Cape Breton University recently welcomed Dr. Cara Djonko-Moore, PhD Rhodes College, and Fulbright Global Scholar, who is conducting a study of multicultural teacher education from cross-cultural perspectives. Dr. Djonko-Moore is working with the School of Education and Health at CBU, gaining insights on how the curriculum is designed to train future teachers to foster and celebrate diversity in the classroom. As a teacher educator herself, Dr. Djonko-Moore hopes this research will inform education programs in the United States, where she says Native Americans, in particular, continue to be an under-educated and marginalized group.
“Cape Breton University is distinguished as having inclusive programs focused on the academic study, research and teaching of Mi’kmaq studies, along with a strategic institutional commitment to ensuring this remains a priority,” says Dr. Djonko-Moore. She says these distinctions motivated her to include CBU’s education program as part of this international study, adding that CBU is exceeding her expectations thus far.
“As I engage with faculty in the education department and across disciplines, I continue to be inspired by the widespread recognition that diversity enhances our communities and classrooms,” says Dr. Djonko-Moore.
While the majority of her time at CBU focused on this research, Dr. Djonko-Moore welcomed an invitation to join a committee that is working to create pathways to encourage African Nova Scotian students to enroll in the Bachelor of Education program at CBU.
Dr. Patrick Howard, Dean of the School of Education, says the team is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Djonko-Moore. “It’s an honour that Dr. Djonko-Moore chose to look at CBU for best practices in teacher education,” says Dr. Howard. “We intentionally aim to educate and empower the teachers of tomorrow to build and celebrate equity, diversity and inclusion in their future classrooms. Dr. Djonko-Moore is allowing us to contribute to the global conversation on multicultural education through her research.”
As Dr. Djonko-Moore reflects on her time in Cape Breton and at CBU, she is already planning to return to continue exploring the culture and landscape she’s grown to love. For now, she will return to her home near Memphis, Tennessee, preparing for the next phase of her research, which will take her to Turku University in Finland in September 2022.
The Fulbright Program is a flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals.
We wish Dr. Djonko-Moore continued success on this global research!