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AACTE Initiatives in Special Education Preparation Take Flight

AACTE is a national partner for the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, which helps states and institutions of higher education to develop the ability of every teacher to prepare students with disabilities for college and careers. As a federally funded multi-million dollar project, CEEDAR works with AACTE and others to promote the preparation of all educators to have the mindset and skillset for effectively instructing students with disabilities along with all other students in the mainstream classroom.

“This initiative is about ensuring that all educators have the skills to work effectively with students with disabilities,” said AACTE Consultant Jane West, who leads the Association’s work with CEEDAR. “Special education has too often been considered a place and not a service. We are highlighting and promoting preparation for both general and special educators so they can provide effective instruction to students with disabilities in inclusive ways with an eye toward raising expectations and undermining the stigmatizing of students with disabilities.”

JTE Author Interview: Analyzing Historical Intersections Between General and Special Education to Support More Inclusive Practice

Check out the latest the 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 JTE article, “Interrogating the Intersections Between General and Special Education in the History of Teacher Education Reform” by Linda P. Blanton, Marleen C. Pugach, and Mildred Boveda. The article appears in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of JTE.

AACTE Clinical Practice Commission and Special Education Taskforce Collaborate on Next Steps

Nearly 40 members of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) and the Special Education Task Force met in Washington, DC on September 24-26 to discuss their separate and shared initiatives that serve as next steps for advancing the new CPC report. Released in January 2018, A Pivot Toward Clinical Practice, Its Lexicon, and the Renewal of Educator Preparation by the CPC offers a framework, guidance, and common lexicon to expand the operationalization of clinical educator preparation. Its 10 proclamations and tenets identify highly effective and evidence-based practices for embedding teacher preparation in the PK-12 environment.

During the planning session, the CPC developed a working plan to advance its emissary work and to create a site-based peer-coaching model. The Taskforce focused on finalizing a series of tenets that will be added to the existing CPC proclamations to provide more specific practice recommendations for special and inclusive educator preparation.

“The CPC met on the first day to discuss the next round of their work, which is to share findings of the report more broadly through focused emissary work and the development of peer coaching strategies,” said Amanda Lester, AACTE director of programs and professional learning. “This emissary work includes a defined plan that will help AACTE members learn more about how to implement the report’s research for developing or expanding their clinical practice model.”

Southern New Hampshire University Launches New Degree in Clinical Education

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester launched its new clinical master’s degree program during the 2018-19 academic year. The program offers dual certification in elementary and special education or early childhood and early childhood special education. It is designed to prepare teacher candidates for certification and to ensure that new educators have the required skills, competencies, knowledge, and dispositions specifically needed to support the development and learning of students in elementary grades (K-8) and general special education (K-12).

“It’s an accelerated 15-month clinical program that enables teacher candidates to work clinically with students during 11 of those months,” said Mary Ford, Interim Dean in the School of Education at SNHU. “They are [working] in supervised clinical experiences learning the craft and skill of teaching as well as monitoring the learning progress of their K-12 students.”

Rowan University Offers New Degree in Inclusive Education

Rowan University’s College of Education is the founding college on campus but that doesn’t stop it from continually innovating its practice and creating forward-thinking opportunities for teaching and learning. And so, this year, the oldest college on campus is offering an innovative new degree: the Bachelor of Arts in Inclusive Education.

The concept of inclusive education is simple, yet profound: teachers must be prepared to meet the needs of ALL the learners in their classroom, regardless of differences in race, language, culture, and physical ability.

Federal FY19 Appropriations on the Move

On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) moved its Fiscal Year 2019 bill through markup. Despite the FY19 increase of $18 billion for nondefense discretionary funds from the deal made earlier this year, the House FY19 Labor-H bill received no additional funds (the Labor-H bill contains about 32% of the nondefense discretionary funds found across all federal agencies).

Given this challenge, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the programs that AACTE advocates for receive level funding or a small increase:

Radio Show Highlights Work of Special Education Task Force

In a recent show on Education Talk Radio, host Larry Jacobs interviewed the leaders of AACTE’s Special Education Task Force about their work to improve the clinical preparation of special education professionals. The discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion included the following guests:

  • Deborah Reed, University of North Florida
  • Rene Roselle, University of Connecticut
  • Amanda Lester, AACTE Director, Programs & Professional Learning
  • Jane West, AACTE Consultant

New Resource Aids States in Developing Principals for Inclusive Schools

A new website aims to equip state education agencies to support principals for better serving students with disabilities. AACTE is among nearly two dozen organizations convened by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to develop the site’s content.

The resulting online guide, Supporting Inclusive Schools for the Success of Each Child: A Guide for States on Principal Leadership, outlines eight strategies for states to embed expectations for inclusive principal leadership in policy and practice:

AACTE to Award Dissertation on Teacher Identity for Inclusion in Urban Schools

molly-baustien-siuty

AACTE will honor Molly Baustien Siuty, assistant professor of inclusive teacher education at Portland State University (OR), with the 2018 AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award for her study (Re)constituting Teacher Identity for Inclusion in Urban Schools: A Process of Reification and Resistance. The award will be presented at the 70th AACTE Annual Meeting Closing Keynote session, March 3 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Siuty’s dissertation investigated how teacher candidates’ learning about diversity and inclusion in their preservice preparation programs translates – or struggles to translate – into their practice as new teachers. The study uncovered important insights for bridging gaps between teacher preparation and induction.

Holmes Scholar of the Month: Monique Matute

Congratulations to Monique E. Matute, Holmes Scholar of the Month for November 2017!

Matute is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in special education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). This is her second year in the doctoral program, and she is also a graduate assistant.

Matute is a determined doctoral student who exemplifies hard work and dedication to the field of special education. Her research interests are the disproportionality of African American males in special education and applied behavioral analysis. She strives to present critical issues and implications on overrepresentation and underrepresentation of students from culturally linguistic and diverse backgrounds in special education.

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