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UC academics take inclusive teaching research to US

UC academics take inclusive teaching research to US

Two University of Canterbury (UC) academics have been invited to the United States to discuss ways to support inclusive education in schools at two international symposia this month.

Professor Missy Morton and Dr Annie Guerin of the College of Education, Health and Human Development are speaking at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, about the research they’ve conducted in schools throughout New Zealand.

The April symposium at Wayne State University follows their presentation at another international symposium at the World Education Research Forum, hosted by the American Educational Research Association Conference in Washington, DC.

The UC academics will share their work in understanding how curriculum, pedagogy and assessment can be made to work to support inclusive education. Since 2009 they have been working with schools in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand.

Prof Morton says the work is of real interest to international colleagues.

“Sometimes people argue that one of the barriers to including all children and young people in schools is the nature of a child's disability. We've been able to show how teachers can and do include all students in the New Zealand curriculum, and that those students learn, achieve and truly belong in their local school.

“I think we sometimes forget about the importance of assessment for helping or getting in the way of students’ sense of belonging. Good assessment is about getting to know your students. Some forms of assessment are better at this than others – these are the forms of assessment that get teachers and students talking with each other, learning from one another.”

Head of UC’s School of Educational Studies and Leadership, Prof Morton is the Director of the Inclusive and Special Education Research Group, and has worked for the National Offices of IHC and for CCS Disability Action.

Dr Annie Guerin is a lecturer in the School of Educational Studies and Leadership at UC who has worked in a range of roles in primary and secondary schools in New Zealand over the last 30 years. She has recently completed her PhD at UC focused on the use of narrative assessment with two disabled students in a New Zealand secondary school.


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