• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Archive for April, 2017

AACTE, Westat Piloting Surveys of EPP Graduates, Supervisors

AACTE and Westat are partnering with state chapters and education agencies this spring to pilot new surveys of beginning teachers and their supervisors. By developing common instruments to be used across states that can also be customized with state-specific questions, the partners aim to fill the need for both national benchmarks for preparation programs (as called for in accreditation standards) and state-determined priorities.

AACTE staff conducted exploratory work last year, collecting and studying state-level instruments currently used for surveying program completers in 13 states that were willing to share both their instruments and their most recent survey results. We found that all of the instruments align with the InTASC model standards for beginning teachers, although their length and emphasis areas vary. Meanwhile, we began talking with state education agencies (SEAs) and AACTE state chapters and member institutions to gauge their interest in consolidating these state and institution data collection efforts in a national-level instrument.

JTE Authors: New Taxonomy Facilitates Studying, Improving Teachers’ Collaborative Learning

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest author interview below.

In this interview, Ilana Seidel Horn, Brette Garner, Britnie Delinger Kane, and Jason Brasel of Vanderbilt University discuss the research behind their recent article, “A Taxonomy of Instructional Learning Opportunities in Teachers’ Workgroup Conversations.” The article is available in the January/February 2017 issue of the journal.


Dwayne Cormier Named April Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to April Holmes Scholar of the Month Dwayne Cormier!

Cormier is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University, studying curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on curriculum and supervision. His research interests include how culture and context influence engagement in educational settings, as well as the impact of memes on the thoughts and ideals of citizens.

A military veteran and former executive director of a nonprofit organization that changed the lives of young people through the game of golf, Cormier recognized the need to aid students of color in the education system and vowed to make an impact in the classroom through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Over the years, his experiences in and outside of the classroom have given him insight on the inequities facing students, preservice and in-service teachers, and administration in educational organizations.

Hone Your Leadership Skills at AACTE Academy June 25-29

Are you a new dean or department chair – or simply looking to advance your career as an academic administrator? Get off to a strong start with AACTE’s Leadership Academy this June in Providence, Rhode Island.

The annual Leadership Academy, a popular professional development event for new administrators, has been reimagined for 2017 to provide even more of what you need. Our experienced faculty will guide your learning and provide beneficial information and strategies around allocating resources, managing conflict, and promoting your programs and institutions. To learn more about this year’s content, be sure to visit the detailed 2017 Leadership Academy schedule online.

Help Your Graduating Seniors Land a 2017-2018 Teaching Job

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

As the seniors in your college of education gear up for graduation, encourage them to check out the free resources offered through Education Week’s TopSchoolJobs website:

Webinars Offer Overview, Resources for Integrating CKT in Elementary Teacher Prep

A pair of webinars last month offered an overview of how and why content knowledge for teaching (CKT) can be embedded in education course work, looking particularly at the preparation of elementary teachers in English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Recordings and slides from the webinars, which were presented by experts from TeachingWorks (University of Michigan) and the ETS® Educator Series (Educational Testing Service), are now available in the AACTE Resource Library: Click here for the ELA presentation and here for math.

Nicole Garcia and Sarah Scott Frank of TeachingWorks joined with Geoffrey Phelps and Heather Howell of ETS to present strategies to engage preservice teachers in real-life content problems they are likely to encounter in elementary classrooms. Rather than looking deeply at the teacher education curriculum or specific designs of programs or field experiences, the webinars sought to ease teacher educators into the concept of CKT and high-level considerations for preparation programs.

Nicole Garcia
Sarah Scott Frank
Geoffrey Phelps
Heather Howell

JTE Author Interview: How Preservice Teachers Learn to Plan Intellectually Challenging Tasks

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest author interview below.

This interview features insights from the JTE article “Preservice Teachers’ Learning to Plan Intellectually Challenging Tasks,” by Hosun Kang, assistant professor of education at University of California, Irvine. The article appears in the January/February 2017 issue of JTE.

The article’s abstract reads in part, “This study explores how and under which conditions preservice secondary science teachers (PSTs) engage in effective planning practices that incorporate intellectually challenging tasks into lessons. Drawing upon a situative perspective on learning, eight PSTs’ trajectories of participation in communities of practice are examined with a focus on planning throughout student teaching. […] The analyses show that instructional tasks observed at the beginning of lessons link to the ways in which PSTs engage in the three interrelated processes of (a) framing instructional goals, (b) constructing a lesson scenario, and (c) addressing problems of practice.”

Member Voices: Compliance Culture Should Not Supplant Profession-Led Innovation

This opinion article originally appeared in The News & Observer. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

In pursuing testing and accountability as the route to school improvement, North Carolina has overlooked the benefits of collaboration and innovation. The following two examples of innovation illustrate both the challenge and the opportunity.

During the recession, when funds were cut for after-school transportation, a high school had to change its after-school tutoring program. It adopted a new program, Smart Lunch, which provided additional time for tutoring to occur in the middle of the day. This change brought several advantages: Tutoring was no longer an add-on at the end of the day; it did not have to compete with after-school programs or students who had jobs or family responsibilities; and it was not dependent on transportation.

TEACH Grant Sequester Cuts Continue; Maximum Award Down to $3,724

In an announcement on the Federal Student Aid website, the U.S. Department of Education has outlined cuts to this year’s award amounts for TEACH Grants, reducing grants by 6.9% for the year that started October 1, 2016.

This cut, which brings the maximum TEACH grant award down from $4,000 to $3,724, is due to the federal budget sequester. (See this helpful FAQ on what sequester means for the federal budget, or this report from the Congressional Research Service for much more technical information.) Along with other sequestration-mandated cuts in federal funding, the TEACH grants have undergone reductions since 2013 ranging from 6.8 to 12.6%. An e-mail to financial aid administrators last year spelled out the most recent cuts.

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