New paper addresses professionalization of teacher education

Jacob Easley II, dean of the Graduate School of Education at Touro College, recently authored A Way Forward Toward Professionalizing Teacher Education: A Response to the AASCU Teacher Education Task Force Survey, a commentary published in the Educational Renaissance journal. In the paper, Easley reviews the recommendations resulting from the 2016 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Teacher Education Task Force survey. The survey was completed by member presidents, provosts, and their deans of education at public institutions of higher learning to better understand the state of the profession.

The results from the national AASCU survey yielded six recommendations for quality teacher education programs. Of the six, Easley categorizes the first four are as similar to the standards that inform national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP):

  1. Bolster clinical experiences
  2. Ensure strong university-school partnerships
  3. Step up recruitment into preparation programs
  4. Build agreements with community colleges

In the commentary, he focuses on the latter of the two recommendations, which stress professionalizing the field of teacher education:

  1. Actively participate in policy discussion about teacher preparation
  2. Develop a broad strategy for professionalizing teacher education

Easley writes: “To advance the latter two recommendations of the AASCU task force, we must embrace the interconnectivity of the first four to achieve greater professionalization of teacher education.”

The paper outlines how educator preparers can combine networked leadership for policy work and program development, the ability to leverage institutional research, and the moral imperative of equity work as way toward advancing professionalization of the field.

The article is summarized in the following abstract:

“Amid countless challenges faced by teacher education, public universities, preparing a large share of the nation’s teachers, are called upon to a lead the charge of moving the field forward. The American Association of State Colleges and University’s Teacher Education Task Force sought to examine current conditions among member institutions. Presidents, provosts and deans of education responded to a survey with their assessment of the current status of teacher education. The results yielded six recommendations for quality teacher education programs. The latter of which stresses professionalizing the field. Further examination of the recommendations reveals gaps between the current landscape and the recommendations. It is through these gaps that a strategic means to advance the professionalization of teacher education is put forth. Advancing the professionalization of teacher education is a collaborative effort of leadership. The process demonstrates and builds momentum from positive impact on communities and the profession itself. It is undergirded by an ethical imperative.”

Follow Easley on Twitter @Drje2 and join this conversation using #AWAYFORWARD #teachereducation #education #Professionalization.

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Katrina Norfleet

Content Strategist, AACTE