Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, has received a Provost's Initiative on Teaching Advancement (PITA) grant, worth $7,500, for her proposal, "Inspiring Culturally Responsive Pedagogy." PITA grants support the implementation of teaching innovations and enhancements at the University of Illinois.
With the PITA grant, Cooke will extend the cultural competence work the iSchool has undertaken in the past few years and continue the work of a previous curriculum audit.
"Culturally responsive pedagogy is a student-centered approach to teaching in which the student, and societal diversity, are recognized and nurtured in an effort to enrich classroom learning—and are used to encourage student achievement and a sense of well-being about the student's cultural place in the world,” said Cooke. "Focusing on culturally responsive pedagogy will facilitate discussion and additional learning about culturally competent course content and provide concrete tools for implementation in iSchool classrooms."
Cooke in the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016). She is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award, and 2016 recipient of the University’s Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy. She holds an MEd in adult education from Penn State and a Master of Library Science and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University.