Students in the Equity in Education class, taught by Dr. Beth Kobett, attended a Symposium on Urban Education at Loyola University on October 6.  

Students attended sessions and participated in break-out conversations on transformative practices in the development of culturally competent and connected educators.

The keynote address, delivered by renowned educator Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D. (Kellner Family Distinguished Chair of Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison) was followed by a community discussion, after which the students were able to meet Dr. Ladson-Billings.

Left to right: Jordyn Smith, Bailey Swann, Bryan Gieselman, Katie Madigan, Taylor Rigsby, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Beth Kobett, Emilee Thursby, Emily Ostrander

“The equity conference was an amazing experience!” remarked Bryan Gieselman, senior intern in Middle School Math and Science. “The opportunity to listen to top researchers and educators, such as Gloria Ladson-Billings, discuss cultural relevant teaching expanded my knowledge on the topic.”

Bailey Swann, a senior Elementary major, agreed. “The Symposium made me realize the importance of teachers becoming more involved in the community in which their students live.” 

The Equity class also visited Lakeland Elementary and Middle School on October 12, a thriving community school in Baltimore. Students observed teachers, talked with students, and participated in discussions with the school principal, Mr. Jammal, and other school leaders to learn about culturally responsive teaching practices. 

Left to right: Emily Ostrander, Emilee Thursby, Kat Thompson, Bailey Swann, Bryan Gieselman, Lacey Esposito, Katie Madigan, Taylor Rigsby, Beth Kobett

“The school had so many different resources that benefited each and every student and their families in some way,” observed Elementary intern, Katie Madigan. “It was amazing to hear about the different partnerships the school has formed over the years and how they have changed the school for the better.”

Lacey Esposito, an intern in Early Childhood education, declared, “Visiting Lakeland Elementary and Middle School was an incredible opportunity and an eye-opening experience that has truly inspired me to become a teacher that is a strong advocate for  students and their families.”