Education Professor Leads the Way in Incorporating Diverse and Global Literature into the Classroom
October 8, 2018 — Assistant Professor of Education Jane Bean-Folkes studies the use of diverse and global literature in elementary school classrooms, and she was recently interviewed about this work for the website of Collaborative Classroom: https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/blog/teaching-with-diverse-and-global-literature/.
Collaborative Classroom is a nonprofit organization that improves the school experience of children across the globe by providing teachers with engaging curricula and ongoing professional learning that support the academic, as well as the social and emotional development, of the students we all serve. Says Bean-Folkes, “Marist has been working with a local school to build a collection of diverse and global children’s literature selected by and accessible to students. Despite the vast diversity of local Hudson Valley schools, less than 20 percent of the books reflect diversity and global literature, and the project seeks to increase that number.” Bean-Folkes’ research investigates ways to design instruction that places students in critical dialogue around social issues with texts, authors, subjects, and with other readers.
She adds, “My work using the diverse and global literature collection in elementary classrooms resulted in my participation on a Collaborative Classroom-sponsored panel at the International Literacy Association (ILA) conference this past July in Austin, Texas. After the conference, I was invited to write a blog about the panel and the importance of incorporating diverse and global literature into elementary classrooms.” The ILA is a global advocacy and membership organization of more than 300,000 literacy educators, researchers, and experts across 86 countries. Its mission is to empower educators, inspire students, and encourage leaders with the resources they need to make literacy accessible for all.
Bean-Folkes received her M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University in curriculum and teaching with a concentration in reading and language arts. She teaches undergraduates and graduates and also advises doctoral students. She considers herself a researcher/practitioner, working in K-12 classrooms with students, teachers and administrators from diverse backgrounds, in high-poverty areas in New York City, New Jersey, and across the United States.