M.Ed. candidates present capstone projects aimed at developing an equitable and supportive learning environment

Candidates in the first graduating cohort of the revised M.Ed. program presented their capstone projects on May 6.

The first graduating cohort of Elon’s revised Master of Education program designed and carried out a capstone project aimed at developing an equitable and supportive learning environment. Candidates had the choice between a writing intensive capstone project or a praxis intensive capstone project.

Valentina Cubillos, Elon M.Ed. Candidate, Class of 2023

In their capstone courses, candidates synthesized their learning across the M.Ed. program and reflected on changes in their knowledge, skills, dispositions and practice. As a culminating experience, candidates continued their collaborative work with colleagues, administrators, families, community partners and/or others to complete their projects.

On May 6, a poster presentation was held for the M.Ed. candidates to share their reflections with faculty and others within the Elon community. Guests of the graduating M.Ed. cohort were also invited.

Corey Waters, Elon M.Ed. candidate, Class of 2023

“My journey through Elon’s M.Ed. Program has been a transformational experience for me, from the inception of my praxis capstone project to the day of presenting its completion. I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as well as the everyday ebb and flow of life; all while embarking on an adventure to explore the best ways to meet the academic, social, and emotional learning needs of my students, after having to endure the educational impact of learning loss, due to a global pandemic. I believe this experience has equipped me to lead with an equity-focused direction, to further my advocacy, as it lends itself to help students improve their academic and overall well-being,” said Corey Waters G’23, Elon M.Ed. candidate.

Javiera Leyton G’23 said, “My capstone project was meaningful to me as a translingual and transcultural person myself. It helped me understand multiculturalism from my kindergarteners’ perspective. It also challenged my thinking as a teacher since the results and responses were not what I expected, but better.”

Destiny Carter ’19, Elon M.Ed. candidate, Class of 2023

“Returning to Elon for my Master’s Degree and completing the writing intensive track of the Capstone project has been an incredibly meaningful and personal process. Almost like a homecoming, I was supported at every moment by wonderful faculty, who took my unique context into consideration and allowed flexibility to meet requirements when necessary. The engagement in my particular project was built on the already ingrained practice of action research in my current school, and gave me the tools to reach a deeper understanding of the choices and successes in our implementation of the IBDP to an academically and culturally diverse student body, while also promoting social values and an important mission. I look forward to continuing with this research after the end of the program, sharing my findings both within our small school community and on a larger scale,” stated Hannah Wilpon ’17.

The 18 candidates and their capstone project titles are listed below.

M. Rome Buttner

Language Acquisition and Project-Based Learning

Destiny Carter ’19

Disparity in Discipline Referrals

Tatiana Rudiander Conte

Perspectivas: Conversations about Restorative practices

Valentina Cubillos

Podcast series: Multilingual learnings improving oral skills and becoming active participants of their communities

Manfredo De la Cruz

Inclusive and equitable response to foster and preserve local wisdom and strengthen identity for residents of Hatteras Island in Dare County, North Carolina

Yanela Ferrer

A classroom teacher’s reflections: Does creating a class book help children develop curiosity and exploration to enhance language and global learning? 

Kirsten Garrison

Community Building in Special Education

William D. Giblin

Garden Research Study: connectedness and happiness 

Erika Hernandez

Translanguaging in a 4th-grade mathematics classroom

Ana Herrera

Citizens of the World: Empowering Communities for a Sustainable Future

Javiera Leyton

Transcultural students’ responses to multicultural children’s literature

Emma Lu

Centering Community: Restorative Practice as a Relationship Building Approach

Marcela Marambio

Nueva Comunidad: The lived experiences of a Latinx family

Kimberly Manning

Family Engagement: The Missing Link for Improving the Achievement of Marginalized Student Populations in High Schools 

Issac Marsh

Professional Development To Support Twice-Exceptional Learners

Deanna Polito

Diversity in Children’s Books

Corey Waters

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) – It’s Impact on Students’ Academic Achievement and Overall Well-Being 

Hannah Wilpon ’17

Reflections on the Student Experience Completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Israel