John Wright

Assistant Professor of Education

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University, 2019
  • M.B.A., University of Illinois-Chicago, 1999
  • M.A., Modern Languages, University of Arizona, 1997
  • B.S., Math, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, 1995
  • B.A., German, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, 1995

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Inclusive Instructional Practices for students with disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

Selected Articles

  • Wright, J., Barker, A., Himes, D., & Schaeffer, B. "Inclusive practices to teach preschoolers coding and robotics." Manuscript in preparation. 2023:
  • Wright, J., Knight, V., & Barton, E. "A review of video-based modeling to teach STEM to students with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability." Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2020: doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2019.101476 .
  • Wright, J., Knight, V., Barton, E., & Edwards-Bowyer, M. "Video prompting to teach robotics and coding to middle school students with autism spectrum disorder." Journal of Special Education Technology. 2020: doi:10.1177/016264341989024.
  • Wright, J., Knight, V., Lemons, C., Lindstrom, E., & Strauss, J. "Implementing Early Numeracy for Students with Complex Communication Needs." Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 2020: 55(3), 277-289.
  • Knight, V., Wright, J., & DeFreese, A. "Brief Report: Teaching robotics coding to a student with ASD and severe problem behavior." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2019: doi:10.1007/s10803-019-03888-3.
  • Knight, V., Wright, J., Wilson, K., & Hooper, A. "Teaching block-based coding of robots to high school students with autism spectrum disorder and challenging behavior." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2019: doi:10.1007/s10803-019-04033-w.


John Wright teaches special education methods courses, as well as courses in assistive technology, autism, and behavior management. He is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and consults with local school districts regarding positive behavior supports. He serves on the CEC’s Division of Early Childhood Publications and Products Advisory Committee, and he’s a 2023-24 member of the Fred Rogers Educator’s Neighborhood.

Prior to working in higher education, John was an elementary school teacher and administrator for 13 years. Social justice and equity in education are the guiding forces of this educational philosophy. He is dedicated to preparing the next generation of educators to be compassionate, thoughtful, and inclusive professionals.