Dr. Danielle Mezera (director of the Mayor’s Office of Children and Youth) and Wendy Tucker (co-chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Council, Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law-Vanderbilt) spoke on campus Monday night about “The Road to Inclusive Practices” from the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Special Education. The event came about when Belmont’s Dr. Sally Barton-Arwood and Dr. Annette Little from the School of Education were brainstorming how to integrate Debate08, specifically the candidates’ educational platforms, into their Diverse Learners class. Diverse Learners addresses how to meet the needs of students with diverse issues in the classroom, in particular, students with disabilities. Barton-Arwood and Little quickly discovered in their research that Nashville Mayor Karl Dean had appointed an advisory council to investigate how to best support students who are receiving special education services in Metro Public Schools. On Aug. 13, the Mayor’s advisory committee submitted its report “The Road to Inclusive Practices.” Because the content of the Diverse Learners class and the recommendations made in this report are closely aligned, Belmont’s Diverse Learners’ students studied the report and then proposed and researched follow-up questions. On Monday, Mezera and Tucker spoke about the work of the Advisory Council and how it impacts the local community and future teachers. After their presentation, the students from Diverse Learners presented the results of their research projects during a poster session.
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