Education students present research at international conference in Jamaica

Education students at Marymount University traveled this summer to Montego Bay, Jamaica, where they worked in a local school, collaborated with peers on a Changemaker project and presented their research at the DISES (Division of International Special Education and Services) International Conference 2019.
“Our students had the unique opportunity to share in the conversation regarding current global practices in inclusive education with educators and education officials from around the world,” said Dr. Clara Hauth, Assistant Professor of Education at Marymount.
The immersive educational experience, coordinated by Marymount’s Center for Global Education, was part of a global course developed by Dr. Hauth, “Education in the Global Classroom.” Shawna LeBlond, Coordinator of Education Clinical Experiences, Licensure and Data Management, helped lead the trip that included eight graduate students and two undergraduate students.
Students worked in collaborative teams at the Chetwood Memorial Primary School in Jamaica with representatives from the University of San Diego and teachers at the school. Together, their efforts to support inclusive classrooms included structured activities for students from kindergarten through sixth grade, supporting their voices in determining long-term goals.
“Through the collaboration with the school and community, we hope to keep building the relationship for future collaborations,” Dr. Hauth added.
“This experience has had a significant impact on the way I view education,” said Marymount graduate student Terri Eichner. “I believe that now I will teach in a more inclusive way as a result of having been exposed to different educational settings, a diversity in language, socio-economic conditions and cultural differences.”
Marymount students also composed the largest group of student researchers at the DISES International Conference 2019! They presented two research projects – “Building Teams: Professional Development Opportunities to Support Childhood Development in Panama,” and “It’s about Ability: Global Awareness Efforts to Overcome Disability Misconceptions.”
DISES is a division of the Council for Exceptional Children, and promotes knowledge exchange, collaboration, human rights and advocacy to those who provide services for individuals with disabilities.
“The entire experience with the class and travel to Jamaica was indescribable and invaluable,” said Marymount student Casey McLellan. “Collaborating with peers and presenting to a vast audience on a global topic in special education gave me a renewed excitement and drive to see where these experiences might lead in my profession.”
Next year, Dr. Hauth plans to take student researchers to the next DISES International Conference, which will be held in Dubai.