Congratulations to April Holmes Scholar of the Month Dwayne Cormier!
Cormier is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University, studying curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on curriculum and supervision. His research interests include how culture and context influence engagement in educational settings, as well as the impact of memes on the thoughts and ideals of citizens.
A military veteran and former executive director of a nonprofit organization that changed the lives of young people through the game of golf, Cormier recognized the need to aid students of color in the education system and vowed to make an impact in the classroom through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Over the years, his experiences in and outside of the classroom have given him insight on the inequities facing students, preservice and in-service teachers, and administration in educational organizations.
On March 4, AACTE convened representatives from organizations working with different stages of the educator pipeline to speak at the major forum “Acting as One to Support Educator Development.” The forum, one of six held during the 69th Annual Meeting, covered issues such as student recruitment, candidate support across the continuum of preparation through induction, the role of school-university partnerships, and ensuring novice teachers are prepared to engage their students in deeper learning. In the interest of collaborating as one across this continuum, panelists discussed how their roles intertwine by sharing their perspectives on the best way to achieve a national, cohesive effort supporting high-quality educator preparation.
The forum was moderated by Michael Dennehy, director of college access and completion at Boston University (MA). Panelists included Dan Brown of Educators Rising, Kimberly Tobey of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP), and Linda Darling-Hammond and Maria Hyler of the Learning Policy Institute.
A major forum at last month’s AACTE Annual Meeting highlighted actions under way to diversify the teaching workforce and advance social justice at universities across the country. Titled “Meeting the Needs of All Learners: Advancing Social Justice and Diversity in Teacher Preparation,” the forum featured panelists from four Association initiatives working toward these objectives: the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC), the Diversified Teaching Workforce: Recruitment and Retention AACTE Topical Action Group, the AACTE Holmes Program, and the AACTE Committee on Global Diversity.
The forum was moderated by Sharon Leathers of William Paterson University (NJ) and included the following panelists, each of whom is a member of one or more of the four initiatives: Lora Bailey of New Mexico Highlands University, Traci Baxley of Florida Atlantic University, Jacob Easley of Eastern Connecticut University, Conra Gist of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and Reyes Quezada of the University of San Diego (CA).
How does the work of teaching become the work of justice and equity? At AACTE’s 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, TeachingWorks organized one of the six major forums around this question, convening panelists from across the nation to discuss high-leverage practices for teachers to disrupt inequity in the classroom. Speakers at the March 3 forum emphasized the need for teachers to orient their practice around valuing community and students’ individual voices in order to advance social justice and learning for all.
Deborah Loewenberg Ball, education dean at the University of Michigan and head of TeachingWorks, moderated the forum with panel conversations based on building relationships with students, leading group discussions, and implementing routines for classroom discourse. Audience questions were also incorporated in the forum via live interaction and the hashtag #TWforum on Twitter.
The 2017 AACTE Speaker Spotlight Session featured a rousing address from Linda Darling-Hammond, who encouraged educators to persist in their focus on educational equity and advocacy despite the barrage of obstacles and distractions in the current environment.
Although teacher educators have been hard at work and have much to celebrate, she said, there is not a moment to relax in confronting the challenges of the day. Citing issues such as child homelessness, access to healthcare, funding cuts, and policy centered on “testing without investing,” she urged attendees to step up their work with candidates to engage in equity-focused practices. Recent surges in racist and anti-immigrant incidents further hamper students’ well-being and ability to learn.
The Welcoming Session at the AACTE 69th Annual Meeting featured guest speaker Shaun Harper, professor and executive director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. In his presentation, “Ed Schools and the Mis-Education of White America,” he discussed diversity, equity, and race issues in education and the obligation of universities – especially educator preparation programs – to address them.
He emphasized the critical role for schools of education in preserving and advancing democracy in America: As preparers of teachers for the public schools, they are in a position to ensure that every student is educated with the proper consciousness and skills needed to raise race questions and pursue greater equity. Harper said that most teacher preparation programs do not currently live up to this objective, as their curricula contain very little about cultural diversity and fail to challenge racial biases.
On February 22, AACTE will host the third installment of a four-part webinar series highlighting the experiences and findings of each of the 10 institutions in the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The webinar, “Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline at Boston University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and William Paterson University: Lessons From AACTE’s NIC,” will be held Wednesday, February 22, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST.
The webinar will provide an inside look at the path of inquiry guiding the NIC’s overall work and how that process has shaped and changed recruitment and retention of Black, Hispanic, and Latino male teacher candidates at three participating institutions. Presenters will share specific initiatives and strategies developed through their participation in the NIC process to demonstrate how NIC-developed approaches can be adapted locally to advance a common goal – in this case, to increase the percentage of Black and Hispanic/Latino men receiving initial teaching certification through educator preparation programs.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Last month, faculty from Ohio University’s Patton College of Education joined with teachers from a partner school to participate in an equity-focused leadership summit in Chicago. Two Federal Hocking (OH) Middle School teachers – Robin Hawk, an eighth-grade social studies teacher who led the team, and Tessa Molina, a seventh-grade math teacher – took part in the Inclusion, Equity, and Opportunity Teacher Leadership Summit December 2-4, along with Patton College faculty Bill Elasky, instructor of teacher education and a board of education member at Federal Hocking Local Schools; Mathew Felton, assistant professor of teacher education; and Lisa Harrison, associate professor of teacher education.
Congratulations to January Holmes Scholar of the Month Shalander Samuels of the University of Central Florida!
With her passion for education, Samuels consistently advocates for student success and achievement, especially in the areas of reading and language arts. Her research interests include reading achievement gaps and teaching motivation methods in Title I schools.
With over 8 years of experience in a formal teaching capacity, Samuels has a reputation for the exciting and motivating atmosphere she created in her middle school classroom. She continues to bring this positivity to her graduate studies, building and maintaining relationships and empowering her colleagues and fellow scholars with unmatched encouragement. Samuels’ dynamic presence and passion indicate that her legacy in the field of education is likely to endure.
Next month, AACTE will host the second installment of a webinar series highlighting the experiences and findings of each of the 10 institutions in the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The webinar, “Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline at Florida Atlantic University and the University of St. Thomas: Lessons From AACTE’s NIC,” will be held Wednesday, December 14, 2:30-3:30 p.m. EST.
The goal of this NIC is to identify broadly applicable strategies to increase the percentage of Black and Hispanic/Latino men receiving initial teaching certification through educator preparation programs. This webinar will provide an inside look at the path of inquiry guiding the NIC’s overall work and how that process has shaped and changed recruitment and retention of Black, Hispanic, and Latino male teacher candidates at two participating institutions.