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Transformation for Inclusive Practices:  Developing a sustainable model for vulnerable children in post-conflict Uganda

Global Education Colloquium

April 19, 2016

Susan O’Rourke, Carlow University

In many regions of the world where resources are scarce, children live in situations of extreme vulnerability and are exposed to challenges in meeting their basic needs. For three years, multidisciplinary teams of researchers engaged in initiatives designed to transform communities and schools to improve the lives of vulnerable children in Uganda. Dr. Susan O’Rourke was part of this project and will present the team’s work; describe the role that local teachers, parents and community leaders played; and offer a new theory of change framework for understanding systemic change in other country contexts. 

About the Speaker

Dr. Susan O’Rourke is a professor of education and Program Director for Special Education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. She earned her doctorate in Instructional Design and Technology, and a master’s degree in Special Education, from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a teacher for 10 years, working with children with multiple disabilities at The Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh (now the Children’s Institute) prior to joining Carlow in 1997. Dr. O’Rourke’s interests include international special education focusing on vulnerable children in developing countries, the integration of technology in classroom settings, distance education, and assisted technologies for student engagement. She specializes in the teaching and learning of children with autism spectrum disorders and children with social, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Dr. O’Rourke is Past President of the Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES) and a founding member of the Division of Performing and Visual Arts Education (DARTS), both divisions within the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). She has collaborated with special education professionals in Cuba, Peru, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Latvia, Kuwait, Trinidad and Tobago, Israel, Portugal, Uganda and Liberia.