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Asbury education majors pay visit to Knott County schools

From staff reports

Nineteen students from the school of education at Asbury University recently visited Knott County through the Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation Grant.

This visit was part of a two-location experience. The purpose of the trip was to expose future teachers to the challenges uniquely faced by smaller, rural schools like those in Knott County, and in larger urban areas. Many of the same students are expected to attend a session in Louisville later this week.

“You don’t teach the same at Wilmore Elementary as you do in Knott County or in downtown Louisville,” Director of Clinical Experiences and Associate Professor of Education Dr. David Riel said. “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, 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 County is completely secluded in the mountains in Eastern Kentucky.”

Hannah Coleman from Asbury said she also 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,” Coleman said. “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.