Join the Conversation: Race and Equity in Special Education
Conversations about race and equity are often missing from discussions of special education, particularly in teacher education. However, in a system where students of color make up half of those receiving special education services while fewer than 18% of special education teachers are people of color, race, and equity are essential topics. But are teacher educators prepared to address these issues? And how can we support teacher educators in their endeavors to do so? These are topics that panelists Erica McCray and Mildred Boveda will address in the upcoming AACTE webinar, “Race and Equity in Special Education.”
In this webinar, panelists will discuss issues related to race, equity, and intersectionality in special education. McCray will set the stage as a department chair and discuss issues surrounding race and equity over time. Boveda will share the results of a recent study investigating whether teacher educators are prepared to address equity. Boveda will also share a protocol for supporting teacher educators in an ethical manner along with skillsets for addressing colleagues in teacher education.
Mildred Boveda is an associate professor of education (special education) in the department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at Penn State University. Boveda earned her doctorate of education in exceptional student education from Florida International University and her master of education in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her scholarship, she uses the terms “intersectional competence” and “intersectional consciousness” to refer to educators’ understanding of diversity and how students, families and colleagues have multiple sociocultural markers that intersect in complex and nuanced ways. She designed the Intersectional Competence Measure to assess teachers’ preparedness for an increasingly diverse student population. Boveda, who started her career as a special education teacher in Miami Dade County Public Schools, is a past president of the Division for Diverse and Exceptional Learners of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and past chair of the Diversity Caucus for the Teacher Education Division of CEC.
Erica D. McCray is director and associate professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida. She earned her doctorate at the University of South Florida, Tampa. McCray’s experience as a special educator for students with behavioral and learning disabilities in elementary and middle school settings led to her interest in issues of equity and diversity. She is currently co-principal investigator of the CEEDAR Center, an Office of Special Education Programs funded technical assistance project as well as a National Science Foundation research project to broaden participation in engineering