Zhao Offers Inspiration at NC-ACTE Forum

Yong Zhao headshotLast month, I attended the North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NC-ACTE) Fall Forum, “Embracing the Future: Living and Learning in the Context of Globalization.” The conference had strands on technology, curriculum development, globalization, partnerships, and recruiting educators, as well as presentations from the state Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

One of the highlights of the conference was a keynote presentation from Yong Zhao, who spoke about the importance of the educator preparation profession to our democracy and to our economy. Zhao urged teacher educators to think bigger than scores on standardized tests—to prepare teachers who do more than train their students on employable skills, but who embrace diversity, curiosity, passion, and creativity. In Zhao’s words, “Without interest, you can get good science test scores, but you can’t get great scientists.”

Last year brought many changes to North Carolina teacher policy, including the elimination of pay increases for advanced degrees as well as the elimination of tenure. After this tough policy year, NC-ACTE used its fall conference to begin building its capacity to advocate as a chapter. I presented strategies for state-level advocacy, and NC-ACTE leaders organized several concurrent sessions throughout the meeting to further their advocacy goals. Chapter members used one of their concurrent sessions to begin planning their first state Day on the Hill. 

To learn more about NC-ACTE, visit http://ncacte.org/Home.html. If you’d like AACTE staff to present at your state chapter conference, visit the AACTE web site to learn what presentations are available.

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Sarah Pinsky

Manager for State and Federal Policy, AACTE