Lander University is playing host to a British educator as part of a faculty exchange in which a Lander professor will travel to England for a month of similar academic activities.
Allison Goddard is senior lecturer in Primary Education in the Department of Education, Health and Social Care at the University of Winchester. During her monthlong visit to Lander she is meeting with students and faculty in the Department of Teacher Education to discuss similarities in approaches to teaching children with special needs.
She has also met with public school teachers in the Greenwood area and is scheduled to attend a national special education conference in Nashville.
Goddard has been an educator for 26 years, with 18 years' experience teaching children with autism. She has been on the faculty at Winchester for eight years and is the special education needs coordinator in the unit for autism. She told students in one early childhood education class, "I am still learning."
She encouraged them to be creative in their methods of teaching special needs children, and reflect on what they have seen or experienced that they consider effective approaches.
The University of Winchester is a partner institution in Lander's Study Abroad Program, and during her visit, Goddard is meeting with groups of students to promote foreign study. She said it is an opportunity for them to share knowledge and people's experiences. Nine Lander students have been selected to spend the fall 2010 semester at Winchester and four other foreign universities as part of the Study Abroad Program.
Goddard said she is gaining a greater perspective about teacher education in the U.S. She is also investigating possible areas of joint research with Lander on American and British approaches to special education.
At the end of April, Dava O'Connor, chair of Lander's Department of Teacher Education, will travel to Winchester where she will be a guest lecturer on special education and take part in ongoing research and public presentations. O'Connor is professor and instructor of special education and coordinator of Lander's special education program.
For O'Connor, Lander's 2009 Distinguished Professor of the Year, this will be a return visit to England. She has escorted education majors on study trips abroad where they observed classroom techniques in England, Ireland, Wales and Italy.
The O'Connor-Goddard exchange is the second Lander-Winchester faculty exchange in a year. Last spring, Dr. Debra Natvig, director and professor of Health Care Management at Lander, spent two weeks at Winchester while Dr. Neil Marriott, dean of the Winchester Business School, came to Lander as a guest lecturer.