Department of Teaching & Learning


Amy Gillespie Rouse

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205
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Amy Gillespie Rouse, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of Teaching in Special Education from the University of Virginia, Dr. Rouse was a special education teacher in Virginia public schools for six years. She subsequently earned her doctorate in Special Education from Vanderbilt University, where she was an IES predoctoral fellow.

Dr. Rouse’s research focuses on understanding and developing effective writing interventions for struggling writers and students with disabilities. Her approach has been multifaceted and includes: (a) meta-analyses to examine effective writing interventions documented in existing experimental studies, (b) analysis of interview responses to understand students’ knowledge of the writing process and different writing genres; (c) surveys to document teachers’ use of evidence-based writing instruction, and (d) professional development to assist teachers in implementing evidence-based writing instruction in their classrooms. Dr. Rouse has also examined elementary students’ use of writing as a tool for learning information in science. She continues to develop interventions to promote elementary-aged students’ use of writing to facilitate their learning across the content areas.

In addition to bringing a researcher’s perspective to the courses she teaches, Dr. Rouse also brings an understanding of what it is like to work in a classroom, including the challenges and triumphs associated with being a special educator. In her courses, she couples teaching about research and evidence-based instruction with opportunities to apply newly learned skills in the classroom or classroom simulations (e.g., case studies, role plays). Dr. Rouse believes in an apprenticeship model for mentoring doctoral students. She provides doctoral students increasing research and teaching responsibilities that approximate the work of a professor and offers support with these tasks until students are confident and capable of completing them independently.

Selected Publications

Olinghouse, N., Graham, S., & Gillespie, A. (in press). The relationship of discourse and topic knowledge to fifth-graders’ writing performance. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Gillespie, A., & Graham, S. (2014). A meta-analysis of writing interventions for students with learning disabilities. Exceptional Children, 80(4), 454-473. 

Gillespie, A., Graham, S., Kiuhara, S., & Hebert, M. (2014). High school teachers’ use of writing to support students’ learning: A national survey. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 27(6), 1043-1072.

Gillespie, A., Olinghouse, N., & Graham, S. (2013). Fifth-grade students' knowledge about writing process and writing genres. The Elementary School Journal, 113(4), 565-588.