AACTE Grant Supports Strong Chapter Work in Michigan

Last year, an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant enabled members of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) to build more collaborative relationships with PK-12 schools and the Michigan Department of Education in order to facilitate more meaningful and relevant discussion on the preparation of excellent beginning teachers. This work supported the chapter’s goal of “promoting, within Michigan, the learning of all PK-12 students through the promotion of high-quality preparation and continuing education for all school personnel.”

Many thanks to AACTE, we were able to host a summer workshop at Ferris State University, the primary accomplishment of which was the review and revision of the MACTE Strategic Plan that had been developed the previous year. Based on input from the workshop, the group decided to tailor the annual conference to provide a forum for examining and highlighting the increasingly pressing issue of beginning teacher evaluation and distinctive efforts to improve educator preparation.

Holmes Scholars Council Plans Exciting Year

As the 2014-2015 AACTE Holmes Scholars® Council passes the torch to the new and excited cohort of executives, there are many people to thank. First, scholars themselves have played a pivotal role in the support of the past Council leadership, as well as serving a great cause: diversifying the American professoriate. In addition, the 2014-2015 Council would like to extend gratitude to the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA) and to various members of AACTE. The new Council looks forward to the continued support of all aforementioned networks.

Member Voices: Opting Out of Our Future

Editor’s Note: Former AACTE Board member and education dean Nancy Zimpher reminds readers of the important purpose of standardized testing, which has been overshadowed by recent political battles and opt-out campaigns. This essay originally appeared on the State University of New York’s Big Ideas blog and is reposted with permission. The opinions expressed in this essay do not necessarily reflect the position of AACTE.

When it comes to whether students should opt out of standardized testing, no one is actually talking about what’s best for our kids. Standardized tests have become a pawn in political debates about teacher evaluations and we have lost sight of what they are: a way to measure what students know so we can help them improve.

Letter to Editor: Prepare Teachers to Adapt to Factors Outside School

The following letter to the editor was published today in Education Week.

There are kids entering urban classrooms every day hungry, sad, tired, and angry. Name an obstacle to learning, and most urban teachers have seen it play out firsthand among their students.

In January, the Horace Mann League of the United States released School Performance in Context: The Iceberg Effect, a report on the “unparalleled levels” of poverty, inequity, and violence faced by U.S. students. Though outside factors such as these are not the reason for increasing gaps in achievement, they’re barriers teachers must understand and address to have an impact on student learning.

The Power of Teacher Professional Communities in Urban Schools

Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the final post in the series.

Most teachers in urban schools, as elsewhere, are dedicated professionals who put much effort into their practice and care deeply about the students they teach. Teachers understandably feel frustrated when their students fail to meet expectations for learning outcomes. How they address this frustration, however, makes all the difference for student outcomes—and it is influenced heavily by the ideology developed in their school’s professional community.

Holmes Scholars Share Research, Network in Atlanta

AACTE Holmes Scholars connect during the Annual Meeting in Atlanta
AACTE Holmes Scholars connect during the Annual Meeting in Atlanta

More than 60 AACTE Holmes Scholars® participated in the Annual Meeting in Atlanta last month. The commitment of their 15 host institutions, as well as of AACTE, to building a more diverse professional community was on full display in the lively atmosphere and collegial environment at the conference, which offered a platform of reinvigoration for some and the start of an exciting journey for others. One attendee commented that she had not experienced that much energy in quite a while.

At the kick-off session February 27, AACTE’s Rodrick Lucero, vice president for member engagement and support, described the Association’s renewed commitment to the Holmes Scholars Program and emphasized its value and necessity in the field. He highlighted goals for the coming year, which touched on not only recruiting and retaining scholars in academia, but looking closely at the entire continuum of PK-24. Lucero praised the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NASHA) for its continued support in providing highly sought-after mentoring services for 1st-year and midlevel doctoral students.

Understanding Urban Communities as Context and Text for Teaching and Learning

Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the second post in the series.

Teaching is an interpretive practice that requires knowledge of the community where students grow and develop, and where they are socialized. Students’ initial and ongoing learning happens within a particular community; is framed by the ideologies and practices of the community; is influenced by the experiences, interests, and values shared among members of the community; and is appropriated through the learner’s perception, which is developed within the particular community. The initial learning that happens within a community constitutes the intellectual, psychological, social, and emotional development of the individual person.

Helping Our Candidates Become Better Communicators

A Conversation With Harriet “Niki” Fayne, Dean of Education at Lehman College

Harriet “Niki” Fayne, dean of education at Lehman College (City University of New York) in the Bronx, isn’t about to say that edTPA was easy for her faculty and students, or that it is the final answer for teacher preparation. But she does say this: edTPA moves the profession in the direction of strengthening the skills of beginning teachers.

Member Voices: Bring It On: Teacher Education Ready for Sensible Evaluation

This post originally appeared in Dean Feuer’s blog, “Feuer Consideration,” and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that was well meaning but misleading. It was surprising and disappointing to see a distinguished educator miss an opportunity to dispel conventional myths and clarify for the general public what is really going on in the world of teacher preparation and its evaluation.

For those who may have missed Robert Pianta’s short article, here is a summary and rebuttal.

Understanding Teaching as an Interpretive Process and Practice

Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the first post in the series.

The way teaching and learning teaching are conceptualized influences approaches and practices in both. For example, where teaching is viewed as an interpretive process, learning teaching also requires an interpretive process for constructing the habits of mind and deep knowledge of approaches and practices necessary for facilitating meaningful, purposeful, and productive learning experiences for students in different contexts, from different cultural and experiential backgrounds, and with different developmental needs.

On Twitter

So mark your calendars and get ready for an exciting week to come!

AACTE

AACTE Tools

Follow Us