The University of New Mexico's College of Education (COE) presents Dr. Charles Dukes as the featured speaker in its annual 2020 Dr. Jane Blumenfeld Lecture. The lecture, titled Culturally competent special education…how do I know when I see it and what I am supposed to see?, will be presented by the COE's Department of Special Education on Tuesday, March 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Domenici Auditorium of the UNM Health Sciences Center.


The campus community, including faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public are invited to attend the free lecture. A reception follows afterward. Refreshments will be served.

Dr. Charles Dukes
Dr. Charles Dukes

In the spirit of Dr. Blumenfeld’s work, Dukes is a national expert on special education teacher preparation, conceptual change, development of social relationships of individuals with disabilities, and skill development for adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. His lecture will discuss cultural competence and related topics like culturally responsive teaching all of which are seemingly well-known to educators, but is that really the case? Developing cultural competence is not easy. What does it mean to be culturally competent and how do teacher educators know culturally competent teacher candidates when they see them? These lingering questions remain relevant, even today, in one of the most diverse and culturally aware periods in our history. Answering these questions is the current challenge.

Dukes is a professor of Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University. He earned both a doctorate in Special Education and a second doctorate in Experimental Psychology. He teaches classes in Disability Studies, Applied Behavior Analysis, Classroom Management and Inclusive Education for General Educators. He has also taught special topic courses focusing on the application of evolution to human behavior. Dukes serves as a doctoral coordinator for the Department of Exceptional Student Educatio and other committees for the College of Education and Florida Atlantic University.

Dukes is a member of two professional organizations: TASH (formerly known as The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps) and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) since 1999. Dukes is active in TASH, serving on the review board for the research journal, Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (RPSD).

Dukes’ research interests include special education teacher education, conceptual change, development of social relationships for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and skill development for adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Jane Blumenfeld
Dr. Jane Blumenfeld

Blumenfeld died on Sept. 19, 2017. She started the first special education class in Albuquerque Public Schools in 1955, taught university courses in special education at UNM, arranged the hiring of the first UNM faculty member to prepare teachers how to teach students with severe disabilities, helped launch the first school services to students with severe disabilities, and worked tirelessly for all students with disabilities to be served in schools.

In the 1950s, she (Blumenfeld) pressed the APS superintendent of schools to start a special education program; he denied, “we don’t have any children like that.” Dr. Blumenfeld responded, ‘If we are a community, we have to care for the entire community. We are responsible to these children and their families to help them be all that they can be.”

This exchange summarizes the focus of Blumenfeld’s life and work—the education of overlooked children with special needs. Her lecture is designed to reflect that work.

For guests who hold a UNM parking permit can park in “M” Lot after 3:45 p.m. Guests with no UNM parking permit are able to parkin the Law School parking lot after 4 p.m. Paid meter parking is also available in “M” Lot.

The annual Jane Blumenfeld Lecture is sponsored with generous support from the Dr. Jane Blumenfeld Endowment for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Special Education Assessment and Diagnosis