• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

The Wisdom of Crowds: Collaborative Student Teaching Instrument Development

This report highlights the use of an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant by the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Educator preparation providers (EPPs) in Ohio have a longstanding history of collaboration. The 51 public and private institutions embrace the philosophy of the “wisdom of crowds,” that is, the power of decisions made by groups through collective sharing of information and resources (see this 2005 book by James Surowiecki). One of our ongoing collaborative efforts is the “VARI-EPP” (Valid and Reliable Instruments for Educator Preparation Programs) project, which aims to develop assessment instruments for use by any EPP in the nation to empower them with valid, reliable, and comparable data that may be used for program improvement. These types of instruments also address the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) call for accreditation evidence collected from instruments that have been analyzed for validity and reliability.

Elevating Holmes Voices at Washington Week

Participants in the Holmes Summer Policy Institute in Arlington, VA, during AACTE’s 2017 Washington Week

AACTE’s 2017 Washington Week brought two dozen Holmes Program students from across the country to learn and advocate together in the nation’s capital. It was grand to reconnect with Holmes members I had not seen in months, to meet new members, and to network with leaders of the state chapters of AACTE – and of course to elevate our voices collectively in the halls of Congress!

Internationalization Survey, Self-Reflection Tool Developed for Deans/Directors of Teacher Education

Have you ever wondered what it takes to develop a teacher education program that prepares teachers to teach for global competence? Or how your own educator preparation unit is progressing in its efforts to internationalize?

If you are a dean/director of teacher education, you can take a survey this summer to find out. AACTE’s Internationalizing Teacher Education Topical Action Group (TAG), Global Teacher Education Inc. (GTEI), and the Longview Foundation have combined resources to create a self-reflection tool that will help teacher education deans and directors assess their own colleges’ internationalization efforts.

Coming Soon: Teacher Educator Technology Competencies

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

To help educator preparation programs address calls for better preparing new teachers to integrate technology in their practice, we recently led a collaborative research effort to develop a set of teacher educator technology competencies. An article outlining the competencies and our underlying methodologies is currently in review for publication, and we look forward to disseminating the details soon – but for now, we’d like to share some background on what spurred the project and how we decided to approach it.

Exchange of Ideas, Not Brainwashing, a Hallmark of College Experience

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

In certain circles, it is popular to view colleges and universities as the embodiment of an intolerant “education establishment” driven more by liberal ideology than by valued learning experiences. Particularly with the recent leadership transition in Washington, DC, espousers of this view have grown bolder in their accusations of brainwashing and progressive elitism in higher education. These claims are frustrating in that they betray a lack of familiarity with the mission of our institutions, but they are also dangerous: if used to erode public support for higher education, they will further impede access by those most in need.

While we welcome constructive criticism of our work, statements that delegitimize higher education are counterproductive and must be challenged. When officials suggest that professors are deviously indoctrinating students with a limited, biased, and distorted set of beliefs, such intimation is demeaning to faculty and students alike. And after 35 years in higher education, I can attest to the utter falseness of this assumption.

Advocacy and Action: Oklahoma ACTE’s Successful Collaboration With State Legislators

It may not be often that a state chapter of AACTE seeks to create new legislation outlining expectations for teacher preparation, but that was the case for the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE) during the past academic year.

For several years, state legislators had been proposing new dyslexia training requirements for all early childhood, elementary, and special education candidates. However, concerns and tensions escalated between educator preparation providers (EPPs) and interest groups who disagreed on the definition of the problem, the depth of training that would be appropriate, and language that might mandate particular programs and materials. Consequently, discussions and the relationship between groups deteriorated and were unproductive.

Call for Responses: Holmes Needs Assessment

Since 1991, various iterations of the AACTE Holmes Program have catered to doctoral students from historically underrepresented backgrounds by providing conferences, mentoring, and other support. Since then, more than 700 Holmes Scholars have completed their terminal degree and moved beyond their student careers into research, policy, and academic positions across the nation. With Holmes’ growth into other education levels in the past 2 years, the Holmes Scholars Council is reaching out to our younger colleagues to determine their needs and how we might better tailor the program to meet them.

The Holmes community now consists of high school students (Holmes Cadets), undergraduates (Holmes Honors), master’s students (Holmes Master’s), and doctoral candidates (Holmes Scholars). To better serve all of our Holmes students, the council would like to hear from each member at the new levels – Cadets, Honors, and Master’s. Please encourage all of these Holmes students to take our needs assessment survey this month – it is anonymous and should take only 5-10 minutes to complete.

Missouri EPP Engagement Helps Reshape State Report Card

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

Educator preparation providers (EPPs) in many states find themselves under increased pressure to demonstrate accountability, but they often feel powerless to play a role in the development of accountability measures. Accountability often seems to be something that is done to them rather than with them. In Missouri, however, EPPs have played an integral role in the creation of the state’s new report card.

It wasn’t always this way, and the manner in which EPPs came to be involved may be instructive to those working in other states. When the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education first presented a plan for its Annual Program Reports for Education Preparation Programs (APR-EPP), EPPs were also dealing upheaval in other areas too – from changes to certification rules to new expectations for field experiences. The APR-EPP was met with significant resistance in the Show-Me State for many reasons, including the fact that it included a battery of new assessments and a simple Met/Not Met designation.

State ACTEs Opening Channels for Communication, Common Interest

Members of the Alabama Association of Colleges for Teacher Education meet with officials from the state department of education and Alabama’s representatives to the Southern Regional Education Board’s Teacher Preparation Commission.

One of the benefits of state chapter affiliation with AACTE is the opportunity it provides, through the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), to network with those from other states who share the work of preparing educators. Our collaboration is facilitated through participation in regional conference calls, AACTE Annual Meetings, and the State Leaders Institute as well as communications like the monthly State Directions e-newsletter. As we learn how others are responding to federal, state, and local education initiatives, we find opportunities for mutual support and ways to present a united voice.

NBCTs Say Quality Preservice Prep Matters Long After They Become a Teacher of Record

Everyone likes a great investment, a sure thing, a great return for the money. In education, as in the markets, trying to figure out where to invest for the best results is challenging. Still, solid research can point us in the right direction, which is why I couldn’t wait for the results of the latest study in the “Good to Great” series by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY): Investing in What It Takes to Move From Good to Great: Exemplary Educators Identify Their Most Important Learning Experiences.

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