Dr. Bruce Smith is a professor of Special Education where he trains teachers to work with students who have disabilities or special needs.
Special Education is a high need area in teaching, and it is estimated that as many as one in six students in K-12 classrooms have at least one federally-identified disability. Smith recognizes the growing need of special education teachers, and this is reflected in his teaching methods.
He emphasizes the “head” and “heart” of teaching to effectively prepare special education teachers. The “head” refers to knowledge and research, while “heart” refers to the personalization of teaching materials and connecting with students through stories in order to foster a better learning environment. Students have commented on Smith’s teaching methods and bear witness to his effectiveness in the classroom. Former students note his mentoring skills, along with the use of stories to better explain the “why” of the field.
The Arkansas Department of Education honored Smith as a respected scholar in Special Education. In 2017, he received the faculty service award from the UA Little Rock Chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success, given to faculty who exemplify leadership and mentorship in teaching.
Smith received a bachelor’s from the University of California at Los Angeles, a master’s from Loyola Marymount University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.