English with teacher licensure major Courtney Kobos presented her Leadership Prize research alongside her mentor, Assistant Professor of English Jennifer Eidum, at the National Council of Teachers of English Convention in Houston, Texas.
Senior English with teacher licensure major and Teaching Fellow Courtney Kobos presented her Leadership Prize research alongside her research mentor, Assistant Professor of English Jennifer Eidum, at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention, themed “Raising Student Voice: Speaking Out for Equity and Justice” and held Nov. 15-18, 2018, in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Kobos and Eidum’s poster presentation titled “Looking Beyond the Classroom: Responding to Educator Needs in Linguistically Diverse Schools” sought to understand everyday experiences of educators in an Alamance County school facing increasing linguistic and cultural diversity. Through interviews with teachers and administrators, the study found three areas to address: teacher challenges, school resources and classroom spaces. They suggest creating a community of practice within the school — and broader Alamance county —which will be highlighted at the first Elon English Teaching Symposium held Feb. 16, 2019, as a culmination of their study.
In her second presentation, Kobos was able to further present the implications of her research in a roundtable session entitled “The Future Is Now: Exploring 21st-Century Teaching Ideas with the Next Generation of English Teachers” at a table specifically focused on celebrating linguistic diversity. Kobos’s presentation, “Curating a Classroom to Bridge Divides: Normalizing Linguistic and Cultural Diversity” was foregrounded by the research project previously mentioned. Kobos’s work addresses the responsibility of English literature teachers to build inclusive classroom communities. Ideas suggested included “get to know you” activities in the classroom, diversifying classroom signage, and including culturally diverse classroom materials into the curriculum.
Kobos and Eidum’s work is part of a larger Elon University Leadership Prize project, which spans the course of three semesters and will be presented at SURF this Spring. Kobos developed her successful NCTE proposal in Paula Patch’s ENG 219 Writing Studies course, where all students were encouraged to submit their research projects to national conferences. It is thanks to the support of the larger Elon community and encouragement from faculty that this trip was made possible.