Terrance J. Lewis
Congratulations to Terrance J. Lewis, the distinguished Holmes Scholar of the Month for November 2023. McNeil, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., is a doctoral candidate in secondary education social science at Auburn University, where he currently serves as a presidential research fellow and graduate assistant. McNeil’s research agenda spans the exploration of pedagogical beliefs and practices of Black men social studies teachers, the factors associated with teaching Black history in K-12 classrooms, and the use of documentary film as an instructional tool in social studies.
Before enrolling at Auburn, Lewis taught U.S. government, world geography, and Georgia studies at the high school and middle school levels for four years in Columbus, GA. During his time as a classroom teacher, he served in various roles including student council sponsor, robotics coach, and wrestling coach. He was also the founder of a mentoring program, Building Better Men Lunchroom Mentoring, which provided mentorship and support to male students in sixth through eighth grades.
McNeil’s research has been featured at national conferences including the Men of Color Summit hosted by Clemson University and the Teaching Black History Conference hosted by the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has also conducted research on topics related to diversifying social studies curriculum and the impacts of Black history education.
McNeil is a graduate of the University of Alabama where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and a master’s degree in secondary education from Columbus State University. His professional goal is to obtain a tenure-track faculty position at a university where he can continue his research while educating and mentoring future social studies teachers. Lewis firmly believes a life spent serving others is a life well lived.
AACTE is proud to welcome five new Holmes Scholars as 2023 draws to a close. These scholars hail from California State University San Bernadino, Fresno State, the University of Northern Iowa, and the UCDS Graduate School of Education.
California State University San Bernadino
Reyan Warren, who taught 11th-grade English at Adelanto High School in Adelanto, CA, was born in San Bernardino and raised in Victorville. A lifelong Inland Empire resident, she believes in diversifying our most critical positions of power to increase the equity and quality of education for all students. Warren is a Silverado High School alumna and transfer graduate of Victor Valley College, and holds a bachelor’s degree, teaching credential, and master’s degree in secondary education from California State University San Bernadino. She believes that being a professional educator means having a mindset that can create actionable strategies to address the gaps in diversity in the education field so that all students have an amplified voice. It was her love for teaching at Adelanto High School that ignited her interest in fighting for equity and equality for all who are in the education field. She continues to pursue a passion for advocating for underrepresented groups and their successes beyond the high school level, and throughout their lives. “As long as you keep your head to the sky, you can win.”
AACTE is excited to launch a second podcast dedicated to supporting the often-unsung heroes in our education system: our principals. With support from the Wallace Foundation, Preparing and Sustaining Principals will dig into research from the Wallace’s Knowledge Center for School Leadership through interviews with researchers like Linda Darling-Hammond Ed.D., as well as the practitioners and principal preparation leaders who are implementing findings from that research to utilize. The learning objectives covered in the podcast, as well as many of the experts you’ll hear from, were provided by AACTE’s Principal Preparation Support TAG.
While last year’s podcast, The University Principal Preparation Initiative, covered a major collaborative redesign initiative between seven prep programs and their state and district partners, this podcast will dive deeper into the experiences and multi-faceted roles of principals and how their preparation did or could have better-prepared them to be school leaders. Over the next six episodes, we will discuss topics like how to prepare principals to be equitable in a climate of censorship, what type of preparation matters when principals are called to be crisis leaders, and how principal candidates view their preparation and future roles as school and community leaders.
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.) introduced the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Literacy Act on December 15, 2023. The bill would codify AI literacy as a key component of digital literacy and create opportunities to incorporate AI literacy into existing programs.
The adoption of AI has more than doubled since 2017, and the average number of AI capabilities that organizations use doubled between 2018 and 2022. Americans of every age, in every district, and from every background will be impacted by AI, and therefore need AI literacy — an understanding of basic AI principles and applications, the skills to recognize when AI is employed, and awareness of its limits.
“It’s no secret that the use of artificial intelligence has skyrocketed over the past few years, playing a key role in the ways we learn, work, and interact with one another. Like any emerging technology, AI presents us with incredible opportunities along with unique challenges,” said Blunt Rochester. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan AI Literacy Act with my colleague, Rep. Bucshon. By ensuring that AI literacy is at the heart of our digital literacy program, we’re ensuring that we can not only mitigate the risk of AI but seize the opportunity it creates to help improve the way we learn and the way we work.”
As the year comes to a close, make a resolution to invest in your professional development by registering for AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting before the Advanced Registration deadline of January 1. AACTE does not want you to miss out on the chance to network with peers, explore cutting-edge educational practices in teacher preparation, and gain insights from industry experts at the February 16 – 18 Annual Meeting in Aurora/Denver, CO.
Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved more than $21.5 million in implementation grants to help 28 colleges and universities in Indiana prepare the next generation of teachers in methods aligned with the Science of Reading.
The Endowment made the grants through its initiative, Advancing the Science of Reading in Indiana (ASRI). The initiative aims to improve significantly the reading abilities of Indiana K-12 students by helping teachers strengthen their use of methods aligned with the Science of Reading, a vast body of research related to how children learn to read. Methods aligned with the research include explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction focused on phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
The Endowment, which has long supported efforts to improve educational outcomes for students in Indiana’s K-12 schools, launched ASRI in 2022 to help address low reading achievement among Indiana students. Only 33% of Indiana fourth-graders scored proficient in reading comprehension in the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called ‘The Nation’s Report Card.’
From the Teacher Follow-up Survey to the National Teacher and Principal Survey
New data provides attrition and mobility information about teachers in public and private K-12 schools during the 2021–22 school year.
The National Center for Education Statistics released a new report, Teacher Attrition and Mobility. Results From the 2021–22 Teacher Follow-up Survey to the National Teacher and Principal Survey (NCES 2023-058). The report provides new information about attrition and mobility of teachers in public and private K–12 schools including the following:
Before leading a classroom of their own, students preparing to become special education teachers are using mixed reality simulations to develop skills to be successful educators.
The UK SimLab at the University of Kentucky College of Education provides simulations for aspiring special education teachers across Kentucky. The simulations enable the college students to rehearse teaching in a controlled setting by interacting with avatars — brought to life behind the scenes by trained actors.
“The wonderful thing about using mixed reality simulations is that I can provide immediate feedback and coaching while the pre-service teacher is practicing the teacher behavior,” said Kera Ackerman, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, UK College of Education. “We can pause the simulation to provide a correction, and then restart the simulation to practice the behavior again. We always say that it is the place to make a mistake because there is no impact on P-12 learners.”
The Nebraska Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NACTE) is proud to be a leader in the state’s efforts to address the educator workforce challenges it faces. It was thanks to an AACTE chapter grant, that NACTE was able to host the first Nebraska State Educator Shortage Summit in October of 2021.
The original summit’s 100 participants, representing PK-12 education, the State Board of Education, the Nebraska Department of Education, supporting education associations, Educational Service Unit, and educator preparation programs (EPPs) participated in fully interactive discussions designed to identify state priority areas. The day-long summit concluded by identifying four priority areas and establishing a state task force for each area. In 2022, the four task forces, composed of those who attended the first summit, focused on the areas of certification, recruitment, and retention, elevating the profession and the Praxis Core required exam. While many things were accomplished it also was apparent that there was more work to be done as a collective education community in Nebraska.
That is how the Nebraska State Educator Shortage Summit, or Summit 2.0, came to be. Funded in large part by a Nebraska Department of Education Shortage Pipeline Grant, this event convened a few months ago in October. Summit 2.0 was a two-day event with an expanded program that included interactive discussions, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and a 100% increase in registrants. That meant we had to move to a legitimate conference facility, which was fairly daunting to our planning committee as it got very real, very quickly.
As the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting quickly approaches, Ed Prep Matters will highlight presenters at Featured Sessions. These accomplished experts represent a diverse spectrum of thought leadership in the field of teacher education, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and groundbreaking insights to the forefront. Get ready to be inspired by members in the field, each poised to elevate and shape the future of educator preparation.
Featured Session: From Hiring to Tenure: Solutions to Diversify the Ranks of Higher Education Faculty and Leaders
Despite increased racial and ethnic diversity of U.S. college enrollees and calls for greater DEI, the lack of faculty of color in higher education, particularly colleges and schools of education, continues to persist. Faculty diversity plays an important role in college completion. This session will examine the challenges and opportunities to diversify the ranks of academia and elevate successful initiatives to attract and retain faculty and leaders of color.
In this member spotlight, Nicholas D. Hartlep, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin discusses his presentation in this Featured Session and what attendees can look forward to in this engaging conversation.
Hartlep holds the Robert Charles Billings Endowed Chair in Education at Berea College, where he chairs the Education Studies Department. His research includes examinations of the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans, higher education leadership, teaching and transformation in urban educational settings, and the impact of neoliberalism on public P–20 education. He has published 26 books in the field of education over the course of his academic career, two of which were named Outstanding Books by the Society of Professors of Education.
At AACTE, we believe in the power of community to transform the future of teacher education. On GivingTuesday, AACTE launched its inaugural end-of year-giving campaign inviting stakeholders to join in advancing the work of and support for teacher education. On behalf of AACTE, thank you to those who participated in the campaign’s kickoff.
As a supporter, you champion the work of an association that remains the leader in advancing a highly qualified and diverse educator workforce to meet the needs of PreK-12 and higher education communities.
With the goal of raising $10,000 before the end of the year, AACTE is still accepting gifts, no matter the size.
Donate today and designate how you want your tax-deductible charitable gift to be used.
RCTE ribbon cutting Tahlequah: NSU officials gather to cut the ribbon on the new RiverHawk Center for Teacher Excellence in Tahlequah on November 13.
Northeastern State University celebrated the opening of the RiverHawk Center for Teacher Excellence with ribbon cuttings on the Tahlequah and Broken Arrow campuses on November 13.
NSU was awarded a four-year grant totaling more than $1 million through the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program to open the centers with the goal of increasing the number of comprehensively prepared teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Through this grant, NSU can help potential education majors, teacher candidates and current teachers be successful in their career journey to become certified, impactful and employed teachers by providing a comprehensive, positive and supportive environment for them to learn and grow.
AACTE’s Senior Advisor Jacqueline King, Ph.D., was recently featured in The EdSurge Podcast where she discussed enrollment trends in teacher education programs across the United States with host Jeffrey R. Young.
The episode, entitled “The Growing Push to Recruit New Teachers,” goes in-depth on recruitment efforts from schools of education and how some of those efforts focus on further diversifying the profession.
The episode is available to listen to on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, and other major streaming platforms.
Digital Teaching and Learning in North Carolina’s public schools will benefit from a new round of competitive grants that were approved on December 7, 2023, by the State Board of Education.
Up to $1.25 million in grants funded by the General Assembly through the state’s Digital Learning Initiative will be available to school districts, charter schools, lab schools, and regional schools during the 2024-2025 school year. Over the past seven years, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) Digital Teaching and Learning Division has committed more than $10 million in similar grants to help schools and districts develop and strengthen digital-age learning initiatives.
“This agency has had a long history of prioritizing and securing funding for Digital Teaching and Learning grants, and I’m excited to see us continue these efforts today,” State Superintendent Catherine Truitt said. “As our world continues to become more interconnected, technology embedded within North Carolina classrooms will better help our students prepare for the wide range of opportunities upon graduation. I look forward to the creative proposals that will be put forth by schools across the state and seeing how they will enhance teaching and learning for all students.”
As part of AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting, the Diversified Teacher Workforce (DTW) topical action group welcomes PK-20 practitioners, researchers, and community stakeholders to a day-long pre-conference institute on Thursday, February 15, as a part of the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting. This year’s institute will include interactive sessions with scholar-activists from across the country.
Participants will have opportunities to network with others with similar commitments as well as to share and plan in cross-institutional, multi-level working groups throughout the day. We’ve provided information for several of the planned sessions below. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to network with Holmes Scholars, the next frontier of diverse educator preparation professionals innovating in the field, at both a networking lunch and evening reception. Don’t miss your opportunity to secure your spot before advanced registration ends.