COE

Harris presents keynote at international conference

Kymberly Harris, Ph.D., is pictured (right) with Meng Deng, Ph.D., deputy dean for the Institute of Special Education and director of the Research Centre for Inclusive Education at Beijing Normal University in China.

Kymberly Harris, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning, was a keynote speaker at the International Forum on Inclusive Education in Xiamen, China.

Harris presented to over 500 special educators and administrators and was live streamed on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) educational channel.

“I presented the current ‘state of inclusion’ in the United States, as well as specifics on Georgia Southern’s teacher preparation for students with disabilities within our special education program and the dual certification program in early childhood,” said Harris.

The conference took place on January 9-10 at the Xiamen Junlong Hotel and was co-organized by the Center for Integrated Education and Research of Beijing Normal University, the China Disabled Persons’ Welfare Foundation, Love Group, and Xiamen Special Education School.

“The longstanding partnership of the COE’s Department of Teaching and Learning and special education program with our colleagues in the PRC has led to greater opportunities for an exchange of policy ideas,” said Harris. “At this conference, faculty with special education expertise from Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States along with delegates from across the PRC came together with a shared goal of increased educational access for students with disabilities. The common message from all presenters was the importance of going forward with student-centered outcomes for this population of learners as the primary focus.”

Harris was invited to be a part of the conference by Meng Deng, Ph.D., deputy dean for the Institute of Special Education and director of the Research Centre for Inclusive Education at Beijing Normal University. Deng was a Fulbright Scholar at Georgia Southern from 2006-2007 during which Harris served as his faculty sponsor. Deng, Harris, and COE assistant professor Catherine Howerter, Ph.D., have published several articles and a book chapter on the topic of best practices for students with disabilities in general education classrooms.

During Harris’ visit, she was also invited to speak to faculty at Beijing Normal University.

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