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Zachary Barnes

Assistant Professor

College of Education


PhD, Literacy Studies, Middle Tennessee State University

MA, Educational Psychology, Ball State University

BS, Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University

Before I came to APSU, I was a middle school special education in Metro Nashville Public Schools. I received my PhD in Literacy Studies from Middle Tennessee State University. I love to teach how to include students with disabilities in the general education classroom and how to provide reading intervention to those struggling readers.

Broadly, I am interested in reading development. My work explores many different areas of reading development. First, I examine the association between executive function and reading development through the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011 (ECLS-K:2011). Specifically,  I am exploring how working memory and cognitive flexibility mediate the relation between kindergarten socioeconomic status and later reading achievement. I am also interested in the Science of Reading and dyslexia laws, which happen to overlap in many states. I write about translating the reading screening literature for practitioners. Finally, I am interested in how science teachers are prepared to implement reading strategies in their classroom. This work is done through interviewing science teachers to learn more about their preparation and use of strategies for students with disabilities.

Students - if you are interested in gaining research experience, please reach out to me!

  • Barnes, Z. T., Fields, R. S., Strachota, S., & Mangione, K. A. (2023). Effective disciplinary literacy strategies for students with disabilities in middle and high school science classrooms. Preventing School Failure. https://doi.org/10.1080/1045988X.2023.2186340
  • Barnes, Z. T., Boedeker, P., Cartwright, K. B., & Zhang, B. (2022). SES and reading achievement: How working memory and cognitive flexibility mediate the relation in low-achieving and typically-developing K to 1st grade students. Journal of Research in Reading, 45(2), 204-222. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9817.12398 
  • Barnes, Z. T. (2022). Examining required special education coursework for middle school science teachers: A content analysis of course descriptions. SRATE Journal, 30(2), 1-9.
  • Barnes, Z. T. & Peltier, T. K. (2022). Translating the Science of Reading screening into practice: Policies and their implications. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 48(1) 42-48.
  • Attwood, A., Barnes, Z. T., Jennings-McGarity, P., & McConnell, J. (2021). Preservice teacher perceptions of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): An exploratory study for an education preparation program. Preventing School Failure, 66(2), 160-166. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1045988X.2021.2002248 
  • Schrodt, K. E., Barnes, Z., DeVries, M., & Grow, J. (2019). Mindfulness: Discovering Children’s Literature, Reading Responses, and Self-Regulation Techniques in a First Grade Classroom. Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research
Book Chapters
  • Tondreau, A., Rabinowitz, L., & Barnes, Z. T. (Accepted). Cross-pollinating teacher preparation: Antiracist inclusive lesson planning in writers’ workshop. In Martinez-Alba, A., Penton Herrera, L. J, & Hersi, A. (Eds.) Antiracist Teacher Education: Theory and Practice.
  • Prosser, S. K., Zimmer, K., Barnes, Z. T. & Fisher, K. (2022). Language development (PreK-2). In K. Fisher & K. Zimmer (Eds.), Early Childhood Special Education Programs and Practices. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK.
  • Tondreau, A. & Barnes, Z. T. (2022). Mentoring and being mentored in an age of social media connection and instant gratifications. In M. B Mackinem, L. J. Ritter, & A. Bagasra (Eds.), The Changing Faces of Higher Education: From Boomers to Millennials. Vernon Press.
  • Tondreau, A. & Barnes, Z. T. (2021). Embedding Diverse Children’s Literature Throughout a Teacher Preparation Program. In D. E. Hartsfield (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching Diverse Youth Literature to Pre-Service Professionals, pgs 501-524. IGI Global. 10.4018/978-1-7998-7375-4.ch025