Chris Knowles

Profile picture of Chris Knowles
Research Associate and Instructor
Applied Behavior Analysis, College of Education, Curriculum & Teaching, Special Education
Office: 356 Clinical Services Bldg


Dr. Knowles has diverse experiences as an educator and researcher in educational, home, and community contexts. She has worked as a special education professional for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and cognitive limitations across the developmental continuum. Her research interests are housed under the desire to improve equitable outcomes for individuals historically marginalized by the education system and society. She has taught courses in Diversity in Special Education, Foundations of Disability, Supporting Students with Low-Incidence Disability, Introduction to Behavior Disorders, and Child Studies.


2017    PhD   Special Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

2007    MS   Special Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

2004    BA    Psychology and English, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington


Knowles, C., Murray, C., Gau, J., & Toste, J. R. (2020). Teacher–Student Working Alliance Among Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment38(6), 753-761.

Sinclair, J., Hansen, S. G., Machalicek, W., Knowles, C., Hirano, K. A., Dolata, J. K., Blakely, A. W., Seeley, J. R., & Murray, C. (2018). A 16-year review of participant diversity in intervention research across a selection of 12 special education journals. Exceptional Children, 84, 312-329. doi:10.1177/0014402918756989

Knowles, C., Blakely, A., Hansen, S., Machalicek, W. (2017). Parents with intellectual disabilities experiencing challenging child routines: A pilot study using embedded self-determination practices. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities30(3), 433-444. 

Trader, B., Stonemeier, J., Berg, T., Knowles, C., Massar, M., Monzalve, M., Pinkelman, S., Nese, R., Ruppert, T., Horner, R. (2017). Promoting inclusion through evidence-based alternatives to restraint and/seclusion. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 42(2), 75-88.

Knowles, C., Harris, A., VanNorman, R. (2016). Family fun nights: Collaborative parent education accessible for diverse learning abilities. Early Childhood Education Journal45(3), 393-401.

Knowles, C., Massur, M., Raulston, T., Machalicek, W. (2016). Telehealth consultation in a self-contained classroom for behavior: A pilot study. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 61(1), 28-38.

Knowles, C., Meng, P., & Machalicek, W. (2015) Task sequencing for children with emotional and behavioral disorders: A systematic review. Behavior Modification39(1), 136-166.

Knowles, C., Machalicek, W., & Van Norman, R. (2015). Parent education for adults with intellectual disability: A review and suggestions for future research. Developmental Neurorehabilitation18(5), 336 348.


The scholarship of Dr. Knowles is focused on developing low-effort and low-cost solutions for complex challenges in educational and community contexts, inspired by her work as a special education professional and as the Associate Director of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the University of Oregon. Her research interests include improving student-teacher working alliance for students with significant behavioral challenges, paraeducator training, and prevention of teacher burnout.