“Teaching is a high-stakes practice—there is no more powerful position to hold than that of teaching,” said University of Missouri Kansas City Professor Etta Hollins at her November 2015 TeachingWorks streaming seminar series talk. What’s more, Professor Hollins described coherence as a series of opportunities to learn teaching, “like glue” that makes the opportunities to learn teaching work.
Hollins’ statements capture the commitments that inform the 2016 TeachingWorks/AACTE “Preparing Teachers for Practice” strand of the AACTE Annual Meeting, including a warrant to work together on the problems of change, improvement, and coherence in teacher education. This year’s strand confronts critical obstacles to change in teacher education. We ask boldly: Can we as the profession of teacher education stand up and take charge of change? What—if anything—would you argue should be common in teachers’ preparation across programs? Are there things that we can agree are crucial for any beginning teacher to be committed to and be able to do? Is there a way to reach some common professional ground in ways that are sensitive to contexts and respectful of difference? Is there a way to do this that does not silence or dominate diverse perspectives? What would you argue must vary, and why? Can such difference avoid exacerbating inequality?