Paula Lancaster is a professor of special education at Grand Valley State University currently serving in the roles of Chair of the Teaching and Learning Department and Director of Teacher Education.
She also works closely with many P-12 teachers and administrators who serve in the role of mentors and co-teachers for teacher candidates. She represents the GVSU College of Education on multiple state and national level committees and initiatives. Specifically, Lancaster is a member of the Steering Group for the Michigan Program Network, a multi-year consortium of ten teacher preparation programs and TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan with the aims of reforming teacher preparation toward a more practice-based approach and establishing standards of practice for beginner-level teachers.
She completed her PhD. in Special Education in 1999 at the University of Kansas, where she was a doctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Learning. She collaborated with Dr. Jean Schumaker on three multi-year grants from the National Institutes of Health, work that focused on effective instruction and instructional technology for adolescents with high incidence disabilities. More recently her work is centered on the development and implementation of practice-based approaches to teacher preparation with a particular interest in collaborations between university-based preparation programs and P-12 school environments.