THE CONFERENCE COORDINATOR
Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville and its partners are entirely conscious of the importance to provide avenues through which solutions for special education challenges may be exchanged. Hence, the hosting of the 2022 Special Education Conference and Workshops offers participants a relevant context to become involved in varied presentations and purposeful dialogues that suggest strategies for effectual online teaching and learning.
The conference and workshops theme, Problem-solving Tenacities: Pivotal Approaches for Overcoming Challenges for the Inclusive Virtual Classroom, highlights the need for continued repositioning in ensuring the success of teaching, and caring for students with exceptionalities. Notably, a flexible mind-set is an essential pre-requisite for stakeholders’ tailored responses to the unparalleled experiences of online learning spaces.
This is our second year of hosting the conference online which extends the opportunity for more persons to participate. We are determined to provide quality sessions which we hope everyone finds meaningful. One of the primary objectives is for participants to garner a plethora of problem-solving approaches that may be applied to addressing the difficulties with which individuals may grapple when catering to special education students via virtual modalities.
The College remains absolutely grateful to our partners, the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, The Jamaica Teachers’ Association, The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, for your unremitting commitment. Your invaluable efforts and investments have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the conference and workshops over the years. Importantly, we look forward to preserving our collaboration for the benefit of students who require special care, and customisation of teaching and learning experiences.
Thank you to all the team members who worked assiduously in the background to stage another conference. Your hard work has certainly not gone unnoticed. Also, thank you to our presenters and participants for your willing and significant involvement. Your continued support is always welcomed as we endeavour to play active roles in satisfying the needs of students with special emotional, physical and educational requirements.
Ardene Reid-Virtue (Mrs.)
Church Teachers' College: Mandeville
Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville preserves its commitment to playing a proactive role in fulfilling critical educational needs. This necessitates a conscious implementation of undertakings that satisfy students’ range of academic, social, emotional and physical requirements. As part of meeting this requisite, the College continues to host its Special Education and Workshop Conference. It gives varied stakeholders valuable opportunities to engage participants in presentations and conversations that equip educators, parents, and other caregivers with tools and strategies for providing meaningful special education services.
This year’s conference theme, Problem-solving Tenacities: Pivotal Approaches for Overcoming Challenges for the Inclusive Virtual Classroom, conveys our interest in resolving the associated difficulties of online teaching and learning. As a College, we remain cognizant of the importance of ensuring that we participate in providing practical solutions for the success of educating students with differentiated abilities. Indeed, special education is an essential arm of the educational organisation. Therefore, as education experiences paradigm shifts, a focus on special education priorities should never be left on the periphery. Hence, the College and our partners forge ahead in our efforts to support endeavours aimed at ultimately enabling exceptional students to maximise their fullest potentials while being engaged via varied modalities for teaching and learning.
Thank you to the conference secretariat and our partners – the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, The Jamaica Teachers’ Association, The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, who have devoted their support over the years. Your sustained interest is definitely appreciated. As well, I extend gratitude to our presenters and participants who play an extremely important role in ensuring pertinent ideas are shared, and eventually impact spaces of learning and support for the students. I hope the conference and workshops provide everyone with crucial information that you deem applicable to your diverse special education contexts. Let us persist on giving keen attention to our exceptional students as we continue to cater to their spectrum of needs. We remain resolute in our motto to “Nurture through Love and Wisdom”.
Garth Anderson, Ed. D.
Principal, Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville
THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is pleased to continue its partnership with Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association in bringing you the 9th Special Education Conference and Workshops. As the Chair of the Department of Special Education at UWW and an original organizer of this event, I am proud of the longevity of this event as a high-quality professional development opportunity for teachers in Jamaica.
More than 25 years ago, the UWW College of Education and Professional Studies began its relationship with Jamaica by bringing education students to the Manchester parish in a program called Live and Learn. This program developed into the UWW Jamaican Student Teaching Experience and this event. Through our long-standing relationship with schools in Mile Gully and surrounding areas we have forged long standing professional relationships between teachers from our countries. This supports students in both countries by allowing for exchange of pedagogy and increased cultural awareness; it helps us all to become better teachers of all students.
The pandemic has restricted our travel again this year, and I look forward to a physical return home soon. In the meantime, through the innovative technology of Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville, we are excited to bring this conference and workshops to you via the web. We are so lucky to have a means to continue the conference in such unprecedented times.
At present, several changes are taking place in tertiary education, and so we are now re-positioning ourselves to be on the cutting edge of teacher education through detailed analysis and planning. As such, please expect constant updating of information on the website as the aim is to remain relevant and proactive in our approach.It is, therefore, a pleasure to meet and interact with you via our website.
Amy C. Stevens, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Special Education