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Exceptional Education to Hold 10th annual Mann Graduate Research Symposium

Exceptional Education to Hold 10th annual Mann Graduate Research Symposium

Posted: May 6, 2016

Twenty-nine master’s level teacher candidates in Buffalo State’s Exceptional Education Department will showcase 12 collaborative academic and behavioral-related research projects during the 10th annual Dr. Horace “Hank” Mann Graduate Research Symposium on Saturday, May 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Rockwell Hall. Local educators, alumni, faculty, and students are expected to attend, but the free symposium is also open to the community at large. 

Welcoming remarks will begin at 9:00 a.m., followed by keynote speaker Russell Gersten, director of the Instructional Research Group and professor emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He will discuss instructional recommendations for teaching math to students with learning disabilities and students considered at-risk.

“Dr. Gersten’s talk is relevant and timely because of the recent focus on interventions with math and the Common Core learning standards,” said Lisa Rafferty, chair and associate professor of exceptional education. 

After his talk, students will present their various research projects. Topics range from “Promoting Parent-School Involvement via Parent-Child Literacy Workshops” to “Using the Good Behavior Game in an Integrated Preschool Setting to Reduce Disruptive Behavior.”

The goal of the biannual symposium is to have teacher candidates engage in practice-based research.

“We want to give them an opportunity to use data to inform instructional practices and add to the collective knowledge on evidence-based practices for students with and at-risk for disabilities,” Rafferty said.

This symposium comes at a time when the need for exceptional education teachers is growing across the nation.

“We get calls or emails almost weekly from schools looking for special education teachers, especially in the secondary grades,” Rafferty said. “Districts from as far as away as Houston, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, know that Buffalo State produces highly trained teacher candidates.”

About the Dr. Horace Mann Graduate Research Symposium
The research symposium was named in 2012 in honor of Horace “Hank” Mann, who joined Buffalo State in 1953 as the director of the Exceptional Children Education Division. Under his leadership, the college’s exceptional education undergraduate and graduate programs rose to prominence and became among the largest in the United States. Mann passed away in November 2010 at the age of 88.

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