Teacher Education and Special Education, 35, 243-257. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/088840641245115

Cole, M. T. (2009) Peer Connections in Exceptional Learners (Hallahan, Kauffmann, & Pullen, 2009)

Presentations

Thacker, E., Williams, M.C., Jaffee, A. T., & Kavanagh, K, (2020, March). “I heard a teacher say…” Responding to micro- (and macro-) aggressions in K-12 public schools. Paper presented at the annual James Madison University College of Education Student Teaching Conference, Harrisonburg, VA.

Bodle, A., Jaffee, A. T., Kavanagh, K., Merritt, J. Thacker, E., & Williams, M. C. (2020, February). Navigating, interrupting, and responding to microaggressions and bias: Designing for engineering excellence. Engineering Seminar, Harrisonburg, VA.

Jaffee, A. T. & Williams, M. C. (2020, February). “I heard a teacher say…” Interrupting and Responding to Microaggressions, Bias, and Injustice in P-12 Settings. Paper presented at the Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Department meeting, Harrisonburg, VA.

Jaffee, A. T., Kavanagh, K., Williams, M. C., Thacker, E., & Bodle, A. (2020, January). “I heard a teacher say…” Interrupting and Responding to Microaggressions, Bias, and Injustice in P-12 Settings. Paper presented at the Elementary and Early Literacy Education Department retreat, Harrisonburg, VA.

Jaffee, A. T., Kavanagh, K., Williams, M. C., Thacker, E., & Bodle, A. (2020). “I heard a teacher say…” Interrupting and Responding to Microaggressions, Bias, and Injustice in P-12 Settings. American Institute for Education Research Conference

Williams, M. C., Thacker, E., Kavanagh, K., Jaffee, A. T., Bodle, A. (2019, October). Navigating, interrupting, and responding to microaggressions, bias, and injustices in P-12 schools. Paper to be presented at the bi-annual meeting of the Virginia Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural-Education, Harrisonburg, VA.

Kavanagh, K., Jaffee, A. T., Thacker, E., Williams, M. C., Bodle, A. (2019, September). “I heard a teacher say…” Responding to micro- (and macro-) aggressions in K-12 public schools. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Virginia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Charlottesville, VA.

Jaffee, A. T., Thacker, E., Williams, M.C., Kavanagh, K, & Bodle, A. (2019, April). “I heard a teacher say…” Responding to micro- (and macro-) aggressions in K-12 public schools. Paper presented at the annual James Madison University Diversity Conference, Harrisonburg, VA

Newton, J. R., & Williams, M. C. (2019, August).  Ditching the clip:  Reimagining behavior management.  Presentation at Elmont Elementary School.  Hanover County, VA.

Newton, J. R., Williams, M. C., & Hill, C. F.  (2019, July).  Mirror, mirror, on the wall:  Reframing biases to see strengths in families.  Presentation at the Creating Connections to Shining Stars regional early childhood conference.  Roanoke, VA.

Williams, M. C. & Brown, T. S. (2019). Building Future Educators: Innovation in preparation through community partnerships. National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference. Nashville, TN.

Alves, K., Williams, M. C., Ely, E. (2019). Using Technology to Improve Preservice Teacher Knowledge and Application of Evidence-Based Practices for Reading Comprehension. Teacher Education Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. New Orleans, LA.

Larson, A., Ottley, J. R., Wade, C. B., Williams, M. C., Newton, J. R., & Blanchard, S. B. (2019).  Culturally relevant practices: Multiple perspectives and approaches to implementation.  Ignite session at Division of Early Childhood’s Annual Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families.  Dallas, TX.

Hill, C. F., Newton, J. R., & Williams, M. C. (2019).  Family-centered practices?  Culturally-responsive teaching?  Supporting bigger tomorrows through collaborative transitions across EI/ECSE.  Division of Early Childhood’s Annual Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families.  Dallas, TX.

Newton, J. R., Hill, C. F., & Williams, M. C.  (2018).  Overcoming mountains of biases: Embracing reframing techniques to support family-centered practices.  National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference.  Washington, D.C.

Beneke, M., Newton, J. R., Blanchard, S. B., Williams, M. C., Shapland, D. (2018). Labels and language: Transforming conversations about identity in EI/EC/ECSE.  Division for Early Childhood’s Annual Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families.  Orlando, FL.

Newton, J. R., Blanchard S. B., Williams, M.C., Beneke, M., Vinh, M. (2018).  Interactive activities for prompting preservice and in-service professionals to surmount personal biases.  Preconference session.  Division for Early Childhood’s Annual Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families.  Orlando, FL.

Williams, M. C. & Newton, J. R. (2018, May). Guiding Learners from the Inside Out Behavioral Management Workshop. Shepherd University.

Williams, M. C. (2018). The what, why, and how of inclusion. JMU’s Kappa Delta Pi Education Conference. Harrisonburg, VA.

Alves, K., Ely, E. E., & Williams, M. C. (2017). Using Multimedia-Based Instruction to Improve Preservice Teacher Knowledge about Evidence-Based Practices for Reading Comprehension Instruction. Virginia Educational Research Association Conference. Charlottesville, VA.

Newton, J. R. & Williams, M. C. (2017, July). Three letters that pack a punch: Yet. Creating Connections to Shining Stars Conference. Roanoke, VA.

Williams, M. C., Newton, J. R., Hill, C. F. (2017, July).  Family-centered literacy practices: Moving beyond books.  Presentation at the Creating Connections to Shining Stars regional early childhood conference.  Roanoke, VA.

Hirsch, S., Williams, M. C., Brown, T. S, Driver, M., & Alves. K. (2017). Low Tech and High Tech Methods of Instruction to Teach High Leverage Practices. Presented at the Council for Exceptional Children Conference, Tampa, Florida.

Williams, M.C. (2017). Self-reflection as change agent: Facing struggles for systemic equity and social justice. One of four invited panelists for the Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children, Portland, Oregon

Williams, M. C., Newton, J. R, & Hill, C. F. (2017).  Overcoming mountains of biases: Embracing reframing techniques to support family-centered practices.  Presented at the Division of Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, Portland, Oregon. 

Newton, J. R., Hill, C. F., & Williams, M. C. (2017).  Every family has a story:  Preparing practitioners to truly partner with families.  Presented at the Division of Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, Portland, Oregon. 

Hill, C. F., Newton, J. R., Able, H., Williams, M. C., & Marvin, C.  (2017).  Harry Potter lives under the ECSE stairs. Is EI the orphan nephew?  Invited presenter for the Professional Development Special Interest Group at the Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children, Portland, Oregon.

Williams, M. C. (2017, February). The what, why, and how of inclusion. JMU’s Kappa Delta Pi Education Conference. Harrisonburg, VA.

Williams, M. C. (2017, May). Intentional literacy in early childhood education. 2017 Celebrating Teachers Intentionality Works Like Magic Professional Development. Bridgewater, VA.

Almarode, J. T., Newton, J. R., & Williams, M. C. (January 26, 2016). Pre-service teachers’ development of dispositions associated with expertise in teaching.  Presented at Visible Learning Plus World Conference, Osiris Education, London, United Kingdom.

Newton, J. R., Williams, M. C., & Hill (2016). Every family has a story: Preparing Early Childhood Professionals to Embrace and Celebrate Families. National Association of Early Childhood Education Conference. Los Angeles, CA.

Williams, M. C. (1/month during the 2016-2017 academic year). Mind in the making professional development sessions for grandparents. GrandPEAS (Parenting Education and Supports) Sentara Health Programming. Rockingham, VA.

Williams, M. C. (2016, July). Inclusion in ECSE. JMU’s Content Teaching Academy, Harrisonburg, VA

Williams, M. C. (2016, September) Behavior management: What works? Riverbend Elementary School in-service professional development session. Rockingham, VA

Williams, M. C. & Hill, C. F. (2016, September). How to enhance early intervention placements in teacher preparation programs. Virginia Cross Sector for Professional Development Faculty Institute. Charlottesville, VA.

Williams, M. C. (2016, April). When standards and curriculum meet. Smart Beginnings NRV. Christiansburg, VA.

Williams, M. C. (2016, February). The challenges of inclusion and collaboration. JMU’s Kappa Delta Pi Education Conference. Harrisonburg, VA.

Williams, M. C. (facilitator and presenter) (2016, February). Mid valley mentorship workshop. MidValley Consortium Training: Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA.

Williams, M. C. (2016, January). Early and elementary reading instruction: What works? Greene County Public Schools. Greene County, VA.

Williams, M. C. & Newton, J. R. (2015). Project BUILLD families: Implementation of family services. Division for Early Childhood (DEC) National Conference. Atlanta, GA.

Williams, M.C. & Vela, M. (2015) BUILLD Families: Bringing unique interventions for language and literacy development to families. Creating Connections to Shining Stars state early intervention conference. Virginia Beach, VA.

Williams, M. C. (facilitator and presenter) (2015, July). Mid valley mentorship workshop. MidValley Consortium Training: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Williams, M. C. (2014) The Effects of Literacy Training with Content Acquisition Podcasts on the Home Language and Literacy Environment of Children at-risk for Reading Disability. Lecture scheduled for Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Cole, M.T, Driver, M., Kennedy, M., & Ely, E. (2013). Enhancing Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge of Reading Instruction with Content Acquisition Podcasts. Lecture presented at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Cole, M. T., Pullen, P., & Ely. E. (2013).  The Effects of Digital Pen Technology on Reading Fluency: Single Subject Design. Poster presentation at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Ely, E., Pullen, P., & Cole, M. T. (2013). Encouraging Teacher Use of Evidence-Based Vocabulary Practices Through Video. Lecture presented at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Williams, M. C. (2013). Observation and Reflection: Teacher Qualities and Evaluation. Professional Development for faculty at Charlottesville Day School, Charlottesville, VA.

Ely, E., Kennedy, M., Cole, M. T., Lovelace, S., & Ashworth, K. (2012). Content Acquisition Podcasts (CAPs): Enhancing Teacher Candidate Knowledge of Teaching Students with Disabilities. Lecture presented at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, Denver, CO.

Cole, M. T., Ely, E., Pullen, P., & Bruce, A. (2012). The Effects of Digital Pen Technology on Fluency. Poster presented at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, Denver, CO.

Ely, E., Cole, M. T., Newton, J. R., Haines, S. J., Kennedy, M. K., & Pullen, P. (2011). How Content Acquisition Podcasts (CAPs) Affect Teacher Candidate Knowledge of Teaching Students with Disabilities. Poster presented at the TED Kaleidoscope meeting at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, National Harbor, MD.

Cole, M. T., Ely, E., & Pullen, P. (2011). Use of the Smartpen with Elementary Reading Instruction. Poster presented at DLD Reception at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference, National Harbor, MD.

Cole, M. T. (2010).  Meeting the Needs of All Student: How to Handle Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom. Professional development for faculty at Charlottesville Day School, Charlottesville, VA.

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