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Diverse Outlook Among Future Educators is Topic

Diverse Outlook Among Future Educators is Topic

11/03/2014 

Future teachers in a global, diverse world need hands-on experience with students from different backgrounds, traditions and learning styles, according to two associate professors in SUNY Cortland’s School of Education, who will share their ideas at a Thursday, Nov. 6, Community Roundtable at the College.

Kim Wieczorek and Mona Ivey-Soto both are faculty members in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department. Ivey-Soto also is a faculty member in the Africana Studies Department. They both will present “New Spaces, Eager Faces: Social Justice Pedagogy for Teacher Candidates at SUNY Cortland” from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.

Mona Ivey-Soto
Mona Ivey-Soto

 “It is imperative that teacher education provides meaningful learning opportunities that move beyond the traditional methods of teaching and learning,” Wieczorek said.

She and Ivey-Soto stress that today’s teacher candidates are preparing for increasingly diverse classrooms and communities with multicultural, multilingual children and families.

“By immersing teacher candidates in diverse community spaces and bringing the broader community into our college classroom, we cultivate a mutually beneficial connection that is at the heart of social justice pedagogy,” Ivey-Soto said.

Kim Wieczorek
Kim Wieczorek

Pedagogy refers to the art or science of teaching.

“We both have a shared vision about being extremely passionate about bringing teacher candidates to learn and participate into communities of diverse learners,” Ivey-Soto said.

“As teacher educators we are here to prepare citizens and specifically teachers for the global world that awaits them,” she said. “We want to empower them not to merely tolerate a diverse world, but to build partnerships and authentic relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds.”

Both professors took childhood/early childhood education majors from SUNY Cortland to La Casita, a cultural center in Syracuse, to improve their skills in overseeing a diverse curriculum and classroom through different techniques. They designed for the center an exhibition titled “New Spaces Eager Faces.” The duo soon will present their exhibition at the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) conference in Toronto. A related article will appear in the Multicultural Educational Journal.

Presented by the President’s Office, the Nov. 6 Community Roundtable is free and is open to the public. Refreshments will be provided beforehand at 7:45 a.m. The Park Center is located off Tompkins Street and parking is available in the Park Center and Professional Studies Building lots.

For more information about the presentation, contact Wieczorek at 607-753-5687 or Ivey-Soto at 607-758-5312. For information about the roundtables, contact Sue Vleck at 607-753-2377.

Prepared by Public Relations Office intern Paul Barchitta