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Faculty, students, and alumni present research at NCTE conference

From left: Caroline Brearley ’17, Education Professor Katie Stover, and Caroline Holley ’17

Three Education Department faculty, two students, and eight alumni presented research as part of the annual National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) conference November 17-20 in Atlanta, attended by 6,000 dynamic literacy educators, authors and advocates from across the country.

Caroline Brearley and Caroline Holley ’17 presented during the roundtable discussion, “The Future is Now: Exploring 21st Century Teaching Ideas with the Next Generation of English Teachers.” They joined a group of pre-service English teachers from across the nation in sharing innovative teaching ideas and research-driven pedagogical practices.

“Participating in the NCTE conference as a preservice teacher was such a rewarding experience,” said Brearley, an elementary education major from Myrtle Beach, S.C. “We were able to meet acclaimed authors, hear insight from many experienced teachers whom we met over the course of the conference, and partake in discussions about topics that are critical to today’s literacy classrooms. We came back with ideas to implement in our classrooms, as well as a bag full of exceptional books!”

Education Professor Katie Stover presented a session on her new book, From Pencils to Podcasts, with coauthor Lindsay Yearta and Sarah McKinney ‘15.

Stover and McKinney also presented the session, “Young Children Take Action: Using Read-Alouds to Promote Advocacy and Activism in Our Community.” They shared how McKinney’s kindergarteners used the book, Crenshaw, as a springboard for advocating for homeless in their community.

Education Professor Paul Thomas chaired the roundtable session, “Confronting Educator Advocacy with Preservice and Early Career Teachers,” which featured a wide range of voices from all levels of education addressing the challenges and rewards of public advocacy and focusing on preservice and early career teachers.

Education Professor Bobbi Siefert and Furman alumni Ashley Ziemer ’06, Kayci Owen ‘10 and Tracy Butler ’11 presented, “Culturally Complex Classrooms: Teacher Advocacy for English Language Learners (ELL),” as part of the roundtable discussion.

Thomas also participated in the discussion, “Teacher Advocacy: A Southern Dilemma,” featuring Nicole Amato ’12 of Pritzker College Prep in Chicago and Kristen Marakoff ’16 of Travelers Rest High School.

Furman alumni Katherine Hale ’10 Melissa Wells ’09 and McKinney presented during the session, “Beyond Cute: The Digital Work of Young Children,” discussing ways technology can empower young students. Hale, who works in the Arlington Public Schools, presented “Branding’ Young Writers through Blogging” while McKinney’s topic was “Kindergarteners Need Authentic Audiences Too.” Wells, a literacy coach in Spartanburg District 6, shared “Reading the Word and the (Digital) World: Engaging Kindergarteners in Critical Digital Literacy.”

The National Council of Teachers of English is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.

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