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  • AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Briefing Spotlights Unmet Professional Development Needs of CTE Teachers

Panelists Ruth Neild (Director, Philadelphia Education Research Consortium), Jon Graft (Superintendent/CEO, Butler Tech, OH), and Carri Risner (Chef Instructor & Lead Teacher, Columbia Area Career Center, MO) participate in a Q & A session with moderator Elyse Eidman-Aadahl (Executive Director, National Writing Project) during a briefing October 26 in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of ACTE.

A briefing hosted last week by the National Writing Project and the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) highlighted some of the unique challenges facing career and technical education (CTE) teachers, calling attention to their need for better training and support as they enter the classroom.

Panelists at the briefing emphasized that many CTE teachers are career changers and lack the support and pedagogical preparation of a more traditionally trained educator. Describing the acclimation of these teachers to the classroom and the skills they need to acquire on the job as "drinking water from a fire hose," panelists called for targeted professional development to help career-changing CTE teachers bridge the gap between their technical knowledge and the academic and pedagogical skills they need to succeed as educators. The speakers also called on policy makers to invest in supports for CTE educators to help these programs ensure their students obtain the skills that meet the needs of a growing job market.

If your educator preparation programs do not already provide support or training to CTE teachers, you might consider reaching out to local schools, or other CTE providers, to gauge their need for teacher professional development and explore opportunities to partner with them. You might also find it useful to collaborate with your state’s ACTE chapter—see this directory for chapter contact information.

Selected Resources Shared at the Briefing (PDF)

  • "Effective Teacher Professional Development" Research Brief from the Learning Policy Institute
  • "Every Student Succeeds Act: Teacher Recruitment, Training, and Professional Development" ACTE
  • "CTE Today!" Overview of CTE from ACTE

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    Zachary VanHouten

    Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

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