A Look into the Education Department

A Look into the Education Department
December 11, 2022

Author: The Crusader Staff Writer, Danashia Tucker

Dr. Mary Stratton joined Belmont Abbey College January ’21 as the Chair of the Education Department and Associate Professor. Dr. Stratton has a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University, an M.A. from West Chester University, and a D.Ed. from Widener University. Dr. Stratton teaches numerous courses including ED 305 Education of the Exceptional Child, ED 310 W Educational Development and Psychology, ED 406 Foundations of English Language Arts, and ED 407 Literacy and Assessment.

Dr. Stratton’s favorite course to teach is ED 305 as she stated, “I love to witness the transformation of our pre-service teachers, from thinking that children with disabilities have many barriers to learning to looking at children with disabilities in open-minded and creative way, focused on providing instruction and support to ensure success for all students.”

As an Education Studies major and Psychology Minor, I have enjoyed taking Dr. Stratton’s classes with “Introduction to the Exceptional Child” being my favorite. This class provided an overview of the needs and nature of an exceptional child including the integration and accommodations put into place to ensure the child’s success. I enjoyed the assignments in the class, the assignments provided me with more insight on the daily accommodations for individuals with a physical or intellectual disability.

I interviewed Dr. Stratton and this is her approach to teaching:

“Student success is the central focus of my instruction. I believe that the teacher is a facilitator of learning as compared to a dictator of content. It is important to me that I can provide realistic examples from my own teaching experience that are directly aligned with theory and pedagogy found in the educational methods textbooks. It is also essential to establish genuine relationships with your students. You must really know your students; you are their mentor which is both an honor and privilege.”

I asked her about what the Abbey she was inspired by and her response was:

“The Abbey is a unique, extraordinary example of a faith-based community. The interconnectedness of faith and scholarship is without a doubt extraordinary. I love President Thierfelder’s messages each week…the message is full of love and clarity. I love the students. Abbot Placid’s leadership and gentle guidance on not only spirituality and theology but his kindness and concern in dealing with the human side of life is full of comfort and compassion. The beauty of the campus and the tradition behind not only the physical structures but the student activities and rigorous academic standards are immeasurable.”

Fun Fact: The honor society “Kappa Delta Pi” is an organization available for the students within the Education Department. It’s an international organization that focuses on supporting the work of educators throughout the local and international community.

Student Feedback: “I have had multiple classes with Dr. Stratton as my teacher and she has always made it enjoyable and interesting to learn. She has such a complex understanding of everything that she teaches and makes it easier to understand. She also cares deeply about her students’ personal lives and does what she can to help. In my experience she is absolutely
wonderful and kind.”

– Addisyn Ricafrente, Educational Studies Major

This article was originally posted in the Fall 2022, Issue 2 of The Crusader Newspaper. Download the full issue.