The University’s Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) chapter attended and presented at KDP’s 49th Biennial Convocation in Dallas, Texas from Oct. 24 – Oct. 28 to learn more about KDP, becoming a leader in education, and teaching.
According to KDP.org, “Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, founded by Dr. William Bagley in 1911 at the University of Illinois, was established to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching.” KDP provides a reasoned voice for significant issues and links learning communities of educators.
The University’s KDP executive board members Drew Corrigan, Britt Henricksen, Rachel Armstrong, and Kelleen Coulson presented “Calling All Learners: Centers as a Tool for Learning” on Friday, Oct. 25, from 1:15 – 2:05 pm. The presentation was designed for students studying K – 12 education, and encompassed the subject matters of physical education, music, mathematics, social studies, and language arts.
Drew Corrigan, junior health and education major, said, “Honestly, we didn’t think we would have more than ten people in the room. We wound up having close to 40 people in the room and had people standing because we ran out of seats. There were people from all over the United States in the room, including a few international members of KDP. The reception after our presentation was amazing with several people saying that we had the best presentation that they saw the whole Convocation.”
The presentation stressed that creating cooperative centers in the classroom can help accomplish the goals of planning for differentiated instruction. The presentation was interactive in nature.
Mary Brennan, specialist professor of education and advisor of KDP, said, “These students really did a great job. Someone from Louisiana State University came to me afterwards and said to me that it was the most professional presentation that she had attended. The students professionally addressed the crowd before it even started, they were professionally dressed, and they conducted themselves in a very professional manner throughout the presentation.”
According to Brennan, the four executive board members submitted a proposal to KDP International to present at this year’s convocation. “Being accepted and given an opportunity to present is an honor,” she said. There were over 800 students that attended this convocation, and only approximately 45 were chosen to present.
The University’s KDP chapter won a Silver Award for their participation in Literacy Alive at the Convocation.
The University’s chapter of KDP students networked with professionals as well as other KDP chapters from schools such as Felician College, Rowan Univeristy, and Penn State. They also attended multiple workshops on diversity and adapting a classroom to the 21st century. “The workshops were a chance for everyone to share their different ideas and expertise in certain areas, every workshop offered something different and unique,” said Corrigan.
KDP has over 40,000 members and 600 chapters. According to Mary Clement, President of KDP International, KDP encourages all individual members as well as chapters to come to convocations.
There were representatives from over 45 states and seven countries, including Canada, Taiwan, Nigeria, and Uganda. “People from all over the world came to find out more [about KDP] because they were educators in home countries, and we as an organization exist to honor and support teachers. In many countries it is unheard of,” said Clement.
The executive board members had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jeff Goldstein, a nationally recognized science educator and planetary scientist, who gave a keynote speech on aspects of science education and the need to restructure the way students are being taught, as well as Jeff Charbonneau, National Teacher of the Year. According to Clement, speakers were tied into the program as part of KDP’s strategic plan of stressing education for sustainable development.
Kelleen Coulson, senior education and English major, said, “All [of] the professionals in attendance were excited to share their wealth of knowledge with the future of the field of education. We also got to meet many members from chapters across the world to talk about what they do in their chapters in which we learned many inspiring ideas.”
The trip to Dallas was funded mostly by the Student Government Association (SGA) who, according to Corrigan, awarded KDP with over $3,000. The KDP budget diminished after purchasing materials for the schools in Union Beach after Hurricane Sandy.
“We didn’t realize it, but we spent any and all of the money that we had in the bank,” said Brennan.
The executive board members applied for a time to speak to SGA to ask for financial assistance. “The students explained that they wanted to bring honor and recognition [to the University] because the presentation [in Dallas] is done in the name of Monmouth,” said Brennan.
According to PRWeb.com, full-pass advance registrations for the three-day conference are $229 for students/retirees, $259 for professional KDP members, and $289 for nonmembers.
In addition to SGA, Corrigan said members of KDP raised money for the convocation by having a bake sale the first week of October as well as seeking assistance from Dean Lynn Romeo of the Education Department.
“I got three things out of the convocation,” said Brennan. “First, the caliber of students naturally was high. The grade point averages were over a 3.2, so the interaction was very much on the themes of learning. Second, it was a wonderful opportunity for students to be able to communicate with peers and share professional goals. Lastly, it reinvigorated me to continue inducting students into the University’s chapter of KDP.”
“Many of my education professors from Monmouth have instilled in me that one can learn from every positive or negative experience so even though some parts of convocation were more engaging and informative than others, I am appreciative for every moment I spent there,” said Coulsen.