A Comparative Analysis of Inclusion Practices in the United States and the Republic of Ireland: An International, Interdisciplinary Perspective of Teacher Training
Higher education institutions can enhance the quality of teacher preparation programs by incorporating coursework on international perspectives in education. This 60-minute workshop reports on the learning outcomes of pre-service teachers enrolled in a course titled "A Comparative Analysis of Inclusion Practices in the United States and the Republic of Ireland" offered at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, PA, USA. Students and faculty from the Departments of Education and Occupational Therapy partnered with Mary Immaculate College and four Irish National Schools in Limerick, Ireland. Students broadened their perspectives on inclusion practices during classroom visitations and activities while abroad. Using video conferencing, the students continued their established relationships with their partner Irish teachers through semester-long collaboration on lesson planning and developing instructional resources. Students reported gaining a global perspective of problems of practice in special education and expanding their skills in collaboration. In addition to reporting on the learning outcomes of students enrolled in this course, the presenters will also share their experiences and ideas for developing and facilitating similar types of courses in other teacher preparation programs.
Keywords: International Collaboration, Experiential Learning, Preservice Teachers, Preservoce Occupational Therapists, Inclusion of Special Needs Students
Dr. Carroll Tyminski
Chair, Department of Education, Elizabethtown College
Dr. H. Elizabeth Coyle
Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Elizabethtown College