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AACTE Clinical Practice Commission and Special Education Taskforce Collaborate on Next Steps

Nearly 40 members of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) and the Special Education Task Force met in Washington, DC on September 24-26 to discuss their separate and shared initiatives that serve as next steps for advancing the new CPC report. Released in January 2018, A Pivot Toward Clinical Practice, Its Lexicon, and the Renewal of Educator Preparation by the CPC offers a framework, guidance, and common lexicon to expand the operationalization of clinical educator preparation. Its 10 proclamations and tenets identify highly effective and evidence-based practices for embedding teacher preparation in the PK-12 environment.

During the planning session, the CPC developed a working plan to advance its emissary work and to create a site-based peer-coaching model. The Taskforce focused on finalizing a series of tenets that will be added to the existing CPC proclamations to provide more specific practice recommendations for special and inclusive educator preparation.

“The CPC met on the first day to discuss the next round of their work, which is to share findings of the report more broadly through focused emissary work and the development of peer coaching strategies,” said Amanda Lester, AACTE director of programs and professional learning. “This emissary work includes a defined plan that will help AACTE members learn more about how to implement the report’s research for developing or expanding their clinical practice model.”

The goal of the Special Education Task Force is to further expand the CPC’s 10 proclamations by developing its own tenets to guide the development of inclusive clinical practice programs. Such programs would prepare both general and special educators to work together in order to meet the needs of each learner. Supported by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development. Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR), the Special Education Task Force will specifically investigate and highlight key issues relevant to preparing learner- and professional-ready general and special education teachers to work collaboratively and effectively with other school-based and community professionals.

The CPC and the Special Education Task Force worked together during combined meetings to learn about the specific work activities and goals of each group and how the work will intersect to develop new tools for advancing high quality clinical practice. The Task Force plans to publish a compendium document to the CPC report that will highlight specific considerations for special and inclusive educator preparation. The document, to be released later this year, will also include additions to the current CPC lexicon, suggested resources to inform programmatic development , and other findings essential to implementing effective clinical practice to meet the needs of all learners. Newly developed tenets will also be cross walked with high-leverage practices and standards identified by CEEDAR and the Council for Exceptional Children.

“The Task Force has identified six important areas as focal points for the expansion of clinical practice in special and inclusive educator preparation. These are teacher leadership, teacher preparation, technology, dispositions, interdisciplinary preparation, and assessment,” said Lester. “The Task Force will become part of the CPC after they have published their research.”

For more information about the AACTE Special Education Task Force, visit https://aacte.org/resources/special-education.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE