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University of California, Berkeley, and Johns Hopkins University Researchers Honored with 2024 Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award

AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) today announced that the article, “Developing an Equity-Centered Practice: Teacher Study Groups in the Preservice Context,” has been selected to receive the 2024 Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) Article Award.

This award, cosponsored by Sage, recognizes exemplary scholarship published in the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) in the area of educator preparation or teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. The authors will be presented with the award during AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting Feb. 16-18, 2024, in Aurora/Denver, Colo.

The co-authors of the article include Allison Firestone, Ph.D., education policy analyst in San Francisco Unified School District’s Research, Planning, and Assessment Division, formerly a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley; Rebecca Cruz, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Education in the Department of Innovative Teaching and Leadership at Johns Hopkins University; and Darcie Massey, a former CalTeach student at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It is my pleasure to present Allison Firestone, Rebecca Cruz and Darcie Massey with the 2024 AACTE Outstanding JTE Article Award,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “Their influential work exemplifies the commitment to equity and innovation in teacher education, aligning perfectly with AACTE’s mission to advance educator preparation.”

The award-winning article focuses on the development of equity-centered practices among preservice teachers. It emphasizes the importance of preparing novice educators to provide meaningful instruction that is accessible to all students, especially those historically excluded from high-quality learning experiences. The study draws on social learning theory to examine the role of Teacher Study Groups as a model to support preservice special educators’ growth in practice. This approach focused on building teachers’ capacity to create inclusive and equitable learning environments.

“The author team used both qualitative and quantitative methods to study 60 preservice teachers’ attitudes prior to and following study group participation. The researchers’ robust mixed methods approach identified experiences that influenced—and hindered—the preservice teachers’ professional growth,” wrote Valerie Hill-Jackson, Ed.D., and Cheryl Craig, Ph.D., JTE co-editors. “Strategically placed visuals added to the flow of the award-winning article and the overall rigor of the joint data analysis. The authors’ innovative approach elucidated teacher learning in a way never previously accomplished. Our sincere congratulations are extended to the team.” 


Established in 1948, AACTE is the leading voice in educator preparation. AACTE’s member institutions and programs prepare the greatest number of professional educators in the United States and its territories, including teachers, counselors, administrators, and college faculty. These professional educators are prepared for careers in PK-12 classrooms, colleges and universities, state and governmental agencies, policy institutes, and non-profit organizations. The AACTE alliance of colleges and universities and educator preparation programs collaborates with members and partners to advance the field of education by prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and engaging in research-based inquiry, advocacy, and innovative practice. Learn more at aacte.org.