Leading Educator Preparation Association Releases New Strategic Plan

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) publicly announced today their new strategic plan effective through 2023. The plan reflects the Association’s ongoing commitment to high-quality educator preparation while leveraging opportunities to be forward thinking in addressing challenges that come from an ever-changing educational landscape. “It positions AACTE to truly revolutionize educator preparation,” said Kim Metcalf, chair of the AACTE ...

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Preparing Teacher Candidates across the University for School Safety

During the month of October, AACTE has addressed the importance of school safety in its recent Thought Leadership series. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick took time to share in this video how she led a new approach at Howard University to prepare teacher candidates for ensuring safe learning environments in classrooms. In 2010, Howard’s College of Education innovated ...

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New AACTE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Video Series Now Available

AACTE is excited to announce the release of its new video series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in educator preparation. The videos address a wide variety of topics ranging from promising practices for recruiting and retaining teachers of color, to the importance of culturally relevant teaching for growing the special education teacher pipeline, and also promoting equal access to quality ...

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Explore New Resources at AACTE

As the fall 2020 semester begins like none other, AACTE would like to remind you of a few new additions to the member resources roster that may be of service to you as the new academic years begins in a COVID-19 world.

  • COVID-19 Resource Hub – Here you can connect with peers and access various webinars, tools, and the latest research about online and distance learning.  
  • COVID-19 Educator Preparation Policy Tracker Map – View the latest policy changes affecting your program and receive guidance on how to make any programmatic changes necessary. 
  • Virtual Reality Classrooms – Need to provide your candidates with virtual simulations to complete clinical practice requirements? Through your AACTE membership, you receive special rates to Mursion Virtual Reality Classrooms.

Additional resources that you will find useful include the following:

Participatory Action Research in a Pandemic

Revolutionizing Education

Christine Gentry
The culminating course of the NYU Teacher Residency focuses on a year-long participatory action research (PAR) journey residents take with a small group of students. PAR is a collaborative, iterative process of inquiry and action in response to an organizational or community problem. Residents and their students work as a team to identify a problem of practice, research that problem of practice, craft action and data collection plans, implement those plans, and then evaluate their impact through analysis of gathered data. In presentations at the end of the course, residents reflect on the entire process and how it helped develop student agency, advocacy, and voice as well as their own leadership. It is the faculty’s hope that during the PAR journey, residents practice radical listening and how to be mindful learners and leaders.

In March 2020, COVID-19 entered the residents’ PAR experience like a wrecking ball. I gathered with the other PAR instructors to decide how we were going to adjust the project for our residents, considering the radical change in access both to physical spaces and to the students in the PAR teams. We ultimately decided to offer the residents two choices: a reflective path, in which they could craft a presentation on their team’s original plan and the progress they were able to make pre-COVID, and a virtual pilot path, in which they could adjust their projects to the virtual space we all suddenly found ourselves in. Understandably, most residents chose to pursue the reflective path, but one resident, Lorraine Zhong, and her team of students chose to continue their project virtually. Her project is a model for how the PAR instructors in the NYU Teacher Residency will be approaching the project this year, with COVID-19’s grip still firmly on our schools. Her journey is a beautiful example of the transformative power of PAR—its ability to strengthen relationships, build student investment, and spark meaningful change—even in the face of this new and terribly difficult time for our schools.

I’ll let her take it from here.

The 7 Ps of a Responsible Leader

This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Angeline Dean.

Angeline Dean

“People, Policy, Politics, and Processes” – Jane West

The knowledge of this framework and its relation to analysis and advocacy spearheaded the Holmes Advanced Policy Course. This framework, along with homework given by AACTE staffers Jane West and Weade James was not only the necessary grounding to an understanding that truly “all politics are local” but also ripe for Luis Maldonado to address the navigating of politics and policies. Immediately following, Lakeisha Steele, professional staffer and policy team leader for Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House, Education & Labor Committee, “ripped the runway” with her honesty, passion, and commitment to social and transformational change! She reminded us that “we are our ancestors wildest dreams!” Therefore, we like our ancestors and so many who have transitioned this year, must be prepared to live in “good trouble” spaces and we must Persevere.

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” – Shirley Chisolm.

As we segued into the rest of the Holmes Policy Institute, we were gifted with the Power statement of “Miss Unbought and Unbossed” herself, Shirley Chisolm. How befitting as this statement resonated as an overarching theme for such a time as this. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick challenged us to thwart the narratives that brand Black bodies in lies and deficits. She pushed us to exercise our Positionality as spaces of truth, resistance, power, and countered narratives that honor civil rights ancestors in the proper telling of history and data in education. With that, students posed questions that blended and asserted their politics, processes, power, and positionality as people such as: What exactly is the role of a dean in residence and how or does it relate to Holmes students and their needs? What systems are in place to protect (another p word) BIPOC students against whiteness and internalized racism in predominantly white institutions?

Louisiana Department of Education, Board of Regents, BESE Launch Teacher Preparation Program Website

The Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana Board of Regents and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) debuted a new website that will help soon-to-be educators choose the teacher preparation program that fits them best. Prospective educators can now visit LouisianaTeacherPrep.com to explore teacher preparation programs and pathways to become a teacher.

“If we want to provide our children with the education they deserve, we need a highly effective teacher in front of every child,” said State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley. “Not only does this new tool help prospective teachers find the best pathway for them, but it will recruit educators to our state by showcasing Louisiana’s many quality preparation programs.”

The new website will serve as a one-stop-shop for information on the state’s 29 teacher preparation providers. LouisianaTeacherPrep.com was produced to provide prospective educators with data on Louisiana teacher preparation providers that may be helpful as they select a program suitable to their needs. 

Completion of a teacher preparation program signifies that an enrolled teacher candidate has met all state educational and training requirements to be recommended for initial certification. The LDOE is collaborating with BESE and the Board of Regents in this work. BESE has regulatory authority over any training program that results in initial educator certification in Louisiana. The Board of Regents has regulatory authority over public universities.

Holmes Policy Institute Launches AACTE 2020 Washington Week

Last week, scholars of color convened for the AACTE Holmes Policy Institute, a three-day training under this year’s theme, “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy.” The virtual conference, the first of the AACTE 2020 Washington Week events,  offered students the opportunity to connect with peers, build their networks and engage in lively discussions on current trends. The advocacy and policy training focused on how the intersection of policy, education, and research can affect positive change for students of color.

Day 1 kicked off with AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick leading a session on civil rights in education and AACTE consultant Jane West presenting a policy briefing. Day 2 centered on presentations by guest speakers—faculty, national organization professionals, and congressional staffers—who covered topics such as efforts to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and community-based participatory research to achieve social justice. The final day of training began with social reform advocates Jael Kerandi and Amanda Wilkerson, and moderator Ann Charity Hudley sharing their experiences and guidance on how scholars of color can mobilize for change.

The Longevity of Education Deans

Shelley B. Wepner & William A. Henk

The professional literature on the lifespan of education deans in their positions indicates that they serve in the role four to six years on average. We discovered a similar finding when we conducted a study through AACTE about education deans’ perceptions of essential characteristics for contributing to their success. More than two-thirds had been in their current position for five years or less (Wepner et al., in press). By the same token, though, we found that one-third of the education deans stayed in their positions much longer. These findings piqued our interest in the construct of longevity in the education deanship and inspired us to conduct a qualitative study, with the assistance of AACTE, of the factors contributing to the length of time education deans remain in office. 

We believed that the construct deserved study because endurance in this demanding administrative capacity would presumably exert an impact on the welfare of schools and colleges of education. In a related vein, resilience as an education dean would seem to signify a reasonable indicator of sustained effectiveness, while brevity in the job might suggest the reverse. We also pursued the construct with the understanding that the roles and responsibilities of education deans, while resembling other academic deans, do present some markedly unique challenges that might affect longevity, and that there would be value for those in positions to affect education deans’ tenures positively, whether central administrators, peers, faculty or staff, to better understand the factors that promote longevity.        

A Brief History Lesson and Open Letter to the Nation’s Schoolchildren and College Students about White Male Power

The following article by AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick is reprinted with permission from Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, 2020.

Dear Generation Z Students,

You are digital natives. So, this letter would better reach you by video, Instagram, Snapchat, maybe Twitter or a hashtag. But I need more letter characters and time than these platforms allow.

Please bear with me as you read. I warn you: First, my history recitation may seem unrelated but stick with me. Second, you might be tempted to read my analysis of White male power as a screed against all White males. It is not.

Did you learn about Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg in your history class? I’d like you to consider this battle as a metaphor for what you’re witnessing now with the murders of George Floyd, a truck driver and bar bouncer laid off due to the COVID pandemic; Breonna Taylor, an EMT and emergency room tech; Ahmaud Arbery, an avid jogger; and, the assault of Christian Cooper, a Harvard grad and bird watcher victimized by a White woman who used an old, violent trick – call the police and lie about being attacked by a Black man .

General George Pickett (known as the Lost Cause General of the Confederate South) fought a losing battle on July 3, 1863. Pickett and his all White male brigade were fighting to maintain an apartheid south built on the brutalizing, free labor of enslaved African men, women, and children. Pickett moved well above the Mason-Dixon Line and took about 12,000 Confederate soldiers straight into the heart of Union territory, Pennsylvania.

Explore Leading in Difficult Times during AACTE’s 2020 Leadership Academy Series

2020 Leadership Academy

For much of 2020, COVID-19 has forced AACTE and its members to “think outside the box” and reimagine programming.  Just last week, AACTE conducted its inaugural virtual event, with educators coming together to receive advocacy training and learn effective techniques for effectively engaging with political leaders.  And in keeping with innovating its professional development opportunities during the current pandemic, the association is pleased to announce the 2020 AACTE Leadership Academy Series.

In lieu of the traditional, in-person, four-day training, this years’ experience will offer a series of interactive sessions for attendees.  The six-session experience will take place in two parts, with three sessions to be offered this fall, and the other three sessions to be offered during the 2021 Annual Meeting.  Under the theme of “Leading During Difficult Times,” the three fall sessions will explore content in the following areas:

October 14 – Addressing Issues in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

October 27 – Collaborative Decision-Making During Crisis

November 10 – Re-Thinking Field Experience

AACTE Wraps Up Virtual Training for 16th Annual Day on the Hill

AACTE delivered its first virtual Day on the Hill advocacy event this past week. Over two days, attendees met with Congressional staff, AACTE Committee on Government Relations members, and panelists to develop their advocacy toolkit. This week, the attendees will host two days of Congressional visits with the senators and representatives from their states. AACTE state teams will be advocating for the AACTE 2020 Legislative Priorities, which describe the needs of educator preparation as we address twin pandemics: COVID-19 and racial injustice. 

In preparation for their virtual Congressional Visits, attendees practiced how to communicate the priorities to legislative leaders, were briefed on current data related to educator shortages, the important to increase funding toward TEACH grants and Teacher Quality Partnership Grants within educator preparation programs, and the value of funding the Institute for Education Sciences, which is the principal research agency for education in the United States.

In addition, attendees received resources to support their learning. Each of these resources is available to all AACTE members!

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