Dr. Christopher J. Cormier is a former special education teacher and a current postdoctoral fellow in the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He has taught first through 12th in Title 1 schools in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area. His research program focuses on the social and cultural contexts of minoritized learners and teachers in special education. Under this overarching theme, he has two lines of scholarship. The first is on the professional and socio-emotional lives of minoritized teachers. The second is on culturally informed identification of minoritized students in special education. Dr. Cormier brings a comparative lens to both of his research lines with studies in national and international contexts. He is the current President of the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL) of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Current research projects include the following:

•Special education teacher burnout, stress and mental health and how it changes over the school year.

•Understanding the protective nature of Afrocentric schools in the United States and Canada and its impact on Black students with disabilities.

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Special Education
  • Master of Theology (MAT), Fuller Theological Seminary, Theology
  • Master of Education (MAEd), Pepperdine Universtiy, Education with emphasis in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science (BS), Fisk University, Special Education

Stanford Advisors

Research Interests

  • Educational Policy
  • Equity in Education
  • History of Education
  • International and Comparative Education
  • Psychology
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Sociology
  • Special Education
  • Teachers and Teaching

All Publications

  • "I Wouldn't Invite Them to the Cookout": How Black Male Special Education Teachers Feel About Socializing with Their White Colleagues HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW Cormier, C. J. 2022; 92 (1): 86-106
  • How Did You Get Here? You're Not Supposed to Be Here Supporting the Social-Emotional and Mental Health Needs of Minoritized Twice Exceptional Students TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN Cormier, C. J. 2022
  • Locked in Glass Classrooms: Black Male Special Education Teachers Socialized as Everything But Educators TEACHER EDUCATION AND SPECIAL EDUCATION Cormier, C. J., Scott, L. A., Powell, C., Hall, K. 2022; 45 (1): 77-94
  • Critical Issues for the Preparation and Workforce Development of Racialized Special Educators TEACHER EDUCATION AND SPECIAL EDUCATION Scott, L. A., Cormier, C. J., Boveda, M. 2022; 45 (1): 5-7
  • Easing Down the Road: Exploring the Pathway to the Field and Experiences of Black Male Special Education Teachers [in press] The Educational Forum Cormier, C. J. 2022
  • When Salt Ain’t Enough: A Critical Quantitative Analysis of Special Education and Education Degree Production Teachers College Record Cormier, C. J., Houston, D. A., Scott, L. A. 2022; 123 (10): 3-30
  • It’s Not Easy Being Green: Addressing Overrepresentation in Special Education Through Culturally Responsive Pedagogy [in press] Kappa Delta Pi Record Cormier, C. J. 2022
  • White Folks Teach, Black Men Police: Black Male Teachers as the Regulators of Student Behavior Teachers College Record Cormier, C. J. 2022
  • Navigating the Double Bind: A Systematic Literature Review of the Experiences of Novice Teachers of Color in K-12 Schools REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH Bettini, E., Cormier, C. J., Ragunathan, M., Stark, K. 2021
  • Why Do They Stay? Factors Associated With Special Education Teachers' Persistence REMEDIAL AND SPECIAL EDUCATION Scott, L. A., Taylor, J. P., Bruno, L., Padhye, I., Brendli, K., Wallace, W., Cormier, C. J. 2021
  • Unicorns Are Real: A Narrative Synthesis of Black Men's Career Trajectories in Special Education in the United States BERKELEY REVIEW OF EDUCATION Cormier, C. J. 2021; 10 (2)
  • If We’re Not Doing It, Then Who? A Qualitative Study of Black Special Educators’ Persistence Exceptionality Scott, L. A., Brown, A., Wallace, W., Cormier, C. J., Powell, C. 2021; 29 (3): 182-196
  • Socially distanced teaching: The mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on special education teachers. Journal of community psychology Cormier, C. J., McGrew, J., Ruble, L., Fischer, M. 2021


    Little is known about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on special education teachers. Of 468 surveyed across the United States, 38.4% met clinical criteria for generalized anxiety disorder, a rate 12.4 times greater than the U.S. population, and 37.6% for major depressive disorder, a rate 5.6 times greater than the population. Race/ethnicity, gender, or school funding was not related to mental health. The impact of the pandemic was moderate to extreme on stress (91%), depression (58%), anxiety (76%), and emotional exhaustion (83%).

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jcop.22736

    View details for PubMedID 34780679

  • Black Graduates on the Yard and on the Quad: Trends of Education Degrees at HBCUs and Non-HBCUs [in press] Kappa Delta Pi Record Houston, D. A., Cormier, C. J., Petchauer, E., Scott, L. A. 2021
  • Black Teachers’ Affirmations of Learners’ Socioemotional and Mental Health Needs: A Transnational Examination Kappa Delta Pi Record Cormier, C. J., Boveda, M., Aladejebi, F., Gathoni, A. 2021; 57 (1): 30-36
  • Castaways on Gilligan’s Island: Minoritized Special Education Teachers of Color Advocating for Equity TEACHING Exceptional Children Cormier, C. J., Scott, L. A. 2021; 53 (3)

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0040059920974701

  • Stress, Burnout, and Mental Health Among Teachers of Color The Learning Professional Cormier, C. J., Wong, V., McGrew, J., Ruble, L., Worrell, F. C. 2021; 42 (1): 54-62
  • Complementary Review of the Literature on Attrition and Retention Patterns Among Special Education Teachers of Color: What We Know and How We Move Forward [accepted] Multiple Voices: Disability, Race and Language Intersections in Special Education Scott, L. A., Powell, C., Oyefuga , O., Cormier, C. J., Padhye , I. 2021
  • They Do It for the Culture: Analyzing Why Black Men Enter the Field of Special Education Multiple Voices: Disability, Race and Language Intersections in Special Education Cormier, C. J. 2020; 20 (2): 24-37