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Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Illinois. Her research crosses a number of disciplines, including history, linguistics, education, and sociology; and examines the varied themes of immigration, education, ethnicity, gender, culture, leadership, and workplace change, professional learning and training, pedagogy, and literacy training.
Bill Cope is Research Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois. His current research interests include population and community diversity, theories and practices of pedagogy, and new technologies of representation and communication, including the 'semantic web'.
Despite being Europe’s largest ethnic minority, the Roma community remains largely marginalized by society, and often has little access to educational opportunities or resources. As part of a European Commission Education and Lifelong Learning Project, a team including University of Illinois Education Professors Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis has begun working on an intervention to improve access to education and promote social inclusion for Roma children and families in Greece. Aided by their more than twenty-five years of experience, and lessons learned from work with Aboriginal communities in Australia, Cope and Kalantzis are helping the team to promote greater cultural understanding between the Roma communities and educators in the Greek school system. The team hopes to help both groups overcome the hurdles that traditionally bar Roma from receiving formal education, including language barriers and long-standing prejudices, and is utilizing new technology and teaching methods to reach Roma communities in ways that weren’t possible before.