UNITED STATES TO GREECE
Addressing Educational Needs of Today’s Students and Teachers
Eleni Katsarou (Fulbright Scholar, 2018) is a Clinical Professor Emerita, Curriculum & Instruction, at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). From 1991–2016, Dr. Katsarou served as a Professor of Education and the director of a teacher preparation program at the same institution. While there, she had a broad research agenda that spanned many years and procured multi-million dollar grants, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and by private educational foundations. Her work and research centered around program design and development at UIC’s teacher preparation program, which focused on teacher candidates, as well as mentoring teachers and supporting public schools in high-need areas of Chicago. Her work on partnerships across school sites, which also involved other universities in Chicago, has illuminated the critical importance of coordinated service projects that are deeply rooted in social justice values and service orientation, culturally relevant teaching practices, and a strong commitment to scholarly endeavors. Her current work in the Chicago area is centered on in-service projects in public schools.
In 2018, as a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Katsarou took her experience and understanding of teacher development to her beloved homeland to address the pressing educational needs of today’s students and teachers there. As she is fluent in Greek, she conducted numerous seminars and co-teaching events at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the University of Patras. Of special interest to the scholar were her experiences in the pre-K, on-site setting at the Eleonas Refugee Camp in Athens and in the after-school programs for Muslim students in Thrace. Since the completion of her project, which focused on meeting the demands of multi-lingual and multi-cultural students in Greece and preparing the teachers of such diverse students, she has maintained an active relationship with both universities, serving as a guest lecturer (both remotely and on-site), as a colleague, and as a resource to professors, graduate students, and undergraduates. She remains committed to the work she started in Greece, which was a result of the extraordinary opportunity the Fulbright Program provided.