Lee News

Higginbotham and McClung Present in Austria

Lee University professors Dr. Jo Ann Higginbotham and Dr. Trish McClung recently presented a collaborative three year longitudinal study at the Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations (DOCN) Conference in Vienna, Austria.

In addition to Higginbotham and McClung, two additional Lee professors, Dr. Mike Iosia and Dr. Eric Moyen, along with a local middle school teacher, Dr. Julie Mitchell, collaborated on the study.

The three year project studied the attitudes and perceptions of Lee University students before and after student teaching experiences in Ghana and Thailand. The study was titled "Facts and Feelings: The Effects of an International Student Teaching Experience on Student Teachers’ Attitudes and Perceptions."

Higginbotham and Moyen, who originally initiated the project, previously presented the research in progress at the Christians on Diversity in Education Conference in California, receiving feedback from professors attending that conference. In collaboration with Iosia and McClung, the research was further developed and completed. Their research has been accepted for publication in The International Journal of Diversity in Education.

McClung and Higginbotham expressed appreciation for this opportunity. “Conferences such as this enhance our professional growth and development, giving new perspectives to the importance of diversity in the classroom,” said Higginbotham.

Higginbotham has been a member of the Lee family since 1981. Prior to coming to Lee, she was a curriculum specialist and elementary teacher at the International School in Bangkok, Thailand. Before that she taught in the Metropolitan Public School System in Nashville, Tennessee.

At Lee, Higginbotham teaches courses in the teacher education program as well as graduate courses in the master’s program in the Helen DeVos College of Education (HDCOE). She also directs the Thailand Summer Study Program and supervises the student teaching program to Bangkok. Her current research interests are reading, integrating the arts across the curriculum, and multicultural education.

McClung joined Lee's faculty in 2002 and teaches special education in Lee's HDCOE. She received her doctorate in education from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

McClung began her career in education as a high school teacher in the United Kingdom but after coming to the United States, she became involved in serving students with disabilities. Initially, she was a coordinator for students with disabilities for Project Head Start and later worked in the Bradley County school system as a special education teacher and coordinator.

Her research interests include the use of narrative inquiry as a means of understanding and analyzing the life stories of past, present, and future special education teachers in relation to the attrition of teachers in this field. Additional interests include the effects of cross-cultural experiences on pre-service teachers and on the importance of the preparation of all students to function efficiently in global settings.

The Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations Conference has a history of bringing together scholarly, government and practice-based participants with an interest in the issues of diversity and community. It examines the concept of diversity as a positive aspect of a global world and globalized society.

For more information about the DOCN community or future conferences, visit http://ondiversity.com/about-the-community..
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