I hope I can accurately document my experiences in Brazil and share my knowledge with other educators. The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Project offers an extremely unique opportunity for a special educator. The need for both leaders and educators in special education to develop a global perspective of their field and an international understanding for policies and procedures abroad is imperative. Opportunities to learn from educators, government officials and inhabitants of countries promoting large education initiatives, especially those targeting students with disabilities and individuals who require alternative teaching methods, offer invaluable information about the country’s perception of special education, the disabled population, and what role culture plays in educating individuals with disabilities. Mutual understanding and learning amongst educators in this field is critical to the development of programs that will meet the unique needs of diverse populations.

Friday, June 18, 2010

University of Florida

I experienced another full day at the University of Florida. It was a wonderful orientation. I was completely emerged in Brazilian culture, history, ecology, economy, education, etc. I realized today why our orientation sessions were moved from Washington DC to U of F. Other than Corey Brewer, U of F is home to some of the country’s leading experts on Brazil. An entire department is dedicated to Brazilian research and academics. Each expert presented valuable knowledge in their field. All had experienced very different aspects of Brazil. One had spent 6 months in the Amazon studying ecology. Others were Brazilian or had a Brazilian spouse. My anxieties and excitement are significantly rising! I leave tomorrow morning for Sao Paulo!

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