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December 7, 2018

Asbury University’s School of Education consistently prepares students to be exceptional teachers in the professional world. Students are vigorously prepared for their teaching careers through many opportunities provided by the University.

This is done not only in keeping students well-informed and educated, but it also extends to solidifying cultural awareness and preparedness.

In that vein, 19 students from the School of Education recently visited Knott County, Ky., as the first location as part of a two-location experience through the Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation Grant.

The purpose of the trip is to expose future teachers to the challenges uniquely faced by smaller, rural schools like those in Knott Co., and in larger, urban areas. Many of the same students are expected to attend a session in Louisville, Ky. later this week.

“You don’t teach the same at Wilmore Elementary as you do in Knott County or in downtown Louisville,” said Director of Clinical Experiences and Associate Professor of Education Dr. David Riel. “We have two trips a semester to expand the understanding our students have about different schools and how they need to adapt their teaching to where their classroom is.”

Madison Hirsch ’19, one of the students who sojourned in Knott County found her time at Carr Creek Elementary School to be an excellent learning experience.

“We got to observe several different classes and evaluate how the teachers are culturally responsive to their students,” Hirsch said. “[Knott Co.] is completely secluded in the mountains in Eastern Kentucky.”

Hannah Coleman ’19 enjoyed seeing the community aspect of education through the visit.

“The district doesn’t want the school to remain open, but the community is so close-knit that they had to fight to keep the school open,” said Coleman. “It could be closed at any moment, but the community keeps fighting to keep it open. They are super relational there, they love each other and provide for each other. The kids have enormous respect for each other.”

The Culturally Responsive Teaching program at Asbury continues to provide experiences like this to education majors to better prepare future teachers for their professional careers. With programs like this, and professors like Riel who strive to produce the best educators possible, Asbury’s School of Education continues to distinguish itself among the rest.

Learn more about Asbury University’s School of Education.