Stories from the Field
Edited By David J. Connor and Beth A. Ferri
8. The Promises We Keep
As I began to write this chapter, I was flying from the northern Ghanaian city of Gonja to the southern coastal capital Accra. I had spent three days in Gonja, observing how teachers in rural schools with next to no resources were implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and inclusive strategies. The teachers were provided with professional development materials based on the inclusive education modules that Dr. Michelle Damiani and I designed for western Kenyan teachers while we were doctoral students at Syracuse University (SU). When I was not observing teachers, some of whom had their own newborn children strapped to their backs while teaching over fifty first grade students, I was drinking my morning coffee catching glimpses of African elephants and dodging mischievous baboons looking to steal my fruit. On trips like these, I oftentimes have to pinch myself and wonder how in the hell I got here.
To tell my story of how I came to be a domestic and international researcher/teacher of inclusive education and Disability Studies in Education (DSE), I share some pivotal moments from my career and make connections between my domestic and international work. By telling these stories I encourage others to think about how to breakdown segregated systems of education from the inside-out. For me, it has been important to think both locally and globally about inclusive education, and consider how each location can inform the other in important and transformative ways.
Trigger warning-this section...
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