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University of Alabama, University of Louisville, and University of Florida Researchers to Win 2019 Award for Outstanding Article in Journal of Teacher Education


AACTE has chosen an article by Melanie M. Acosta of the University of Alabama, Michele Foster of the University of Louisville, and Diedre F. Houchen of the University of Florida, as recipients of the 2019 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award. Their article, “Why Seek the Living Among the Dead? African American Pedagogical Excellence: Exemplar Practice for Teacher Education,” was published in the September/October 2018 issue of the journal and will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, February 22-24, in Louisville, KY.

In this article, the authors address current dilemmas in recruiting and preparing a diverse teaching force by reorienting teacher education toward an underutilized resource—African American pedagogical excellence. This article outlines the core attributes of African American pedagogical excellence, including its historical genesis, and reveals ways public school desegregation has jeopardized the transcendence of African American pedagogical excellence within teacher education. The article concludes with possibilities and recommendations for moving African American pedagogical excellence from margin to center in teacher education.

This award is given annually by AACTE to recognize exemplary scholarship published in the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) during the last volume year. The journal’s editors, based at Michigan State University, nominate several top articles for consideration, and the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination selects the winning paper to receive the award.

As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE represents teacher educators who sustain and advance our profession through innovation, high standards, and leadership. For 23 years, AACTE has honored the exceptional contributions of member institutions and individuals to our field,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “The 2019 AACTE Awards recipients exemplify excellence in educator preparation, and I look forward to honoring Drs. Acosta, Foster and Houchen at the 71st Annual Meeting later this month.” 

Acosta is an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Alabama. Her work is focused on teacher learning and preparation to support African American educational excellence within the contexts of elementary literacy classrooms.

Foster is a professor and Henry Heuser Endowed Chair in Urban Partnerships at the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development. She works to promote and facilitate leading-edge research, including collaborative and interdisciplinary research, in areas related to the diversity goals of the university.

Houchen is a postdoctoral associate at the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. Her research and writing focuses on race, education and history. She is published in the areas of urban education, teaching, and learning.

AACTE issued a press release today announcing all of its 2019 award winners. For more information on AACTE’s awards program, visit the AACTE website. Applications for next year’s dissertation award will open in April.


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Jerrica Thurman

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