Kansas State Chosen for AACTE Global Award

AACTE has selected Kansas State University’s College of Education to receive the 2015 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Friday, February 27, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

A model for global diversity education throughout the institution, K-State will be honored in particular for its Teaching English as a Second Language “Go Teacher” program, an award-winning, multifaceted program of professional education for practicing Ecuadorian teachers.

The unusual program was designed to address a common challenge: The college’s students and faculty did not reflect the growing cultural and linguistic diversity of the PK-12 students in the surrounding communities. By collaborating with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education and three U.S. partner universities, the program has brought nearly 1,000 teachers from Ecuador to the United States to date, while expanding the study-abroad options for U.S. teacher candidates.

For the Ecuadorian teachers, the primary focus is on learning biography-driven instruction methods (and other best practices for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners, aligned with the CREDE Standards for Effective Pedagogy and Learning) and on improving their own English proficiency, in keeping with their country’s drive to improve high school English instruction. This focus has expanded to include elementary teachers and even preservice undergraduates at Ecuador’s national teachers college. The Ecuadorian teachers also have been learning to analyze and conduct research and to serve as advocates for reform in their home country.

Meanwhile, students and faculty in the College of Education have benefited from regular interaction with the visiting teachers, expanding their horizons on a number of levels. Dean Debbie Mercer says one exciting outcome has been her faculty’s increased interest in making their courses more internationally oriented. She praises the college’s Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy, directed by Professor Socorro Herrera, for leading the collaborative and research-grounded effort around “Go Teacher.”

“The K-State College of Education is so pleased to learn of this amazing honor awarded to us by AACTE,” Mercer said. “We look forward to the continued growth of this important and meaningful program and the positive impact it has in support of global diversity at the local, national, and international levels.”

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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