2015 Imig Award to Honor CEEDAR Founders

AACTE has selected special education scholars Mary Brownell and Paul Sindelar of the University of Florida to receive the 2015 AACTE David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Sunday, March 1, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The Imig Award, named for AACTE President Emeritus David G. Imig, recognizes distinguished achievement in the formulation, implementation, or analysis of teacher education policy, or in the performance of distinguished scholarship in educator preparation.

Brownell and Sindelar have made significant and long-term contributions to teacher development and research, particularly in the field of special education. Following decades of successful collaboration on other major national projects studying and supporting special education teachers, in 2014 they cofounded the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center. This center provides technical assistance to states, addressing alignment of professional learning systems based on research, for developing teachers to prepare students with disabilities to achieve college- and career-ready standards.

CEEDAR is a cooperative project of the university and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, which has already invested an unprecedented $25 million in the center. Partners collaborating on the project include the American Institutes for Research, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the University of Kansas, and numerous individual consultants and organizations, including AACTE.

“Brownell and Sindelar’s impressive contributions to research and leadership in the area of special education teacher quality and effectiveness have influenced teacher education policies and practices, as well as doctoral scholarship, locally, nationally, and globally,” writes Professor Jean Crockett in the letter of nomination for the AACTE award. “What I find especially impressive is their deep engagement with the cultivation of the next generation of teacher educators and researchers.”

Crockett continues, “This team of productive and influential teacher educators is jointly responsible for creating a highly visible and well-funded body of scholarship including multiple national centers for research and dissemination addressing teacher quality and special education. Their work has international as well as national significance at a time when this topic is of particularly high salience.”

Glenn E. Good, dean of the University of Florida’s College of Education, heartily endorsed the nomination. “Using research and evidence to inform national educational policies and practices is the spirit of the Imig Award and at the heart of the work being done by Mary and Paul in their CEEDAR project,” he said. “[Their] commitment to improving teacher education through policy and research is evident in all their endeavors and extensive body of accomplishments.”

For information on AACTE’s awards program, including lists of past winners, visit http://aacte.org/professional-development-and-events/awards.

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