Susan Benner grew up in Atlanta, Georgia during a period of significant social change and racial unrest throughout the country. She earned her BA in Social Sciences at Southern Methodist University and MS in special education from The University of Tennessee. After teaching as a special educator in Memphis, Tennessee, she received her Ed.D. in special education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Since 1980, Dr. Benner has been at The University of Tennessee, where she is Professor and Department Head for Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. Dr. Benner has published three textbooks, including Issues in Special Education Within the Context of
American Society and Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs. She is currently a coeditor of the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, affiliated with the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Education. Dr. Benner’s areas of interest are teacher education, including special and literacy education, and urban teaching. She is principal investigator for several grants, including one focused on teacher professional
development in literacy and system-level development of Response-to- Intervention models. She is co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Planning Grant to develop urban teacher residency programs in two East Tennessee school districts. Dr. Benner has two daughters, a son-in-law, and four grandchildren, from whom she learns new lessons every day.