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Teacher Educators and Partners Meet in Louisville at AACTE 71st Annual Meeting

Over the last three days, AACTE held its 71st Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. Themed “Sustaining and Advancing the Profession,” the conference convened practitioners and partners from across the nation to present research and highlight practices that address opportunities and challenges in educator preparation, including preparing classroom-ready educators, increasing teacher and college faculty diversity, and framing the role of education in ensuring an engaged citizenry in a liberal democracy.

“Cataclysmic changes in our schools, and indeed our country, are forcing us all to reassess, recalibrate, and dare I say, reimagine and invent in the ways that teaching has always been a reflective practice,” said AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone during her welcome address. “Together we can turn obstacles into opportunities.”

Marylin Cochran-Smith of Boston College and Marvin Lynn of Portland State University, headlined the opening keynote session, engaging in a provocative discussion around the challenges with accountability in teacher education. “We need a different way to think about and a different way to do accountability in teacher education,” said Cochran-Smith. “A way that doesn’t begin with deficit perspectives about teachers, teacher educators, and teacher education programs. A way that enhances equity and supports our democracy.”

During the closing keynote session, Mary Dilworth, editor of Millennial Teachers of Color, and Leslie Fenwick of Howard University, challenged the notion that simply increasing the diversity of teachers is the answer to diversifying the educator preparation profession. They argued that when young teachers of color experience a genuinely welcoming environment within schools, and are empowered to offer new ideas, they will be more inclined to stay in the teaching profession. They challenged educators to create a real space for millennial teachers of colors as a catalyst for change in public schools.

AACTE also released several publications in key areas at its Annual Meeting, including its issue brief on education students and diversity, its Networked Improved Community report on recruiting and retaining African-American and Hispanic/Latino male teachers, and its clinical practice compendium integrating special education with general education clinical practice. There were over 200 concurrent sessions offered at the meeting as well.

Thanks to the following sponsors, the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting was made possible: (premier sponsor) Educational Testing Service (ETS); (featured sponsors) Edthena, Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson, Grand Canyon University, Horace Mann, Sanford Inspire, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Watermark; (general sponsors) Kentucky Public Colleges and Deans of Education, Sibme, The State University of New York (SUNY).

More highlights of what took place at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting will be shared on Ed Prep Matters over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, you may view the video highlights of Day 1 and Day 2 and tweets posted by engaged attendees at #AACTE19. Stay tuned!


Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE