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Texas A&M University Researcher to Receive AACTE Award for Outstanding Article in Journal of Teacher Education

Amy Rector-ArandaAACTE has chosen an article by Amy Rector-Aranda, Ph.D. of Texas A&M University, the recipient of the 2020 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award. Her article, “Critically Compassionate Intellectualism in Teacher Education: The Contributions of Relational-Cultural Theory,” was published in the September/October 2019 issue of the journal and will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1, in Atlanta, GA.

In the article, Rector‐Aranda explores how the critically compassionate intellectualism framework might translate as a framework for teacher education. Educational theorists Cammarota and Romero describe critically compassionate intellectualism (CCI) as a trilogy of critical pedagogy, authentic caring, and social‐justice oriented curriculum used to lift up previously disempowered Latinx youth. Because the compassion element in CCI is understudied in teacher education, yet crucial to the success of the framework as a whole, Rector‐Aranda applies the tents of Relational‐Cultural Theory (RCT) to enhance understandings of this component. Based in feminist theories of psychosocial and moral development, RCT expands the original framework to account for varied experiences of privilege and vulnerability when applying CCI to teacher education while retaining core emphases on relationships, empathy, and associate aspects of authentic caring. This study makes a conceptual contribution by offering an integrated framework for teacher education.

This award is given annually by AACTE to recognize exemplary scholarship published in the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) during the last volume year. The journal’s editors, based at Michigan State University, nominate several top articles for consideration, and the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination selects the winning piece to receive the award.

“As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE represents educators throughout the U.S. who advance our profession through innovation, high standards, and leadership. For 24 years, AACTE has honored its member institutions, leaders, and individuals who make bold, exceptional, and revolutionary contributions to our field,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “Dr. Rector-Aranda’s groundbreaking study raises the bar for teacher educators who must educate candidates to serve an incredibly diverse student body with compassion, empathy, and authentic caring. AACTE is privileged to have researchers such as Dr. Rector-Aranda in the field and contributing to our Journal of Teacher Education. Dr. Rector-Aranda is well deserving of the 2020 AACTE Award, and we look forward to honoring her at our 72nd Annual Meeting.”

AACTE issued a press release today announcing all of its 2020 award winners. For more information on AACTE’s awards program, visit aacte.org. Applications for next year’s Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article will open in April.


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Jerrica Thurman

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