The professional journal for teacher education, Phi Delta Kappan recently published an article about the effects of COVID-19 on teacher education programs, delving deeper into the under reporting of these programs’ struggles caused by the pandemic. The article references AACTE’s two-part member survey that chief representatives of its member institutions responded to about how the twin crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice had affected their educator preparation programs and how they have responded to these crises. The results were included in a report by Jacqueline King released in February.
Authors Kathryn Choate, Dan Goldhaber, and Roddy Theobald underscore that one of the most relevant issues facing educator preparation programs is the cut in clinical practice available to teacher candidates. To help move these students journeys forward, several states have passed emergency legislation relaxing teacher certificate requirements. The article cites AACTE’s Member Survey to re-enforce the changes happening within these programs—namely the 188 educator preparation programs (across 47 states) that have transitioned, at least partly, to a remote learning environment in Spring 2020.
It is clear that the pandemic had a profound impact on teacher education, and clinical practice in particular. The closing of virtually all K-12 schools in the spring of 2020 cascaded back to teacher education, greatly reducing (and certainly altering) the clinical practice experiences of student teachers. This continued into the 2020-21 school year as schools in many communities remained closed for in-person instruction.
To examine how the COVID-19 crisis affected the teacher preparation pipeline in the state of Washington, we surveyed 29 state-accredited educator preparation programs (EPPs) from April to June 2020. The findings showed that more than 80% of responding EPPs waived or reduced the length of time required for student teaching in their undergraduate programs, graduate programs, or both. These reductions raise concerns about the preparation of recent cohorts of teacher candidates to join the teaching workforce.
This post was originally published on April 5, 2021 by Forbes, and is part of LPI’s Learning in the Time of COVID-19 blog series, which explores strategies and investments to address the current crisis and build long-term systems capacity.
After a year of struggling with distance learning and hybrid models, parents, teachers, and policymakers across the country are concerned about “learning loss” and how to recover from the educational effects of the pandemic. While many of us resist the deficit orientation of learning loss language, these concerns are certainly legitimate: As the crisis began, millions of children, particularly those in low-income communities, lacked access to the computers and connectivity that would make in-person remote learning possible, creating even greater equity gaps than those that already existed.
Furthermore, many low-income communities and communities of color have been especially hard hit by COVID-19, with higher rates of infection, hospitalization and death, as well as greater rates of unemployment and housing and food insecurity. These traumatic events, coupled with the ongoing instances of police shootings of unarmed civilians, have led to a growing and ever more visible divide between the haves and the have-nots, with many students encountering barriers to keeping up in school and others disengaging from school altogether.
Stanley Brooks of Chosen Path Consulting was one of three presenters of the 2021 Annual Meeting session, “Identifying, Understanding, and Replacing Racist Curricula.” In this article, Brooks expounds on the key questions for inquiry and reflection on what it means to engage in an anti-racist (not non-racist) manner in the academic space.
The reader may perceive the title and guiding question as sarcastic, however, there’s a serious tone and authenticity to the question. If our curriculum is not already anti-racist, then what have we been allowing and promoting all these years? What thoughts and beliefs rooted in racial biases have many educators internalized as children, young adults, and seasoned professionals?
Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
President Biden recently signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. These funds are provided to state educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students.
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced how much each state will receive through ARP ESSER and that the funds will be available for use through September 2023. The ARP ESSER funds are designed to help alleviate some of the challenges school district leaders face to “hire, recruit, and retain quality staff during severe labor market shortages while providing supplemental emergency benefits and compensation during the pandemic.”
AACTE encourages our members to collaborate with their local partner districts to allocate the ARP ESSER funds towards strengthening the educator workforce by supporting residency models, grow-your-own programs, and other innovative approaches to develop a pathway into teaching. Increasing financial support for teacher candidates is critical to developing and sustaining a diverse, profession-ready teacher workforce. Funding to support teacher candidates could be in place by as early as this fall to assist schools as they fully re-open and to help children overcome learning loss due to the pandemic.
AACTE is honored to welcome another esteemed panel for the third installment of its webinar series, “Combating Racism in Educator Prep.” The third webinar, “Responding to Anti-AAPI Racism in Educator Preparation: Seizing the Present Moment,” centers on the lived experiences of our Asian and Asian American friends, family, colleagues, and students. Valerie Pang, Nicholas D. Hartlep, and Shuhui Fan will discuss the often-omitted history of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community concerning civil rights and the nation’s P–12 education system. The panel will shed light on the current implications of that context for AAPI educators and students, as well as provide a space to discuss strategies and resources institutions of higher education (IHEs) and individuals can use to ensure policies and culture promote safety and belonging for all AAPI people in our education system.
We learned so much from our education deans during the 2021 Annual Meeting that we are hosting a webinar on April 29 to dive deeper into leaning in and leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of systemic racism on campus and within their communities.
Educator preparation leaders, specifically, are managing the twin crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice within and across the nation’s institutions. We can all agree that the shift we experienced in our personal and professional lives as we witnessed horrific tragedies grounded in racism and discrimination continues to rock our schools and communities. As equity-minded leaders, three deans addressed faculty and student needs by starting with empathy and ending with action.
In October 2019, Frostburg State University (FSU) was awarded a five-year, $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Maryland Accelerates: Teacher-Leader Residency for Inclusive Excellence program. This new program addresses Absolute Priority and Competitive Preference Priority I under the Department’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program. By leveraging partnerships in high-need and rural schools, this innovative teacher-leader residency program will help realize State priorities in preparing and retaining highly effective teachers in the critical shortage areas of science, mathematics, computer science, English, and elementary education.
Modeled after the recommendations of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known colloquially as the Kirwan Commission), the program includes a full-year practicum, mentorship, extensive classroom observation, and research opportunities with an emphasis on culturally-responsive pedagogy, mathematical problem-solving, and computational thinking followed by an extended induction program. Graduates of the program receive a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and are mentored and supported through their early years of teaching to develop competency-based practices to move them towards achieving National Board Certification.
This article originally appeared in the Opinion section of The Columbus Dispatch and is reprinted with permission.
I applaud Ohio University—together with more than half of four-year colleges nationwide—in adopting a test-optional pathway for admission for first-year applicants.
All institutions of higher education should lead the efforts to reverse structural roadblocks to potential students and provide access to the promise of an enriched life that education can provide.
For too long, standardized testing has been overused and misused in ways that either knowingly or inadvertently set up structures akin to institutional and structural inequities. Structural inequities consist of laws, rules or official policies in a society that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people—deep patterns of socioeconomic inequalities and disadvantage due to socioeconomic class or racism.
Though institutions of higher education should have standards for admission, they have an obligation to eliminate barriers for students and expand access to higher education. Newly proposed standards—such as those by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—will succeed in this mission without negatively impacting academic quality or student
I spent most of my career as a teacher educator and nothing has been more disheartening than the precipitous decline in the number of people across the country wanting to enter the teaching profession. In California, where I worked for the California State University (CSU), applications for credential programs dropped by 50% over a recent five-year period beginning about 2008. While application numbers are beginning to increase, we have a long way to go as the dwindling supply of new teachers has been a key contributor to severe teacher shortages adversely affecting students in most states.
What does this say about a democratic nation that cannot ensure that every student has access to a well-prepared teacher?
A big part of the problem, of course, is the pernicious narrative about the profession itself that causes many excellent would-be candidates to choose other career paths. In 2016, I helped found EduCorps, a systemwide teacher recruitment initiative designed to tell a more accurate and compelling story about the teaching profession. Since its inception, credential program staff at many of CSU’s 23 campuses have asked university and community college professors to nominate students they consider promising candidates for the teaching profession. These nominees have shown up in great numbers at celebration of teaching events where they hear about the rewards and the challenges of teaching from former credential students working in local schools.
Join the AACTE Diversified Teacher Workforce Topical Action Group (TAG) Learning Lab on Building Culturally Efficacious University-School Partnerships on Tuesday April 2O, 1:00 -2:30 p.m. (CST) via the Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8406529033
Across the field of education (PK-20) students, teachers, administrators, professors, and program leaders continue to witness and lament the chronic disparities in representation and lack of ethno-racial and linguistic diversity among teachers (relative to their students) in our nation’s schools. And in the wake of a global pandemic, enduring civil unrest, and calls for racial justice related to systemic anti-Blackness and anti-immigrant within all aspects of society, educational institutions are being forced to engage in introspection with greater magnitude. Teacher preparation programs in particular are feeling increased pressure to recruit, retain, and effectively prepare a highly-qualified, racially-literate, diverse pool of candidates as districts scramble to hire teachers with the content knowledge and pedagogical skills as well as the cultural and linguistic competencies needed to meet the needs of their increasingly diverse student populations.
Have you recently completed a doctoral dissertation related to educator preparation? AACTE is now accepting application for its annual Dissertation Award, recognizing excellence in research (or its equivalent) that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. Overseen by AACTE’s Committee on Research and Dissemination, this award includes a $1,000 cash prize, as well as special recognition at AACTE’s 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022.
Applications for AACTE’s 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award are now being accepted in our online submission system now through August 20.
Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released an updated version of it Education Data 101: A Briefing Book for Policymakers. With information on everything from student growth data to state longitudinal data systems to teacher data literacy, our resource brings policymakers up to speed on the major data topics they need to know about. As policymakers make decisions to aid students, families, teachers, schools and districts in recovery, Education Data 101 offers the background information they need to make informed decisions.
Listen to the 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 “Examining Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Planning for Culturally Relevant Disciplinary Literacy“ by Dr. Jamie Colwell, Kristen Gregory, and Valerie Taylor. The article was published in the March/April 2021 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
This qualitative multiple case study examined four preservice teachers’ planning and perceptions of planning for culturally and socially relevant disciplinary literacy instruction in secondary disciplines. Four disciplines were represented: art, English, history, and physical education (P.E.)/health. This research sought to understand how a secondary literacy course and its requirements, with a particular focus on culturally relevant disciplinary literacy (CRDL) instruction. Particularities of the four disciplines of study represented were also considered to inform cross-content literacy coursework. Findings indicated preservice teachers (PSTs) recognized potential of CRDL to engage students in critical thought. However, core disciplines (English and history) had varying viewpoints of the reality of such instruction compared with noncore disciplines (art and P.E./health), and all PSTs struggled to perceive CRDL as a primarily student-focused approach to instruction.
Check out a recent JTE Insider blog interview 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 interview features insights from the article “Becoming Clinically Grounded Teacher Educators: Inquiry Communities in Clinical Teacher Preparation“ by Rachel Wolkenhauer and Angela Hooser. The article was published in the March/April 2021 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education. .
Article Abstract: Calls for the renewal of teacher preparation through clinical practice have left many novice teacher educators to learn on the job. This article reports on the research of two such novices, studying their own practice. Addressing the need to better understand the approaches teacher educators take to clinically grounding their work, the authors used a hermeneutic approach to naturalistic inquiry to study their use of an inquiry community framework in a teacher preparation clinical setting. The authors found that within an arc of practitioner inquiry, explicitly teaching guided reflection and professional dialoguing skills within an inquiry community were key teacher educator practices. They found that an inquiry community approach holds promise as a structure and space for teacher educators to advance teacher preparation toward clinical practice.