Donna Gainer

Department / Division

  • Educational Psychology Faculty


  • Associate Teaching Professor
  • Educational Psychology Distance Coordinator



Dr. Donna Carol Gainer is an Educational Psychologist and faculty member in the Educational Psychology Department at Mississippi State University. Her Ph.D. is in Educational Psychology and her Masters degree is in Community Counseling, both from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gainer has been involved in secondary teacher preparation for twelve years teaching assessment design and human development and learning to pre-service teachers. These two classes in addition to planning for diversity are the three classes that lead to passing the Praxis II, Principles of Learning and Teaching for secondary pre-service teachers. In addition, she teaches the Creativity and Giftedness class and has often provided training on creativity and creative team building to both educational and private sector organizations. She is interested in creativity among at-risk populations.

Dr. Gainer is a board member for the Institute of Learning Styles research and along with Dr. Maria Witte of Auburn has recently authored the revised procedures manual for the MMPALT-III, a performance based sensory modality learning styles assessment. She has conducted numerous in-service training programs concerning sensory modality learning styles, assessment design and objective writing for middle and high school students that utilize higher order thinking skills, and designing visual presentations for effective instruction. In addition she is interested in research related to utilizing sensory modality learning styles to differentiate instruction across the content areas. Visual learning and processing, enhancement of text with image, and assessment design for higher order thinking for middle and high school students are additional interests. She has been an invited speaker for Lincoln Memorial University's Summer Brain and Learning initiative speaking on the usefulness of sensory modality learning styles for differentiation of instruction and planning instructional objectives for both higher education and secondary settings. She is a member of MSERA (Mid-south Educational Research Association), ILSR (The Institute for Learning Styles Research, and MAGC (Mississippi Association for Gifted Children), and participates in Creativity Champions.