Butler University Featured in Clinical Practice Spotlight Videos

AACTE is pleased to introduce a new feature in the Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series focused on the clinical practice and partnerships of the Butler University (IN) College of Education.

Butler University offers clinical experiences for teacher candidates through a variety of partner sites within the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) system as well as district partnerships with Pike, Lawrence, and Washington Townships. The IPS-Butler partnership contains three laboratory schools: IPS/Butler Lab School 60, IPS/Butler Lab School 55 (to open in fall 2018), and Shortridge High School: An IB World School. Butler also leverages community/business partnerships to further early childhood programs, such as the PNC Bank partnership and the “Grow Up Great” program. The IPS/Butler Lab School 60, for example, was awarded a second $150,000 grant over several years to continue funding the early childhood programs implemented from a previous grant.

The College of Education also seeks to provide teacher candidates with clinical opportunities overseas, such as placements in Tasmania and Sweden (via a formal partnership with Uppsala University). Through these global experiences, teacher candidates have the opportunity to learn about another culture and experience the challenges of working in another language.

AACTE’s visit to the Butler campus last year revealed a passionate group of faculty and staff who are clearly dedicated to their work on behalf of PK-12 students as well as teacher candidates. College of Education Dean Ena Shelley and her colleagues have created a collaborative and uplifting culture as they work “shoulder to shoulder” to create thriving schools and communities that reflect the shared understanding that all children are capable, competent, and powerful learners and must be afforded a high-quality education.

“The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools and communities as they should be, not simply perpetuating them as they currently exist,” Shelley said. “We must be willing to explore with our students the difficult issues of inequities that exist in our schools and society and help them to become agents of change.” This is the first section of Butler’s vision statement, in fact, and the mutually beneficial partnerships with PK-12 schools reflect the institution’s commitment to respecting the values of every community.

Over the coming weeks, AACTE will post blog articles with embedded video links to share lessons from the visit to the Butler University College of Education and various partner sites. The videos capture conversations with teacher candidates and program alumni, mentor teachers, community members, principals, and others about what they see as the key features, challenges, and benefits of Butler’s rich partnerships.

Click on the video thumbnail above to meet the participants to be interviewed in the Butler University series, and stay tuned for the rest of the story during the month of April.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE