• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

A Role for Anthropology in Teacher Preparation

In addition to my work in educator preparation at the University of Florida, I am a member of the Anthropology Education Task Force (AETF) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Among other things, our task force is charged with examining the potential role of anthropology in teacher education programs to prepare teachers for working in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. We would greatly appreciate AACTE members’ input on this work, if you are able to take 15-20 minutes from your busy schedule to respond to our survey (see below).

As readers of this blog are aware, the rapid demographic changes sweeping across the United States bring increasing importance to ensuring that teachers are well prepared to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students. AAA is eager to partner with AACTE members in this endeavor, and to demonstrate that key anthropological concepts can play a significant role in helping teachers develop more effective strategies for addressing diverse students’ needs. For example, through its award-winning RACE Project exhibit (http://www.understandingrace.org/), AAA has enabled thousands of teachers and students across the country to deconstruct destructive myths surrounding racial differences. The web site provides numerous thought-provoking activities and curricular materials to engage students in more meaningful classroom dialogues about a topic that has long ruptured our social fabric.

Join AACTE’s New Group for Educators of English Learners

The author is a member of AACTE’s topical action group on Preparing Educators of English Learners. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Are you interested in meeting other educators who address teaching English learners in their teacher preparation programs? Would you like to discover new ways your colleagues are preparing all candidates to support the success of these students? Come to the inaugural meeting of AACTE’s Preparing Educators of English Learners (PEEL) Topical Action Group to learn about joining our current projects—and help brainstorm future projects and opportunities for advocacy by our group.

A Call to Action: Education for Sustainability

The author is a member of AACTE’s topical action group on Education for Sustainability. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Does your teacher preparation program include course content or field experiences related to education for sustainability? If you are a typical teacher educator in the United States, you probably answered either “No” or “I don’t know.” Sustainability may be the defining issue of our time, yet very few teacher preparation programs in this country address education for sustainability.

Teacher educators: this is a call to action. If your program does not currently include course content or field experiences related to education for sustainability, make it your personal mission during this coming year to change this situation! You’ll have two opportunities at the upcoming AACTE Annual Meeting to get started. First, join the Education for Sustainability Topical Action Group (TAG) for a reception Sunday, March 2, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Room of Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Then on Monday, March 3, attend this TAG’s annual meeting to become directly involved.

Commentary: A Response to NCTQ’s Classroom Management Report

The authors are members of AACTE’s topical action group on Teacher Education as a Moral Community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

A recent National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report evaluates teacher preparation programs for their attention to an important element of preparation: classroom management. Unfortunately, the report’s few helpful suggestions get lost in the slough of misguided assumptions and questionable claims by the report’s authors.

PISA: A Clarion Bell for American Education?

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

The latest release of international test results has once again stirred the controversy of whether or not American students can successfully compete academically in a global context. Before we condemn our educational system, however, we must first understand exactly what the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveals about student performance and whether a fair comparison can be made between American 15-year-olds and those in other countries.

AACTE Chapter Grant Helps Develop WACTE Advocacy Voice

This year, the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant to continue building its advocacy efforts and presence at the state level and to further develop its relationship with AACTE. In addition to utilizing funds to send its members to AACTE’s Annual Meeting and State Leaders Institute, WACTE will host its second Day on the Hill in Madison in conjunction with its 2014 spring conference, which will include an expanded symposium focusing on state and national education issues.

Michigan Chapter Benefits From AACTE Grant

Michigan Association for Colleges for Teacher EducationThe views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Thanks to an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the Michigan Association for Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) brought together university leaders in educator preparation and the Michigan Department of Education for a 4-day retreat in June on the campus of Northern Michigan University (NMU). The Pine Tower Retreat was an invigorating experience for all of us and helped us create tangible outcomes for the academic year.

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