Continuity of Operations planning information for the College of Education: Click here

Dr. David L. Lee

Dr. David L. Lee
Phone: 8148653567
Office Address:
215 CEDAR Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Professor of Education (Special Education)


Special Education
Applied Behavioral Analysis


The main focus of my research is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate programs to support students with or at risk for emotional/behavior disorders (EBD) across academic, behavioral, and social domains. My research draws upon a behavior analytic framework to create positive, function-based interventions for students, primarily in middle/high school settings.

Currently, our research team is developing and evaluating a program to help middle-school students begin and remain engaged in academic tasks. Unfortunately, many students with EBD fail to engage in academic and or social activities, which leads to a continuous cycle of frustration, lack of engagement, and ultimately academic failure. The purpose of this project is to break this cycle.

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels


Education Levels

Middle School/Junior High


Classroom Management
Learning Assessment

Methodological Research

Quantitative Research

Special Education

Applied Behavioral Analysis

Courses Taught

SPLED 454 - Assessment for Instruction

SPLED 500 - Doctoral Seminar: Evidence-Based Practices in Assessment in Special Education

SPLED 505 - Single-Case Research Design

SPLED 554 - Developing and Interpreting Assessments in Special Education

SPLED 573 - Introduction to Research in Special Education

SPLED 503A - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Basic Principles I

SPLED 503B - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Basic Principles II

SPLED 503C - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Extended Applications I

SPLED 503D - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Extended Applications II

Office Hours

By appointment

Education History

Ph.D. Purdue University (1998); M.Ed. California University of PA (1994); B.S. University of Pittsburgh (1992)

Representative Publications

Farmer, T. W., Lee, D. L., Sprott-Brooks, D., Chen, C. C., Moates, M., Hamm, J. V. (in press). Management of behavioral dynamics in general education classrooms. Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools.

Lee, D. L. (2018). Social dynamics management and functional behavioral assessment. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 26, 62-64.

Mires, C. B., Lee, D. L., & McNaughton, D. B. (2018). Every child that is a foster child is marked from the beginning: The home-school communication experiences of foster parents of children with disabilities. Child Abuse & Neglect, 75, 61-72.

Scheeler, M. C., Morano, S., & Lee, D. L. (2018). Effects of immediate feedback using bug-in-ear with paraeducators working with students with autism. Teacher Education and Special Education, 41, 24-38.

Mires, C. B. & Lee, D. L. (2017). Calvin won’t sit down! The daily behavior report card: A practical technique to change student behavior and increase school-home communication. Beyond Behavior, 26, 89-95.

Belfiore, P. J., & Lee, D. L. (2016). Shaping the field of general and special education: The role of evidence in practice and practice in dissemination. Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools, 15, 138-150.

Belfiore, P. J., Kitchen, T., & Lee, D. L. (2016). Functional analysis of inappropriate behavior: Rule as an establishing operation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 49-50, 100-107.

Farmer, T. W., Chen, C. C., Hamm, J. V., Moats, M. M., Mehtaji, M., Lee, D. L., Huneke, M. R. (2016). Supporting teachers’ management of middle school social dynamics: The scouting report process. Intervention in School and Clinic, 52, 67-76.

Farmer, T. W., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M., Lee, D. L., Dawes, M., & Talbott, E. (2016). Research and policy on disability: Linking special education to developmental science. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 138-145.

Vostal, B. R. & Lee, D. L. (2015). Effects of Oral Reading Fluency on Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders’ Latency to Continue Reading. Reading Improvement, 52, 112-125.

Hua, Y., Lee, D. L., Stansberry, S., & McAfee, J.  (2014). The effects of assignment format and choice on academic task completion. Journal of Education and Learning, 3, 101-110.

Hua, Y., Lee, D. L., Stansbery, S., & McAfee, J. K. (2014). Time-based versus task-based contingencies: Which is more effective for independent academic assignments for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 20, 107-117.

Motoca, L. M., Farmer, T. W., Hamm, J. V., Byun, S., Lee, D. L., Brooks, D. S., Rucker, N., & Moohr, M. M. (2014). Directed consultation, the SEALS model, and teachers' classroom management. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 22, 67-73.

Vostal, B. R., Lee, D. L., Miller, F. (2013). Effects of Environmental Stimulation on Students Demonstrating Behaviors Related to ADHD: A Review of the Literature. International Journal of Special Education, 28, 1-12.

Miller, F. G. & Lee, D. L. (2013). Do functional behavioral assessments improve intervention effectiveness for students diagnosed with ADHD? A single-subject meta analysis. Journal of Behavioral Education, 22, 253-282.

Farmer, T.W., Hamm, J.V., Lee, D., Lane, K.L., Sutherland, K.S., Hall, C.M., & Murray, R.M. (2013). Conceptual Foundations and Program Components of a Universal Contextual Intervention to Support At-risk Early Adolescents: Preliminary Findings from Project REAL. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 23, 115-139.

Lylo, B. J. & Lee, D. L. (2013). Effects of delayed audio-based self-monitoring on teacher completion of learning trials. Journal of Behavioral Education, 22, 120-138.

Farmer, T. W., Lane, K. L., Lee, D. L., Hamm, J. V. (2012). The social functions of antisocial behavior: Considerations for school violence prevention strategies for students with disabilities. Behavioral Disorders, 37, 149-162   

Lee, D. L., Lylo, B., Vostal, B., & Hua, Y. (2012). The effects of high-preference problems on the completion of non-preferred mathematics problems. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45, 223-228.

Lee, D. L., Vostal, B. R., Lylo, B., & Hua, Y. (2011). Collecting behavioral data in general education settings: A primer for behavioral data collection. Beyond Behavior, 20, 22-30.

Vostal, B. R. & Lee, D. L. (2011). Behavioral momentum during a continuous reading task: An exploratory study. Journal of Behavioral Education, 20, 163-181.



U.S. Department of Education (2014-2017). " Supporting Early Adolescent Learning and Social Success across the Middle School Years: The SEALS II Intervention Development Program " # R305A140434.  (Co-PI with Farmer & Hamm), $ 1,497,389

U.S. Department of Education (2014-2018).  "Penn State University: Training in The Professoriate for Special Education" # H325D130021.  (Co-PI with P. Riccomini), $797,900

U.S. Department of Education (2011-2016).  "Supporting Early Adolescent Learning and Social Success – Project SEALS" #R305A110079.  (Co-PI with Farmer & Hamm), $3,952,267

U.S. Department of Education (2009-2015).  "Preparing Professor Researchers in Evidence-Based Practices" #H325D090042.  (Co-PI with K. Ruhl), $799,967

Activities and Honors

Co-Editor: Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools