Plans and Progress: AACTE Clinical Practice Commission
The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) is composed of 25 members whose experiences represent the spectrum of teacher preparation, from PK-12 through higher education graduate programs, as well as the perspectives of national education organizations.
The CPC conducted its initial work via a series of conference calls and electronic communications throughout the spring and summer, culminating in an August meeting in Washington, DC, hosted by AACTE (see report here). Over the 2 days of intense dialogue and collaboration, commissioners arrived at a common understanding of the current status of clinical practice and a shared sense of commitment to the urgent, complex work of the commission. Our passionate colleagues exhorted the group to “be bold!” in our efforts to both reflect the excellent work already in progress nationally and provide leadership for the future.
Charged with the goal of defining clinical practice as the key feature of effective teacher preparation programs and creating a template for its implementation, the CPC is addressing these complex concepts in a white paper to be released in 2016. In addition to the research already completed for the paper, the next round of work promises to be very exciting as the commission considers the implementation, maintenance, governing, and funding mechanisms of clinical practice partnerships. Policy implications will also be included and is particularly timely in the current political climate. The wide representation of constituents on the commission has allowed for varying and interesting perspectives that have informed the work in robust, meaningful ways.
Another resource the CPC hopes to provide to stakeholders is a variety of case studies that can serve as exemplar models of how the theory of clinical practice is enacted in school and higher education partnerships. These models will connect closely to the best practices outlined in the white paper and will offer required, preferred, and contextual qualifications. Understanding that partnerships and programs can have unique characteristics, the goal of the commission is to capture the various ways highly effective clinical practice is implemented across the country.
In an undertaking as significant as defining clinical practice, we are glad to see AACTE’s commitment to representing and including the perspectives of its wide range of stakeholders. The CPC is looking forward to sharing its work in progress during a major forum at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Las Vegas on February 24, 2016.
Jennifer Roth is assistant principal of Fort Collins High School, Fort Collins, Colorado. Rene Roselle is associate director of teacher education in the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. Both serve on AACTE’s Clinical Practice Commission.