TCU to Win Multicultural Best Practice Award

AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity has selected Texas Christian University’s College of Education to receive the 2015 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Sunday, March 1, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The university’s robust Early Childhood Through Grade 6 Program (EC-6) is the particular target of AACTE’s award, with a focus on diversity broadly conceived. Students in this program–who predominantly come from middle-high socioeconomic, monolingual backgrounds and initially expect to teach in schools with similar demographics–develop knowledge, skills, and values to effectively work in high-need settings by serving as a bridge between home and school while academically challenging all children for success.

The EC-6 program prepares every teacher candidate for certification in English as a second language, bilingual, or special education and boasts extensive study-abroad opportunities. It develops new teachers’ understanding, confidence, and commitment to work in urban elementary schools with diverse populations in terms of culture, language, demographics, ethnicity, race, and exceptionality.

In addition to completing a variety of course assignments to build their multicultural understanding, teacher candidates engage in a range of clinical and community-based experiences, from Fort Worth-area neighborhoods and schools to international student teaching and study. Culturally responsive pedagogy is woven throughout the courses, which students complete as part of a cohort that provides a supportive community for exploring challenging topics together.

Faculty, too, collaborate around their shared dedication to diversity and equity in education, forming a cohesive foundation for the program’s success. Indeed, the strong organization and structure of the EC-6 program won reviewers’ praise for their potential to ease replication of the program in other settings.

The program aligns with the mission of its home institution, Texas Christian University (TCU): To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community. This global community appears to appreciate the program’s impact; the application for AACTE’s award included letters of support from a special education laboratory school, two local urban districts, a principal who had recently employed a program graduate, an international coordinator for teacher preparation in the Netherlands, and several program alumni. The application also included insightful reflections from recent graduates on their experiences in the program and teaching/studying abroad.

"In common with persons of good will everywhere, we at TCU long for the day when all of us will realize that we are all members of the same global family and act in accord with our humanity,” said Nowell Donovan, TCU provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “TCU educators have begun the journey!”

For information on AACTE’s awards program, including lists of past winners, visit http://aacte.org/professional-development-and-events/awards.

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Kristin McCabe

Editor, AACTE

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