Archive for April, 2017

Help Your Graduating Seniors Land a 2017-2018 Teaching Job

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

As the seniors in your college of education gear up for graduation, encourage them to check out the free resources offered through Education Week’s TopSchoolJobs website:

Webinars Offer Overview, Resources for Integrating CKT in Elementary Teacher Prep

A pair of webinars last month offered an overview of how and why content knowledge for teaching (CKT) can be embedded in education course work, looking particularly at the preparation of elementary teachers in English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Recordings and slides from the webinars, which were presented by experts from TeachingWorks (University of Michigan) and the ETS® Educator Series (Educational Testing Service), are now available in the AACTE Resource Library: Click here for the ELA presentation and here for math.

Nicole Garcia and Sarah Scott Frank of TeachingWorks joined with Geoffrey Phelps and Heather Howell of ETS to present strategies to engage preservice teachers in real-life content problems they are likely to encounter in elementary classrooms. Rather than looking deeply at the teacher education curriculum or specific designs of programs or field experiences, the webinars sought to ease teacher educators into the concept of CKT and high-level considerations for preparation programs.

Nicole Garcia
Sarah Scott Frank
Geoffrey Phelps
Heather Howell


JTE Author Interview: How Preservice Teachers Learn to Plan Intellectually Challenging Tasks

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest author interview below.

This interview features insights from the JTE article “Preservice Teachers’ Learning to Plan Intellectually Challenging Tasks,” by Hosun Kang, assistant professor of education at University of California, Irvine. The article appears in the January/February 2017 issue of JTE.

The article’s abstract reads in part, “This study explores how and under which conditions preservice secondary science teachers (PSTs) engage in effective planning practices that incorporate intellectually challenging tasks into lessons. Drawing upon a situative perspective on learning, eight PSTs’ trajectories of participation in communities of practice are examined with a focus on planning throughout student teaching. […] The analyses show that instructional tasks observed at the beginning of lessons link to the ways in which PSTs engage in the three interrelated processes of (a) framing instructional goals, (b) constructing a lesson scenario, and (c) addressing problems of practice.”

Member Voices: Compliance Culture Should Not Supplant Profession-Led Innovation

This opinion article originally appeared in The News & Observer. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

In pursuing testing and accountability as the route to school improvement, North Carolina has overlooked the benefits of collaboration and innovation. The following two examples of innovation illustrate both the challenge and the opportunity.

During the recession, when funds were cut for after-school transportation, a high school had to change its after-school tutoring program. It adopted a new program, Smart Lunch, which provided additional time for tutoring to occur in the middle of the day. This change brought several advantages: Tutoring was no longer an add-on at the end of the day; it did not have to compete with after-school programs or students who had jobs or family responsibilities; and it was not dependent on transportation.

TEACH Grant Sequester Cuts Continue; Maximum Award Down to $3,724

In an announcement on the Federal Student Aid website, the U.S. Department of Education has outlined cuts to this year’s award amounts for TEACH Grants, reducing grants by 6.9% for the year that started October 1, 2016.

This cut, which brings the maximum TEACH grant award down from $4,000 to $3,724, is due to the federal budget sequester. (See this helpful FAQ on what sequester means for the federal budget, or this report from the Congressional Research Service for much more technical information.) Along with other sequestration-mandated cuts in federal funding, the TEACH grants have undergone reductions since 2013 ranging from 6.8 to 12.6%. An e-mail to financial aid administrators last year spelled out the most recent cuts.

AACTE Celebrates Robinson’s Leadership

AACTE issued the following media release today:

(April 6, 2017, Washington, D.C.) – As Dr. Sharon P. Robinson nears the end of her 12-year tenure as president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the organization celebrates her leadership and contributions to the field.

Robinson, who plans to retire later this year, has led AACTE in advocating and building capacity for high-quality educator preparation programs across the nation to serve diverse learners. She has successfully directed efforts and forged partnerships to professionalize the field of teaching, raise educator quality, and work with legislators to implement policies that advance research-driven innovations and equity for all students.

Reflections on Professional Identity, Public Education, and Sharon Robinson

As we prepare to say goodbye to Sharon Robinson, it is important to recognize her contributions in more than a decade of service to AACTE. Leaders of the Board of Directors will be sharing tributes to Sharon’s vision and leadership over the next few weeks before her successor is named. Today, I am honored to offer my thoughts on where AACTE stands, thanks to her work, and the Association’s future role as a leading voice for educator preparation in America.

Community-Based Programs Boost Candidate, Student Learning

In an AACTE major forum held March 3, a panel of teacher educators from three state universities discussed the power of partnering with nonschool sites in communities to help prepare effective teachers. “Community-Based Teacher Preparation as Praxis: Preparing Effective Educators Through Research-Practice Partnerships” was organized by the editors of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE)to bring attention to pioneering work under way on this emerging practice.

JTE Coeditors Dorinda Carter Andrews and Gail Richmond of Michigan State University served as moderators for the panel, which included the following presenters:

Major Forum Highlights PK-12, Higher Education Work to Develop Educator Pipeline

On March 4, AACTE convened representatives from organizations working with different stages of the educator pipeline to speak at the major forum “Acting as One to Support Educator Development.” The forum, one of six held during the 69th Annual Meeting, covered issues such as student recruitment, candidate support across the continuum of preparation through induction, the role of school-university partnerships, and ensuring novice teachers are prepared to engage their students in deeper learning. In the interest of collaborating as one across this continuum, panelists discussed how their roles intertwine by sharing their perspectives on the best way to achieve a national, cohesive effort supporting high-quality educator preparation.

The forum was moderated by Michael Dennehy, director of college access and completion at Boston University (MA). Panelists included Dan Brown of Educators Rising, Kimberly Tobey of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP), and Linda Darling-Hammond and Maria Hyler of the Learning Policy Institute.

Clinical Practice Commission Shares Proclamations, Tenets at AACTE Forum

On the last day of the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) held a major forum to unveil and discuss the 10 “Essential Proclamations and Tenets for Highly Effective Clinical Educator Preparation” identified in the CPC’s work. These proclamations and tenets, which undergird a forthcoming white paper, were released during the forum as part of a draft executive summary of the paper.

The event started with a panel presentation and discussion moderated by CPC member Jennifer Robinson, executive director of the Center of Pedagogy and associate professor at Montclair State University (NJ). Panelists included Michael Alfano, Central Connecticut State University; Diane Fogarty, Loyola Marymount University (CA); John Henning, Monmouth University (NJ); Rene Roselle, University of Connecticut; Jennifer Roth, Poudre School District (Fort Collins, CO); and Christine Smith, University at Albany, State University of New York.

AACTE Members Showcase Initiatives to Advance Social Justice, Diversity

A major forum at last month’s AACTE Annual Meeting highlighted actions under way to diversify the teaching workforce and advance social justice at universities across the country. Titled “Meeting the Needs of All Learners: Advancing Social Justice and Diversity in Teacher Preparation,” the forum featured panelists from four Association initiatives working toward these objectives: the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC), the Diversified Teaching Workforce: Recruitment and Retention AACTE Topical Action Group, the AACTE Holmes Program, and the AACTE Committee on Global Diversity.

The forum was moderated by Sharon Leathers of William Paterson University (NJ) and included the following panelists, each of whom is a member of one or more of the four initiatives: Lora Bailey of New Mexico Highlands University, Traci Baxley of Florida Atlantic University, Jacob Easley of Eastern Connecticut University, Conra Gist of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and Reyes Quezada of the University of San Diego (CA).

Forum Promotes Systems Approach to Educator Preparation Policy

How can state policy makers, education agencies, and school officials work together more cohesively to address critical teacher pipeline issues? Leaders from three states discussed strategies and obstacles to this shared goal during a major forum, “Acting as Systems: A Pipeline Approach to Educator Preparation Policy,” held March 2 at AACTE’s 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

The forum, moderated by AACTE Senior Vice President Mark LaCelle-Peterson, featured discussions among the following policy leaders:

Educators Called to Disrupt Inequality at TeachingWorks Forum

How does the work of teaching become the work of justice and equity? At AACTE’s 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, TeachingWorks organized one of the six major forums around this question, convening panelists from across the nation to discuss high-leverage practices for teachers to disrupt inequity in the classroom. Speakers at the March 3 forum emphasized the need for teachers to orient their practice around valuing community and students’ individual voices in order to advance social justice and learning for all.

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, education dean at the University of Michigan and head of TeachingWorks, moderated the forum with panel conversations based on building relationships with students, leading group discussions, and implementing routines for classroom discourse. Audience questions were also incorporated in the forum via live interaction and the hashtag #TWforum on Twitter.

March 2017 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a recap of state policy and state chapter activity in February 2017, see this blog.

In March, state policy action began to slow down, as several legislatures passed their deadline for introduction or “crossover,” the last day for a bill to pass out of the chamber in which it was introduced. Check out this chart to see important dates for your state legislature.

The Nature of Cultural and Global Learning: Key Concepts for Teacher Preparation

The author and her collaborators will be presenting a free AACTE webinar Wednesday, April 12, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT on “Building Teachers’ Cultural and Global Awareness to ‘Reach and Teach’ All Students” (see this blog for more information). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Various education-oriented groups have sounded the call for increasing attention to global competence among our nation’s PK-12 students. Recent reports from the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Asia Society, the Longview Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have underscored the need to prepare all students to live and work in an interconnected, interdependent world. What does this mean for the preparation of their teachers?

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