Archive for 2015

Meet the Coteaching in Clinical Practice TAG

The author leads AACTE’s topical action group on Coteaching in Clinical Practice. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Does your institution use a coteaching model of clinical practice? Are you interested in learning more about coteaching as a model to prepare teacher candidates? You are invited to join the Coteaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group (TAG) of AACTE—a space for dissemination of research on coteaching, sharing of implementation experiences, and development of collaborative research efforts.

Webinar Offers Lessons on Assessing, Enhancing Principal Pipeline

Did you miss the latest installment in the Principal Pipeline Initiative webinar series, “Assessing and Enhancing Commitment”? Don’t fret: We’ve posted the recording to our Resource Library, along with other archived content from this fall’s series, sponsored by the Wallace Foundation.

Presenters in this third webinar in the free series included participants in the pipeline initiative: Debra Morris of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Michelle Young of the University Council for Educational Administration and the University of Virginia, and Jevelyn Bonner-Reed of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC). These panelists discussed their experiences and concerns related to planning, implementation, data collection, preassessment protocols, mentoring, and assessment as well as the impact of the district and partner activities on student learning, principal quality, and school improvement.

You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone

We have all heard that old saying, “You don’t know what you have until it is gone.” Delistray (2013) identified 11 things that we don’t appreciate until they are gone. Several, such as love in the time of youth, innocence, and our dreams, can be particularly poignant. Others, such as free/cheap/student-reduced pricing, we get to recoup once we hit our golden years. I would add membership with AACTE as an additional item to the list.

Have You Wished for a Q&A Session With CAEP?

As questions arise in your work to prepare for accreditation, have you wished for a chance to engage in a Q&A session with someone from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)? You’re in luck: AACTE’s upcoming Online Professional Seminars (OPS) #3, #4, and #5 will include just such an opportunity.

A CAEP representative will be available for asynchronous conversation, not directly “in” our courses but through them, using a Google Doc to ensure anonymity in relaying OPS participants’ questions. The CAEP staffer will be able to post answers in the document through an external link, but he will not have a view of participant discussions.

Commentary: Teachers Deserve Respect

There are certain professions within our society that carry with them an inherent respect. Doctors, nurses, firefighters, soldiers – the list goes on. These people save lives. They care for the sick. They run into burning buildings. They defend our freedom.

These people, without question, deserve our gratitude and appreciation.

There is, however, another profession that deserves that same level of respect, a profession that, for whatever reason, does not always seem to receive it: teaching.

Teachers work with minds. Teachers work with hearts. Teachers work with souls. They are preparing the next generation of doctors, nurses, firefighters, and soldiers (and countless other professionals). And yet, many people act as though that’s something that anybody can do. It isn’t. Teaching requires years of schooling and training, and even then, the job is not easy.

The Strategic Value of Literacy Learning

Today, USA Today published a special centerfold feature on literacy in America, accompanied by a digital campaign by Mediaplanet. I was pleased to have the opportunity to author a piece for the campaign, published as “Expanding Literacy Beyond Language Arts.” In the article I describe work that colleges of education are doing to boost literacy among America’s PK-12 students. The 275 words available in USA Today scarcely begin to tell this story, but the message is an important one to get out. Here are a few additional words I’d like to share.

Literacy has become a keystone for all other learning, particularly because of our changing expectations around assessment. Beginning with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and evolving into today’s college- and career-ready standards such as the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, students now must show competence in all disciplines via writing, speaking, and critical thinking.

Take What You Need With AACTE Online Seminars

Did you know that AACTE’s six Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) can be taken in any order? In fact, the seminars have no prerequisites, meaning you can skip what you already know and jump right in to the professional learning you need most.

Or are you looking for a well-rounded understanding of assessment and accreditation issues for educator development, program improvement, and quality assurance systems? Then start from the beginning and run through the complete sequence of courses.

Offered through AACTE’s Quality Support Initiative, the seminars are scheduled to be not only flexible but also convenient. Each course is completed asynchronously over a 3- to 4-week period, and multiple session options let you work around your schedule. We’ll be starting several course sections this month, including some that run over the holidays, if that suits your needs—see the current schedule of available dates.

If You Don’t Say It, Who Will? Tell Your Story, With Help From AACTE

To help you tell your story, AACTE is hosting a three-part webinar series this fall titled “If You Don’t Say It, Who Will?” which offers strategies for how to engage your internal networks and PK-12 partners as well as how to be sure the media and other audiences hear your messages. Won’t you join us in our ongoing campaign to debunk myths about educator preparation and teacher quality?

The first webinar in the series ran November 16, as dozens of you tuned in for “If You Don’t Say It, Who Will? Engaging Internal Networks to Tell Your Story” led by AACTE Director of Marketing and Communications Jerrica Thurman. This event taught participants how to create engagement and communication within their institutions to build a stronger channel for promoting the meaningful work happening in their educator preparation programs. Thurman also shared strategies for recruiting students, faculty, communication officers, and others to spread the word about the impact their program is making. In addition to discussing how to develop dynamic key messages and to identify news worthy to share, Thurman walked participants through the steps to develop a successful communications strategy:

Never Abandon Your Principles—Or Your Students

Wendy Bradshaw
Wendy Bradshaw, in a photo from her Facebook profile

It’s sad but true: In October, a veteran teacher in Florida resigned because the conditions under which she was required to work did not support best practice. Despite her love of teaching and her “highly effective” ratings in evaluations, Wendy Bradshaw was trapped in an untenable position because she was required to deploy practices that were developmentally inappropriate for her young students.

Based on her extensive training in human growth and development, this highly credentialed professional with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees would not persist in activities that she knew to be harmful to her students. “Developmentally appropriate practice is the bedrock upon which early childhood education best practices are based, and has decades of empirical support behind it,” she writes in her resignation letter. “However, the new reforms not only disregard this research, they are actively forcing teachers to engage in practices which are not only ineffective but actively harmful to child development and the learning process.”

Obama Administration Issues Executive Actions, Policy Recommendations for Accreditation

In new guidance released last month, the U.S. Department of Education issued five executive actions and outlined four policy recommendations for members of Congress to consider as they examine the accreditation process and begin weighing reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Although the guidance is motivated by concerns over institutional accreditors, AACTE will follow developments closely to monitor potential impact on programmatic accreditors, including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

In the interest of strengthening oversight and transparency in accreditation, the Department plans to post copies of documents relating to accreditation for each institution, arranged by accreditor, in addition to data on “key student and institutional metrics”—to be drawn heavily from the Department’s College Score Card web site.

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