Jessica Toste

Jessica R. Toste

Assistant Professor

Learning Disabilities/ Behavior Disorders


Office & Hours:
Office: SZB 408H
By appointment



Courses of Instruction
SED 378R | Reading Assessment & Development with Diverse Populations
SED 378T | Reading Assessment & Development
SED 383 | Instructional Adaptations I
SED 396C | Trends & Issues in LD/BD

Mailing Address
Department of Special Education
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station
Austin, TX 78712
UT Mail Code: D5300


Jessica Toste is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and a fellow of the Reading Institute within The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. She received her PhD in educational psychology from McGill University (Montreal). Her research interests are related to students with learning disabilities and effective reading interventions, with a particular focus on motivation as a determinant of school success. Toste was trained in reading intervention research as a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University (2011-2013) and as a Fulbright scholar/visiting researcher at the Florida Center for Reading Research (2008-2009). She was the recipient of the Canadian Education Association’s 2012 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education. She is a licensed elementary school teacher in Quebec and has extensive experience as a reading specialist.


Postdoc, Vanderbilt University | Special Education

PhD, McGill University | Human Development

MA, McGill University | Educational Psychology

BEd, McGill University | Elementary Education

Representative Publications

Selected publications:

Toste, J. R., Capin, P., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G. G., & Kearns, D. K. (under review). Multisyllabic word reading instruction with and without motivational beliefs training for struggling readers in the upper elementary grades: A pilot investigation.

Michaud, M., Dion, E., Barrette, A., Dupere, V., & Toste, J. R. (in press). Does knowing what a word means influence how easily its decoding is learned? Reading & Writing Quarterly.

Emery, A. A., Toste, J. R., & Heath, N. L. (2015). The balance of instrinsic need satisfaction across contexts as a predictor of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 753-765.

Rogers, M., Belanger-Lejars, V., Toste, J. R., & Heath, N. L. (2015). Mismatched: An investigation of ADHD and the teacher-student relationship. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Advance online publication: 10.1080/13632752.2014.972039

Toste, J. R., Heath, N. L., Connor, C. M., & Peng, P. (2015). Reconceptualizing teacher-student relationships: Applicability of the working alliance within classroom contexts. The Elementary School Journal, 116, 30-48.

Miller, A. C., Davis, N., Gilbert, J. K., Cho, S-J., Toste, J. R., Street, J., & Cutting, L. E. (2014). Novel approaches to examine passage, student, and question effects on reading comprehension. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 29(1), 25-35.

Toste, J. R., Bloom, E. L., & Heath, N. L. (2014). The differential role of classroom working alliance in predicting school-related outcomes for students with and without high-incidence disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 48(2), 135-148.

Toste, J. R., Compton, D. L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Gilbert, J. K., Cho, E., Barquero, L. A., & Bouton, B. D. (2014). Understanding unresponsiveness to Tier 2 reading intervention: Exploring the classification and profiles of adequate and inadequate responders. Learning Disability Quarterly, 37(4), 192-203.

Heath, N. L., Roberts, E., & Toste, J. R. (2013). Perceptions of academic performance: Positive illusions in adolescents with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 46(5), 402-412.

Connor, C. M., Morrison, F. J., Schatschneider, C., Toste, J. R., Lundblom, E., Crowe, E. E., & Fishman, B. (2011). Effective classroom instruction: Implications of child characteristics by reading instruction interactions on first graders’ word reading achievement. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 4(3), 173-207.

Noble, R. N., Heath, N. L., & Toste, J. R. (2011). Positive illusions in adolescents: The relationship between academic self-enhancement and depressive symptomatology. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 42, 650-665.

Connor C. M., Kaya, S., Luck, M., Toste, J. R., Canto, A., Rice, D., Tani, N., & Underwood, P. S. (2010). Content-area literacy: Individualizing student instruction in second grade science. The Reading Teacher, 63(6), 474-485.

Foorman, B. R., Petscher, Y., Lefsky, E., & Toste, J. R. (2010). Reading First in Florida: Five years of improvement. Journal of Literacy Research, 42, 71-93.

Toste, J. R., Heath, N. L., & Dallaire, L. (2010). Perceptions of classroom working alliance and student performance. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 56(4), 371-387.


Recent Awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2011-2013)

  • Canadian Association of Educational Psychology, G. M. Dunlop Distinguished Contribution Award (2012)

  • Canadian Education Association, Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education (2011)

  • Governor General’s Gold Medal, McGill University (2011)

  • Fulbright Foundation—Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program (2009)

Research Interests and Expertise

Reading intervention; learning disabilities; psychosocial processes; mehanisms of risk and resilience; teacher-student relationships; classroom climate