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Posts Tagged ‘social justice’

Educators and Social Responsibility: What This Means to Informed Citizenry

Dr. Lynn M. GagnoneEducators and students are facing unprecedented times. The challenges both students and their teachers confront today vastly affects the efficacy of even the best educator’s efforts to create and foster students’ zeal for learning and to contribute to the society they will one day shape. Yet, educators must stay committed to fulfilling their social responsibility now more than ever before.

What Should Social Responsibility Look Like in the Teaching Profession?

This varies from educator to educator, so the answer to this question is complicated and multi-faceted.

Education is about opening minds, creating new knowledge. It is an expansive endeavor. In theory, education should provide us with the understanding and capacity of what it means to be a citizen of this nation and the world. Our nation’s founders understood the importance of an educated citizenry. Today, I believe that we need educators to support both a students’ academic development and citizen development.

The Social Responsibility of Educators

Lynn M. Gangone

As today’s leaders in educator preparation, we must address the persistent problems and inequities of access, discrimination, and bias that plague our schools and communities. It has long been the work of educators to embrace their social responsibility and instill in children the importance of making a difference in the world. We must continue to tackle social justice issues, including the underrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse populations among educators. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below (or read the transcript) to learn how you can engage with AACTE to promote the social responsibility of educators.

Highlights from Sept./Oct. JTE Issue

Journal of Teacher Education logo

The  September/October 2019 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE)  is now available online, while printed copies are arriving in the mail to subscribers around the country. Below is a summary of the articles included in Vol. 70, Issue 4, 2019:

In “Teacher Agency and Resilience in the Age of Neoliberalism,” members of the JTE editorial team, Tonya Bartell, Christine Cho, Corey Drake, Emery Petchauer, and Gail Richmond, address how the articles in this issue provide insights into ways educator preparation programs can support teachers in developing and enacting agency. They discuss how making small shifts or adaptations in everyday teaching practices can create more just and equitable teaching and learning.


In the paper, “Whiteness as a Dissonant State: Exploring  One White Male Student Teacher’s Experiences in Urban Contexts,” Stephanie Behm Cross of Georgia State University, Nermin Tosmur-Bayazit  of Fitchburg State University, and Alyssa Hadley Dunn of Michigan State University, suggest that Whiteness itself is a dissonant state. The authors argue that

A Conversation with Donald Easton-Brooks on Culturally Responsive Practice

AACTE board member Donald Easton-Brooks is widely known as a scholar of educational policy and culturally responsive teaching. This year, he released his book Ethnic Matching: Academic Success of Students of Color. In a recent Q&A with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Easton-Brooks talked about the book and how his research shows diversifying the teaching profession will ultimately improve student’s success. The following summary highlights the conversation.

Donald Easton-BrooksHow would you describe the concept of ethnic matching and its importance to student learning?

What ethnic matching initially suggests is that teachers of color can play a significant role in enhancing the academic experience of students of color. As this research and other research progress, findings have shown that teachers of color can play a significant role in also enhancing the academic experience of white students and can assist in enhancing a more culturally responsive profession as a whole.  Therefore, the concept and research related to the concept suggest that we need to diversify teacher education. Mainly because as our communities are becoming more diverse, we are seeing our public schools also becoming more diverse. Yet what is happening is that our educator profession is not growing at a similar rate as these communities of students. The research around the concepts shows that perceived knowledge or knowledge from a preceptive culturally lens can play a role in students’ understanding of concepts, learning, and processing of information. This often can lead to these students being misinterpreted by teachers and feeling somehow misunderstood by teachers if they do not have that cultural lens to understand them. That is what teachers of color can bring to the table that can be of assistance to educational systems.

A Look at UNCC’s Black Male Teacher Initiative, “What’s Your Impact?”

Group of UNCC Black Teacher Initiative Participants
AACTE member institution Cato College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) works to create effective solutions to the shortage of Black male teachers. Thomas Fisher, supervisor of student teaching in the Office of School and Community Partnerships, recruited four of his former students to help implement a program to engage and recruit Black male students into the teaching profession. The team visits schools and shares their story to inspire a new generation of educators in the most underrepresented demographic in teaching. 

“There’s only 2% Black male teachers in the United States,” says Timothy Wells, social studies teacher at Ridge Road Middle School, who is featured in the “What’s Your Impact?” video. “Studies show that your success increases if you have a Black male teacher or a male teacher in general from an early age.” The video spotlights Black male graduates of UNC’s Cato College of Education as they share why they pursued a teaching career. It also includes Edwin Campbell, American history teacher at Vance High School; Devin Murphy, math teacher at Myers Park High School; and Dwayne Simmons, English teacher and dean of students at Quail Hollow Middle School. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above to hear the dynamic stories of these educators.

Washington Updates: Student Aid, Brown vs. Board of Education 65 Years Later

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Today marks the 65th Anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court landmark decision that established the principle that separate is not equal. How far have we come? Much to contemplate here. You will see below that a House education panel spoke loud and clear on that topic: we have a long way to go. 

  1. Trump Proposes Taking More Funds from Pell Grants – to Fund Moonshot? Huh?

This week President Trump submitted to Congress some revisions to his original budget request. Notably, he took back the proposed cut he originally made for Special Olympics (after great bipartisan outrage); but he also added a new cut in the form of an additional $1.9 billion to the Pell grant surplus. It appears that the Pell cut would go toward funding the President’s proposed 2024 NASA moonshot! Education advocates were outraged. As Jon Fansmith of the American Council on Education put it: “Do I want to make college more expensive to fund space travel to the moon and Mars?” Hmmmm …

The President had already requested a $2 billion cut in Pell funding.  So the total $3.9 billion recission would result in the Pell surplus being exhausted by 2022! This request is likely to be ignored on Capitol Hill, as no one—Republican or Democrat—ever really contemplated cutting Special Olympics.  And while the Pell Surplus has been modestly raided in the past, a $3.9 billion cut is highly unlikely. 

JTE Author Insights: Measuring Secondary Math and Science Residents


Read the latest 
JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

This interview features insights from the article “Measuring Teaching Quality of Secondary Mathematics and Science Residents: A Classroom Observation Framework” by Imelda Nava, Jaime Park, Danny Dockterman, Jarod Kawasaki, Jon Schweig, Karen Hunter Quartz, and José Felipe Martínez. The article was published in the March/April 2019 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.

Findings on Black Women Educator Professional Experiences


Read the latest 
JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

This interview features insights from Melanie M. Acosta, author of the JTE article “The Paradox of Pedagogical Excellence Among Exemplary Black Women Educators.” The article is published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.

Q1. What motivated you to pursue this particular research topic?

I was compelled to study the professional experiences of exceptional Black women educators for many reasons. One of the most important reasons was related to my own positionality as a Black woman educator with a record of success in teaching. Another crucial reason I wanted to pursue research on Black women educator professional experiences was related to expanding and complicating the dialogue on diversifying the teaching force to focus on issues affecting Black teacher retention, which includes teachers’ positionalities and the treatment of Black women educators in schools.

Educators Discuss How to Disrupt Oppression During #AACTE19


During the “Disrupting the Persistence of Oppression” Deeper Dive session, panelists explored the question: How does knowing content matter for disrupting the persistence of oppression? The panel discussion was moderated by Deborah Ball, director of TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan and included Maisha Winn, Chancellor’s Leadership Professor in the School of Education and co-director of the Transformative Justice in Education (TJE) Center at the University of California, Davis; Sylvia Celedon-Pattichis, senior associate dean for research and community engagement and professor of bilingual and mathematics education at the University of New Mexico; Abby Reisman, assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Pennsylvania; and Carol Lee, former Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education, School of Education, of Social Policy and African-American Studies at Northwestern University.

Winn began the panel discussion with a scholarly presentation focused on restorative justice and shared a narrative framework she developed for teachers to consider when seeking justice in the school setting. The framework is based on four pedagogical stances: history matters, race matters, justice matters, and language matters. She presented the framework and shared her desire to add a fifth stance: futures matter.

#AACTE19 Closing Keynote Speakers Explore Millennial Generation Teachers


Annual Meeting Closing keynote speakers Mary Dilworth, editor of Millennial Teachers of Color, and Leslie Fenwick, dean emerita of Howard University, presented the topic, “Millennial Teachers of Color: Follow Their Lead, They Know Where We Need To Be,” on Sunday, February 24. During the session, the educators explored millennial teachers through a new lens by examining the intersection of race ethnicity and generation.

Dilworth has centered her career on teacher quality and preparation, with a keen focus on racial/ethnic and linguistic diversity and equity issues. Recently, she was a co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation (NSF-DR12) project designed to recruit, prepare, license, and employ middle and high school science teachers from underrepresented groups. In addition, she served as a visiting professor and director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of the District of Columbia. Earlier in her career, she was a research fellow with Howard University’s Institute for the Study of Educational Policy (ISEP) and became widely recognized for heightening the national discourse on the disparate impact of licensing tests on underrepresented groups.

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