NY Teacher Educators Developing ‘Critical Consciousness to Affect Change’
On October 14-16, the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NYACTE) partnered with the New York State Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE) to host a joint fall conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. The conference theme, Developing a Critical Consciousness to Affect Change in Teacher Education, captured the exemplary work of our colleagues who concentrate their energies on shaping policy in educator preparation, nurturing and sustaining PK-12 partnerships, adapting to changes in accreditation, and focusing on best practices.
The executive boards of the sponsoring groups meet individually and collectively and remain committed to providing a forum for experts in the field of teacher education to meet, discuss, challenge, and impact the preparation of teachers in New York State. Last month’s conference provided NYSATE and NYACTE members the opportunity to share research and best practices in the preparation of 21st century educators—from classroom teachers to school leaders—despite the many challenges we continue to face in an era of increasing accountability to the public and to our accreditors, as well as shared concerns such as tightening budgets and declining enrollments within many of our colleges and schools of education across New York State.
Teacher educators, practitioners, policy makers, administrators, and stakeholders gathered together to discuss best practices, research, and scholarship in the fields of teaching, curriculum, and instruction. To that end our plenary speakers included new State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia, Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education John D’Agati, NY State Assemblyman John McDonald III, Mark LaCelle-Peterson and Sungti Hsu from AACTE, and Deb Eldridge from CAEP. From the results of our conference evaluation, attendees experienced stimulating conversations as they engaged with colleagues and stakeholders to assure that we continue to prepare excellent teachers to serve our state and nation.
Archived materials from this and other conferences can be found on our web site at http://www.nyacte.org/conference/conferences.html. The site also contains information on our goals and objectives, our annual awards, and our peer-reviewed journal.
In reflecting on the association’s objectives, as president, I can affirm that NYACTE acknowledges the education of teachers as a great professional enterprise that maintains special responsibilities for the development of competent citizens. Our NYACTE colleagues endeavor to strengthen programs that are culturally responsive to changing demographics, that keep up with the rapid changes in technology, that imbue social justice throughout their curricula and experiential learning opportunities, and that strive to teach our candidates that all students can learn.
Excelsior—the New York State motto, meaning “ever upward,” and the name of our association journal—strongly affirms our commitment to providing excellence in our pursuit of the knowledge and skills that enable us to be exemplary educators.
NYACTE President Lori V. Quigley is dean of the Esteves School of Education and professor of literacy education at The Sage Colleges.