by James Forkan
The Ruth S. Ammon School of Education’s focus is local and global.
The School’s mission of promoting educational opportunities for professional growth is increasingly accomplished through initiatives with worldwide reach—from a new study abroad program in India, and the Peace Corps master’s program, to the annual peace-themed conference in association with the United Nations.
The Special Education Study Abroad Program in India
The Ammon School of Education offered students an opportunity to travel to Kerala, India, during the January 2012 Intersession to take a course focused on special education. Assumption College, affiliated with Mahatma Gandhi University, partnered with Adelphi for this study abroad opportunity.
Anne Mungai, associate professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, hopes this will become an annual intersession program. Eighteen students and five faculty members participated this January. Along with Assistant Professor Pavan Antony, Dr. Mungai led the instructional program that involved two groups of students observing in separate local schools.
Adelphi students learned about special education services in India and how they compare to the services offered in the United States. Students participated in site visits and worked with children with disabilities, as well as with families in school settings. Several students also spent time with Indian families and learned about their traditions and daily life.
Excursions included a day on a houseboat, visiting local wildlife and taking tours of the region’s beautiful museums and historic palaces.
While in India, Professors Mungai and Antony and other Adelphi faculty members presented at the International Conference on Inclusion: Understanding Children With Disabilities to Build Inclusive Communities, cosponsored by the Ammon School of Education, at Assumption College, Kerala, and students presented poster sessions. Drs. Mungai and Antony also were guest speakers at Mahatma Gandhi University, addressing graduate students in special education.
The Peace Corps Master’s International Program
The Peace Corps master’s program offers a unique opportunity to integrate a master’s degree with overseas service. Students who qualify for a Peace Corps Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) assignment will simultaneously earn an M.A. in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with New York State certification.
The Master’s International (MI) participants will take a year of classes in the 40-credit M.A. in TESOL program and also serve in the Peace Corps, teaching English for 27 months and earning 6 credits toward their degree. To complete their student teaching, they will then spend one more semester at Adelphi. Students can start the program in either the fall or spring semester.
Associate Professor Diana Schwinge is the Peace Corps Master’s International coordinator.
The UN Seventh Annual Conference for Peace and Human Rights
A two-day event, the Seventh Annual Conference for Peace and Human Rights addresses a variety of issues relating to our classrooms, schools and communities. The conference is open to educators, academics, public education administrators, policymakers, students, United Nations ambassadors and the non-governmental organization community.
Adelphi and the UN will cohost the conference on Thursday, March 29 at Adelphi and Friday, March 30 at UN Headquarters in Manhattan. The dialog’s special focus will be “Social Media for Global Change.”
The Fulbright Scholarship Program
Dr. Diana Schwinge is the Adelphi reviewer of Fulbright applications for the Fulbright student exchange program. Gina Giambanco, M.A. ’11, was the most recent recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship in September 2011.
Under her yearlong Fulbright-sponsored position, Gina has been in Malta since October, teaching English and U.S. history at the University of Malta, and English as a Second Language at a Maltese high school.
At the high school, the San Gorg Preca Boys’ Junior Lyceum in Hamrun, Gina works two days weekly assisting three teachers. Although the role of a teacher’s assistant is to collaborate with the main classroom teacher, Gina has been trusted to take over the language lessons on the days that she is present.
“As a Fulbright Scholar, I work under the umbrella of the United States Embassy,” Gina noted. After the holiday break, she not only continued her teaching duties, but also began working in the Marsa Open Center, a refugee camp, working with Sub-Saharan Africans as an English instructor, as reported in her blog.
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