SOE and T/TAC host inclusive education symposium

  • SymposiumAttendees at the 19th Annual Symposium on Professional Collaboration and Inclusive Education talk before one of the sessions. More than 400 educators from across the Commonwealth attended the two-day event, held at the Williamsburg Marriott.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas.

    Symposium
  • SymposiumWendy Weichel Murawski, a three-time William and Mary graduate and one of the keynote speakers at the symposium, speaks with Lori Korinek and Sharon deFur after her presentation.

    Courtesy photo.

    Symposium

More than 400 general and special education teachers and administrators from across the Commonwealth recently converged upon the Williamsburg Marriott to participate in the 19th Annual Symposium on Professional Collaboration and Inclusive Education.

The event, which took place Nov. 10 and 11, was co-sponsored by William and Mary's School of Education and the Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at William and Mary. The center provides a variety of support services to educational professionals serving school-age students with mild and moderate disabilities or transition needs in Eastern Virginia.

The symposium offered "a unique collaborative professional development opportunity for general and special educators," said School of Education Professor Sharon deFur. "School divisions across Virginia send teams of general and special educators. This professional development model promotes sharing ideas as well as exposure to research-based practices and tools that the team then integrates into their classroom practice."

The keynote speakers were Rick Wormeli, an award-winning speaker, author, and teacher-trainer; and Wendy Weichel Murawski, a professor, author and consultant.

Murawski is a three-time William and Mary graduate. She holds a Bachelor's degree in German and literature, a Master of Arts in Education in Special Education, and an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from the College.

She previously worked as a teacher in York County Public Schools, and is now an Associate Professor in Special Education at California State University - Northridge. She is nationally recognized for her research focusing on promoting inclusive education for students with disabilities, "particularly on the ways in which general and special educators work together to promote the academic success of students with mild and moderate disabilities," said deFur.

The aim of the T/TAC's services is to improve student education through enhanced professional practice. Over the past year, the center has conducted a series of institutes for local school divisions to support their efforts in supporting the achievement of children and youth with disabilities.

Undergraduates at William and Mary now have an opportunity to apply for early acceptance into the Master of Arts in Education Program in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, or Special Education. People interested in applying for a Master's of Arts in Education with an emphasis on Special Education should contact deFur (shdefu@wm.edu) at 757-221-2150 or Lori Korinek (lakori@wm.edu) at 757-221-2335.