• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Archive for 2017

Webinar Explores Effective Global Practices in Teacher Recruitment, Preparation

Last week, I was honored to participate in a webinar discussing Empowered Educators, an international comparative study of teacher and teaching quality in the world’s top-performing education systems. Hosted by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), whose Center on International Education Benchmarking sponsored the study, this event featured members of the research team discussing specific lessons for the recruitment and preparation of profession-ready teachers.

Lead researcher Linda Darling-Hammond (of the Learning Policy Institute and Stanford University) was joined by NCEE President and CEO Marc Tucker for an introduction of the study. Other researchers on this webinar were Finnish researcher Pasi Sahlberg, who helped lead the Empowered Educators case study on Finland, and A. Lin Goodwin of Teachers College, Columbia University (NY), who worked on the Singapore branch of the study. I served as a discussant, as did Mary Sandy, executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

AACTE Members, Partners Discuss Efforts to Bring Men of Color Into Teaching Profession on Radio Show

Michael Dennehy
Roy Jones
Shatriya Collier-Stewart

Lemuel Watson
Ryan Jeffery

This month’s episode of Education Talk Radio spotlighted AACTE’s national Black & Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC) and other efforts to increase men of color in the teaching workforce. In the August 9 show, host Larry Jacobs interviewed Director of College Access and Completion Michael Dennehy of Boston University (MA), Director of Call Me MISTER Roy Jones of Clemson University (SC), Associate Professor Shatriya Collier-Stewart of California State University-Northridge, Executive Director Lemuel Watson of the Center for Innovation in Higher Education at the University of South Carolina, and Behavior Interventionist Ryan Jeffery at Fairfax County Public Schools (VA).

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, just 2% of public school teachers across the country are Black males and fewer are Hispanic males. AACTE’s national NIC initiative helps institutions identify innovative strategies to increase the percentage of Black and Hispanic/Latino men receiving initial teaching certification through their preparation programs.

Americans Want Public Schools to Provide Much More Than Academics, PDK Poll Finds

“The three R’s alone don’t cut it anymore,” announces a report released August 28 on the 49th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. In addition to solid academics, Americans want their schools to provide job training, more explicit focus on social-emotional skills, and “wraparound” services like health centers and afterschool programs. Respondents also want students to learn in diverse classrooms and are skeptical about vouchers and the value of standardized tests.

This year’s survey sought to learn more about last year’s discovery of a desire among the American public for schools to focus less on honors classes and more on career and technical education. The new data suggest that the public really wants both strong academics and job preparation, including classes focused on career skills, technology and engineering, and programs leading to a professional certificate or license. The less satisfied respondents are with their local schools, the more likely they are to say schools should offer more job/career skills classes.

AACTE Fall Syllabus Focuses on Core Values, Continuous Improvement

The AACTE Quality Support Workshop this month was an inspirational model of improvement in action. During my 3 days in Minneapolis, I witnessed a profound commitment among participants to ensure high levels of quality in their programs. Understanding standards and evidence more deeply, using data more strategically, and creating more effective quality assurance systems were some of the topics covered.

Dedication to continuous improvement is shared by AACTE’s members and the Association itself. To that end, the AACTE team is focusing the first part of this new academic year on an extensive review of the organization’s operations and programs, facilitated by an experienced consulting firm with assistance from a staff steering committee (see this recent article by Vice President Rod Lucero). In addition, an Association-wide member survey launches in September, and we’re counting on your participation to inform our work going forward. AACTE is always looking to improve and meet the changing needs of the membership.

Teaching Workforce Still Mostly White and Female; More Diversity Supports Needed

Last week, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released initial data from the 2015-2016 National Teacher and Principal Survey, providing the latest nationwide snapshot of the characteristics of public school teachers. (Results of the school-level survey are being released today, and principal-level data are available here.) The “First Look” report on the teacher survey (download PDF here) shows the education workforce has grown slightly more female (77% compared to 76%) and slightly less White (80% compared to 82%) than it was 4 years ago – although NCES cautions that comparisons are somewhat imprecise because some of the questions were worded differently or drew on different sources than in the former Schools and Staffing Survey, on which the new survey is based.

A recent article in Education Week highlights key data and comparisons between this survey and the last, noting that the education profession has made some advancements in diversifying the teaching workforce. However, these modest gains may be more conditional than intentional, and the survey spotlights continued trouble spots such as low pay and uneven assignment of teacher expertise. What this article says to me is that we must continue to work every day to make teaching a worthy career option, valued for its contributions to the democratic fabric of our society – especially among the most underrepresented demographics. As a profession, we have an ongoing imperative to attract highly motivated, diverse, innovative, smart educators into the profession and support them with programs rich in the pedagogy and content that will serve the nation’s young people well into the future.

AACTE Hosts Quality Support Workshop in Minnesota

Participants share their stories and engage in scenario planning during a session led by Jacob Easley II (Eastern Connecticut State University) and Valeisha Ellis (Spelman College).

AACTE held its second Quality Support Workshop August 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, convening educator preparation professionals for a highly interactive, expert-facilitated event focused on quality assurance, assessment, accreditation, and more. More than 150 faculty, administrators, assessment and accreditation coordinators, and other educators engaged in the workshop, continuing the momentum established in the inaugural AACTE Quality Support Workshop in Texas last spring.

JTE Interview: Promoting Visual Literacy in Elementary Social Studies

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the following interview with the authors of a recent article. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles themselves in the full JTE archives online – just log in with your AACTE profile here.

This interview features insights from the article “Seeing Is Believing: Promoting Visual Literacy in Elementary Social Studies,” by Kristy A. Brugar of the University of Oklahoma and Kathryn L. Roberts of Wayne State University (MI). The article, which appears in the May/June issue of JTE, is summarized in the following abstract:

‘Dogs With a Cause’: Raising the Prestige of the Education Profession One Athlete at a Time

This article is the second in a series of three showcasing the transformation of preservice field experiences at Louisiana Tech University. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

In fall 2016, Louisiana Tech University’s Clinical Residency Center established an 8-year partnership with the Louisiana Tech Athletics Council to collaboratively mentor students in TEAM (Teacher Educators and Mentors) Model schools, strengthening connections between the university and the community while exposing more college students to the teaching profession.

The program started after head men’s basketball coach Eric Konkol began seeking ways to plug his team into the community, followed very quickly by head baseball coach Lane Burroughs. The coaches had the desire to increase their teams’ connections with area schools and sought the expertise of the College of Education to establish quality partnerships.

To meet this goal, we developed the “Dogs With a Cause” program, which pairs athlete mentors with elementary students in a character-building literacy curriculum based on award-winning children’s books. This program is a logical extension of our TEAM Model, which engages multiple schools and districts in collaborative partnerships that support a full-year residency for teacher candidates.

Advancing High-Quality Learning Through Clinical Teacher Preparation

Since 2014, AACTE has featured the innovative work of several member institutions, including Ohio University in 2016, in its Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series highlighting clinical teacher preparation and partnerships. The video interviews in this series provide advice and examples for other schools of education looking to adopt a more clinically based model to advance high-quality learning. A commitment to high-quality learning is a core value of AACTE, both on members’ campuses and in PK-12 classrooms.

Teacher candidates, like everyone else, learn best when they take an active rather than passive role in their education, and clinical preparation empowers them to engage actively. In addition to building candidates’ professional skills and pedagogical content knowledge, many clinical experiences fully embed interns in the host school’s community and cocurricular activities. This practice helps develop confident, engaged teachers who are skilled advocates for effective teaching and learning in their communities.

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