Danielle McDougall

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College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Education
Department: College of Social Sciences and International Studies

I have always been interested in child development. therefore it is no surprise that my life's journey has taken me upon a path of teaching and education. I taught Spanish at the secondary level for several years which was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed.  

In 2006 while I was working with a student who had mild autism and severe dyslexia, I became drawn to the field of Special Needs and Inclusive Education. Through this experience, I understood the absolute importance of teaching approaches for the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream classes. It became clear that providing a loving and supportive environment is an essential element of those approaches. 

Admittedly, my focus is now inclusive education rather than specific special needs categories. At present, I am interested in how whole school systems can transform to cater for all pupils. My research explores the teaching of pupils who experience difficulties in learning in two mainstream Spanish classrooms in Trinidad, West Indies. I investigated the teaching approaches for these pupils as well as the issues and challenges faced by their Spanish teachers.

I enjoy travelling. I love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and definitely trying new foods. I learn so much when I visit a new country. I observe keenly the way of life and try to have as many conversations as possible with the locals. I hope to make it to every continent except Antarctica (too cold!). Four down, two to go.