Building a Better World
Every day for five years,
Ann Garfinkle worked with children at the Haring Center. It was a transformational experience for Garfinkle, then a young UW graduate student, to learn the practical skills of teaching and applied research.
Now, she’s using that knowledge to improve the lives of children with developmental disabilities in Montana.
“I see myself as a blue collar researcher who rolls up my sleeves and gets in the trenches to help kids every day,” says Garfinkle, a University of Montana professor who helped launch and lead a statewide intensive early-intervention program for children with autism in 2009.
Even more exciting, Garfinkle said, is the creation of the Montana Autism Center.
“It goes back to the Haring Center and answering the question of how we make information accessible to professionals in the field,” she said. The Montana center, now in development, will draw from the Haring Center’s model of developing new practices, disseminating those practices and providing hands-on professional experience.
“The work at the Haring Center, being a place where pre-service and in-service professionals can see what best practices are, is invaluable,” Garfinkle said. “Teachers need a place to look for ideas and learn new practices for inclusive education.”
The Professional Development Unit disseminates the tools and practices developed at the Haring Center through seminars, trainings and job-embedded learning experiences. A growing cadre of teachers and researchers like Ann Garfinkle are sharing leading edge solutions across the region and country.
The Campaign for Inclusion is taking evidence-based instructional practices to the schools, districts and agencies where they are most needed. With your support we will train the next generation of child care providers, teachers, school leaders, therapists and researchers.