Archive for January, 2021

Take A Deeper Dive into Education at #AACTE21

73rd Annual Meeting - Deeper DrivesAs AACTE heads into the final weeks of planning for the 73rd Annual Meeting, we can’t wait to welcome you to the virtual conference! Be sure to visit the Online Event Planner to create a personal schedule that makes the most of your time. In addition to adding the speaker spotlight and opening and closing keynote sessions, you’ll want to select the Learning Labs and “Deeper Dive” sessions that are of greatest interest to you.

The Deeper Dives provide a large-format, expert-facilitated exploration of a key topic during one dedicated time slot each day. Six sessions will be offered this year in three time slots:

JTE Podcast Interview Spotlights the Use of Core Practices in Teacher Education

Check out a recent JTE Insider podcast by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

This podcast interview features insights from the article, “Contrast, Commonality, and a Call for Clarity: A Review of the Use of Core Practices in Teacher Education,” by Dana Grosser-Clarkson and Michael A. Neel. The article was published in the September/October 2020 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education

Article Abstract: In recent years, substantial resources have been invested in researching and describing the enactment of “core practices” of teaching in teacher education. This review of the literature examined more than 40 articles published between 2008 and August 2018 in an effort to determine how teacher educators are supporting teacher candidates to learn about and enact core practices of teaching. The review of the literature presented here demonstrates two distinct approaches that teacher educators use to introduce and prepare teacher candidates to enact core practices: a predesigned enactment approach and an open-design enactment approach. Our goal in identifying these two approaches is to illuminate the role and actions of teacher educators in core-practice work and to demonstrate that the decisions teacher educators make in core-practice work are complex and nuanced, and require further description than heretofore available.

Making Connections in Times of Crisis

AACTE Annual Meeting 2021During the virtual AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, attendees are invited to join their peers at the Deeper Dive Session, Leading in the Time of Crisis: Responding to COVID19 and Social Justice Movements, Wednesday, February 24 at 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. AACTE member Andrew J. Schiera of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education addresses this topic in the following thought leadership article.

Our world has never experienced anything like it did in 2020. Last year, we found ourselves at a major crossroad. Amidst fighting a global pandemic, our country also experienced intense civil unrest and protests due to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. We have all been deeply affected by these events, and our nation’s teachers have been thrust into a world unknown. They must not only become practical-minded, on-the-ground social justice educators but must learn how to do so effectively in an ever-changing virtual environment. Now, more than ever, we must dig deep into what we know as teacher educators and to listen, anticipate, and plan rather than reacting to barriers (both expected and unexpected) that emerge along the way.

AACTE Statement on the Storming of the U.S. Capitol Building

The following statement was included in a Washington Post article on January 7.

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the horrific events that took place yesterday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol building:

“Our nation experienced a serious threat to our treasured democracy as rioters stormed one of our nation’s sacred buildings, the U.S. Capitol, intending damage and insurrection. We witnessed a challenge to our democracy that none of us could ever have imagined. Generated by our nation’s President, some Members of Congress, and their denial of the results of our free and open electoral process, this unlawful invasion of the Capitol has left us all stunned. Never could we imagine such an event would occur in our nation’s capital, the seat of our democracy.

We are further outraged by the vast difference in how these rioters were treated by police as compared to how peaceful protesters for Black Lives Matter have been treated. The discrepancies are stark and maddening.

Fostering Classroom Environments that Disrupt Inequities

Group of diverse young students standing together in classroom.

This article is part of a series that originally appeared on the Education First Blog and is reprinted with permission.

Here in the College of Education at California State University Sacramento, we’ve been in the business of preparing teachers for 73 years, and in the past few years have prepared approximately 380 teachers annually across 12 certification areas. A central aspect of our offerings across these programs is a focus on helping candidates understand the relationship between societal inequities and student learning, with special focus on race, class, gender, and other socially constructed categories. We knew that these understandings were key to our candidates’ success in developing equitable, healthy relationships with their K-12 students. 

But we found that this wasn’t enough. The mentor teachers who support our candidates in their clinical experiences started asking us faculty some tough questions about whether these aspects of our preparation really prepared our candidates to be ready to teach all children on day one. Was the preparation coherent and clear for candidates? Were candidates provided opportunities to practice the ways in which teachers cultivate equitable, culturally responsive anti-racist classroom environments?

Biden Administration and the 117th Congress: The Significance for AACTE Members

Biden Administration and the 117th Congress: The Significance for AACTE Members Not many of us will shed a tear now that 2020 is behind us. The outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in a long and difficult year for students, families, schools, and colleges. Virtually, no part of our nation (or the world) was untouched. But with the start of 2021, we hope that the worst is behind us. 

The country will see a new congress sworn in on January 3 and, on January 20, Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the 46th president and vice-president of the United States of America. 

Despite 2020 being in our rear-view mirror, the challenges we face due to COVID-19, the related economic collapse, and a politically divided country remain.

Reflecting Back to Move Equity in Education Forward

TMarvin Lynnhis article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.

As we embark upon a new year, it is important for education leaders to reflect on 2020 in order to assess what we got right, determine what went wrong, and then set a course for a more equitable education for all students in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated the multiple and complex inequalities that exist in our schools. In remote learning environments, students who were already disengaged from school, in some cases, became more detached and harder to reach, particularly the population of historically underserved and marginalized PK-12 students. Undergraduate programs in higher education experienced similar issues, as some students felt more marginalized and isolated due to not being in classrooms. The pandemic has taught us that educator preparation programs must instill in teacher candidates the importance of building relationships. If educators don’t develop healthy and sound relationships based upon mutual trust with their students, then it’s harder to teach—and definitely harder to reach—those students for whom school is not a positive experience.

JTE Podcast Interview Highlights A Study of Creativity in First-Year Candidates

JTE CoverCheck out a recent JTE Insider podcast by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

This podcast interview features insights from the article “Creativity Promotion in an Excellence Program for Preservice Teacher Candidates” by Yael Kimhi and Leiky Geronik. The article was published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Teacher Education

Co-Designing Teacher Residencies: Sharing Leadership, Finding New Opportunities

Sharing Leadership infographicWhat are the ingredients P-12 and institutions of higher education partners need to co-design a teacher residency? Western Washington University and Ferndale School District offer some lessons about how to meet both university & P-12 needs in this new report.

Co-Designing Teacher Residencies: Sharing leadership, finding new opportunities focuses on how a group of university teacher educators at Western Washington University’s Elementary Education program and district administrators at Ferndale School District reconsidered their approach to teacher preparation. Instead of viewing preparation as primarily the University’s responsibility, the partnership placed the needs of P-12 students and the district at the forefront of considerations, while also honoring a parallel goal of enhancing the preparation experience.

Teacher Educator Spotlight Series: Storytelling for Racial Equity

This article is part of a series that originally appeared on the Education First Blog and is reprinted with permission.

Melissa OliverThink back to when you were a student sitting in a math classroom. Did you believe you could excel at math? If you didn’t, you aren’t alone. Shequana Wright-Chung, adjunct assistant professor of early childhood mathematics education at Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, shares that it’s a common belief and one that is often impacted by racial identity and racial bias—our own internalized biases and those of our educators. In this blog, learn more about how Wright-Chung develops culturally-sensitive math educators who are mindful and aware of racial biases and how they impact students’ mathematical learning. It starts with…a story. 

“I always thought I was not great at math,” Shequana Wright-Chung recalls a teacher candidate sharing last semester. It’s not an uncommon belief. Thinking back to the good ole days of a weekend brunch with six of your closest friends, how many jokes would come up at the table about not being a math person when the bill arrives? The truth is, there is no Math nation with Math citizenry. Math people aren’t born, they’re developed. 

So, what impact does it have on students’ ability to excel at mathematics when their teachers are math averse? How do educators’ mindsets about content and student (assumed innate) ability to learn shape academic achievement? How does an educator’s racial identity and what they’ve internalized about their racial group in relation to math dictate the expectations they develop about same-race-students’ math abilities? How does what educators believe about other racial groups’ math aptitude impact the way they teach?

The Financial Crossroad of Teacher Education

Teacher wearing mask in classroom

Administrators and faculty of educator preparation programs (EPPs) have long been concerned about the challenge of attracting students to a profession where college affordability and financial compensation discourages them from pursuing teaching as a career. However, due to the pandemic, the concern is growing. Our nation’s educational system is at a critical crossroad where teacher shortages and budget cuts are colliding. On one hand we have teachers who are retiring early amid health concerns or being furloughed, and on the other hand, we have EPPs with shrinking programs and enrollment. This is the perfect storm many education leaders have feared, and the impact will be acute if we do not find ways to encourage diverse and talented students to enter a career in education.

To start, we need to address the financial challenges that future educators face, including a high student loan debt to earnings ratio and lack of awareness of scholarships and loan forgiveness at the federal, state, and university levels. Recently, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) released the Issue Brief, How Do Education Students Pay for College?, based upon data from the 2015-16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS). According to the data, by the time education students graduate, 76% of them have taken student loans, and the average amount they borrow is nearly $28,000.

AACTE Receives Grant to Reduce Barriers to a Diversified Teaching Workforce

AACTE has launched a new initiative to examine state-level teacher certification assessment scores, with the goal to improve equitable and inclusive practices for promoting a diverse educator workforce. The initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will enable AACTE to develop national guidelines and recommendations for state education leaders in establishing criteria for equitable evaluations for teacher candidates seeking state licensure.

“Left uninterrogated, standardized tests of any sort tend to spur inequalities, rather than resolve them,” said Leslie T. Fenwick, AACTE dean in residence. “If entrance exams are decimating the ranks of prospective pre-service teachers of color, we have a moral and practical obligation to correct the outsized impact of these tests on the future of our profession.”

AACTE 2021 Early Bird Deadline Extended to January 11

AACTE's 73rd Annual Meeting

Were you busy wrapping things up at the end of 2020 and you forgot to register for the 2021 Annual Meeting?  Don’t worry.  There is still time to register at the early bird rate.  AACTE has extended the deadline until Monday, January 11 at midnight. 

Don’t miss out on registering for the virtual conference at this discounted rate. AACTE 2021, to be held February 24-26, offers attendees three days of concurrent sessions, keynote speakers,  professional service providers and other exhibitors in the Conference Community Center, as well as networking opportunities at various receptions. 

Access the Online Event Planner to view and plan for the day-to-day schedule of events. 

Register Now

For more conference details, visit www.aacte.org, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTE21.

Come experience the reimagined AACTE Annual Meeting – One community. One purpose. One voice.

 

New Year, Renewed Hope

Happy New Year“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”

 – G.K. Chesterton

Happy New Year!

The year 2020 was a tumultuous one for educators. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought educator preparation to a dangerous crossroad, with teachers, principals, school counselors, and other essential education professionals experiencing a debilitating spate of closures and faculty layoffs. The public education workforce lost more than 600,000 jobs last year, with university-based educator preparation programs also encountering reduced enrollment and program closures. Our members have experienced declines in undergraduate enrollment, budget cuts, and reduced staffing. Rising demand for new teachers and shrinking capacity in colleges and universities threatens the high-quality education our populace needs to ensure a rich quality of life and global competitiveness for generations. But as we begin the new year, we look toward 2021 with a renewed sense of hope and optimism for the future.

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