Priscilla Kucer

Co-Chair of the Students, Early Career, and Social Networking Interest Group, - International School Psychology Association

Priscilla Kucer

Co-Chair of the Students, Early Career, and Social Networking Interest Group, - International School Psychology Association

Biography

Dr. Priscilla Kucer earned her undergraduate degree in Barbados and obtained her graduate degrees in the United States. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty. Dr. Kucer has held licenses/certifications in United States and Barbados. She has conducted trainings on school psychology, special education/needs administration, psycho educational assessment, cultural competence, and equity.

Culturally Responsive Practices Can Promote Literacy Development

Our classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse. In many schools, the cultural backgrounds of the teachers may not be the same as the students. When curriculum materials and lesson activities include elements of the students’ cultures, learning and student achievement increases (Hammond, 2015; Stormont, Reinke, Herman, & Lembke, 2012). Culturally responsive teachers provide quality education that is necessary for sustainable development.

Culturally responsive teaching is a means of promoting inclusive practices within our diverse classrooms (Hammond, 2015; Stormont, Reinke, Herman, & Lembke, 2012). Our student populations are comprised of diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, religion, language, and socioeconomic status. Students who feel included in the classroom are more likely to participate (Hammond, 2015). Culturally responsive teachers tend to include classroom engagement is critical for students’ learning and development of literacy skills (Stormont et al., 2012).
 We are in an era where teachers are travelling across oceans to teach in different countries. However, those teachers may not be knowledgeable about the culture, diversity, and educational structure of the new country where they are teaching. Furthermore, educators may be entering school systems in other countries without being knowledgeable about the country’s general and special education laws. This lack of knowledge impacts the educator’s ability to engage in inclusive culturally appropriate practices and can negatively impact students’ development of literacy.

 Quality education is one of the UNESCO’s goals for sustainable development (UNESCO, 2019). High quality teachers are necessary for a country’s sustainable development and for student achievement (Chetty et al., 2014; UNESCO, 2019). UNESCO (2019) recognizes the need for developing teachers’ capacity for improving the quality of teaching and learning. Increasing teachers’ skills to provide culturally responsive teaching is align with UNESCO’s goal and work focus.

 It is critical for educators to receive training to assist them in developing their cultural competence of the new culture within which they are teaching (Hammond, 2015). In this session, participants will learn about the elements of cultural competence, learn about inclusive education, and be exposed to activities for culturally responsive teaching to promote literacy development. This session will be interactive, inclusive of role-plays.

Girls with Disabilities Become Powerful Leaders!

In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) highlighted 34 million adolescent girls globally were experiencing continued denial of education, which will negatively impact world economies. Women with disabilities are much less likely to receive access to formal education (UNSECO, 2018). This presentation will expose participants to case studies of women with learning challenges who became successful.

In the global environment, education is critical for any individual’s success and survival (Leithwood & Seashore Louis, 2012). In comparison to boys, girls are 1.5 times more likely to be excluded from primary school opportunities to read and write (GPE, 2019). Education would provide girls with the power to improve the world! Reading is the fuel for education. Girls, including those with disabilities, can using reading to become advocates for change!
Article 28 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states all children have the right to education and on the basis of equal opportunity (UN, 1989). Article 28 further states that primary education should be compulsory and free, while secondary education should be accessible to all children, including those with disabilities. Educated girls are less likely to die in childbirth, less likely to have malnourished children, less likely to marry at young ages, and more likely to find work when compared to uneducated girls (UNESCO, 2013).

Internationally, girls experience social and cultural barriers in the educational system. These barriers include poverty, violence, disability, poor infrastructure, and cultural norms and practices (The World Bank, 2017). Such barriers negatively impact the likelihood of a girl serving in a leadership or management position (UNESCO, 2014).

Participants will review case examples of individual women, with and without reading disabilities, from different countries. Participants will learn how the diverse group of women persevered to lead successful careers in medicine, mental health, and education. Participants will have the opportunity to share about the challenges facing girls’ education in their cities/countries and barriers experienced for females pursuing leadership roles. Overall, participants will be exposed to suggestions on how to improve girls’ educational outcomes. Education leads to the narrowing of the pay gaps between men and women. Let’s educate our girls!