By Sharon Leathers and Nanette Missaghi
New data illuminate the growing problem of the lack of diversity in the teacher workforce and reframe teacher diversity as an “educational civil right” for students. The Albert Shanker Institute’s recent report on The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education names teacher diversity as a crisis in the educator workforce—the very topic being addressed by the 10 institutions participating in a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) sponsored by AACTE. Specifically, AACTE’s effort seeks to identify strategies to boost the number of Latino and Black men in the education profession.
The authors of the Shanker report studied research and data on teacher diversity from 1987 to 2012 in nine cities in the United States. The report shows that for the period of 1987-2012, the percentage of the students of color changed from 23% to 37% (a 14 percentage point increase). For the same period, the percentage of teachers of color rose from 12% to 17%—a mere 5 percentage point increase. This shows that the rate of increase of students of color is far (almost three times) greater than the increase in the percentage of teachers of color. Therefore, this is a crisis not only in the decline of numbers of young people seeking education careers, but the absence of young people of color choosing the profession at the same rates as the number of students of color enrolled in the nation’s schools.
By Hannah Maes
Have you tried AACTE’s Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) yet? Trish Parrish, assistant vice president of academic affairs and professor of education at Saint Leo University (FL), has completed three already! Here’s what she had to say when I recently asked her about the experience with AACTE’s Quality Support Initiative.
When Parrish started working on her first OPS, her husband was confused to see her in the student’s role. “He said, ‘But you’ve already prepared all your classes for tomorrow!’ And I replied, ‘Well, yes, but now I am taking my class!’ ” In fact, the time commitment on top of her already-full workload had Parrish worried at first, but she decided to give it a try—and now she has completed the first three OPSs in AACTE’s series. “I’ve definitely enjoyed it,” she says.
By Amee Adkins, Tracy Spesia and John Snakenborg
Editor’s Note: This blog is based on a July 22 article in Teachers College Record (TCR). The full version is available here. The original article was written in response to a previously published TCR piece about edTPA.
We have been immersed in edTPA implementation for several years as the lead administrators for implementation support in Illinois and as scorers and scoring trainers. We have been committed to moving beyond compliance with state policy to using edTPA as a positive support for critical inquiry by faculty into teaching and learning.
By Guneev Sharma
Just 2 weeks remain before the application deadline for AACTE’s 2016 Best Practice Awards and Professional Achievement Awards. To illustrate the honor of receiving such recognition from your peers, we asked one recent recipient to tell us about her experience.
In 2014, AACTE recognized the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego with the AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Global Diversity. Heather Lattimer, associate professor and associate dean of SOLES, said this about the honor.
By Kristin McCabe
Teacher educators and teacher candidates have new resources in two high-level summaries of the research on learning. By distilling and organizing the existing research on cognitive science and educational psychology, the reports offer teacher candidates concise summaries of high-impact practices grounded in scientific evidence and professional consensus around PK-12 learning. Teacher preparation programs might find them valuable as resources to tie together learning science concepts that are integrated across multiple courses.
By Jennifer Knox
Now through October 15, the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) is accepting session proposals for the 2016 AILACTE Annual Meeting and Conference to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 22-23, 2016.
The conference theme is “Collaboration as a Cornerstone of Teacher Education.” We seek proposals—60-minute workshops and 30-minute presentations (to be coupled with similar themed presentations)—that help us deliberate on collaboration—big and small—in teacher education.
By Sungti Hsu
As your state chapters plan fall and spring conferences, executive retreats, and other meetings, please keep in mind that AACTE staff are available to serve as speakers and presenters at meetings around the country.
By Deborah Koolbeck
The U.S. Department of Education is moving on finalizing the proposed federal regulations for all 25,000 teacher preparation programs across the country. Given some questions and misinformation I have received since the comment period closed, I want to clarify a key piece of information:
As drafted and released in December 2014, these proposed regulations would apply to each individual teacher preparation program at your institution regardless of whether you offer TEACH grants.
By Renée A. Middleton
The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has been working throughout the summer, and now it’s time for you to share your perspectives with us.
Please take a moment to complete our short survey about accreditation. In order to be better informed on where our members are in relationship to our national accrediting body, we hope to capture your voices to help guide our ongoing conversations with CAEP.
By Christine DeGregory
A new video in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series explores the innovative coteaching model of student teaching newly employed by Colorado State University, offering perspectives from administrators, student teachers, and a cooperating teacher. This blog highlights some of the observations they share about the model.
An innovative coteaching model is reshaping student teaching for candidates at Colorado State University (CSU), placing two teacher candidates with one cooperating teacher for a semester-long collaborative learning experience.
By Jeff Carpenter, Michael Maher and Scott Morrison
Education is no longer a profession in which teachers retreat to their classrooms and close their doors to work in isolation. Today, many teachers are involved in their professional associations, school-based professional learning teams, and increasingly in virtual collaboration of different kinds. Using a variety of technology tools such as Edmodo, Google Hangouts, Twitter, and more, many teachers are reaching out beyond their schools, districts, and even countries, to develop virtual networks that provide both professional challenge and support.
By Kevin Graziano
AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology seeks participants to pilot a recently developed formative diagnostic tool designed for self-reflection and guidance for educational leaders as they develop technology-rich models for teacher candidates to successfully become 21st-century educators. The diagnostic tool serves as an opportunity to examine current practices and help develop realistic goals for program development. Participation in this study will consist of a telephone interview that should take no more than one hour.
The tool utilizes the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to further the development of TPACK-proficient teacher candidates. Leaders can use the diagnostic tool as a means to gather assessment and curriculum development data and to make decisions as to where to further emphasize selected steps in the process. By engaging in self-assessment throughout the change process, deans, chairs, or department heads can record progress, determine necessary recalibrations, and keep their vision in mind as they continue their evolution towards the goal of preparing TPACK-ready teacher candidates.
By Jerrica Thurman
Be inspired at the AACTE 68th Annual Meeting by Pedro Noguera, one of the nation’s most important voices on the state of education today. Noguera will speak at the Welcoming Session, to be held Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
An expert on school reform, diversity, and the achievement gap, Noguera is a powerful, articulate, and far-reaching advocate for a strong and vibrant public education system. He is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles. Previously, he served as Peter I. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and as executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.
By Sharon Robinson
Sometimes the story is as good as the headlines, and sometimes it’s even better. The New York Times op-ed “Teachers Aren’t Dumb” (Sept. 8) by Psychologist Daniel T. Willingham is a case in point. As Willingham notes, contrary to popular belief, new teachers are solid academic performers. And as his article asserts, they can benefit from the research on effective teaching that is being conducted in the schools of education that prepare them. Willingham also points out—with rhetorical hyberbole—that not all preparation programs are using the latest research. While program quality varies, the excellent preparation provided by the universities whose researchers he cites illustrates that teacher education has strong exemplars. Unfortunately, Willingham does not acknowledge the widespread change within the education preparation community.
The direction of today’s preparation programs is truly good news. Willingham accurately identifies two guiding principles for improving teacher preparation and program accountability: evaluate programs based on graduates’ performance on a rigorous, credible culminating assessment, and base that assessment (and programs’ content) on evidence of what works best for student learning.
By Guneev Sharma
Research out of Brown University (RI) shows that teachers improve tremendously in their first year of teaching and continue to do so during their career. Researchers John Papay and Matthew Kraft discussed this work in a free AACTE webinar last month, “Toward a Broader Conceptualization of Teacher Quality: How Schools Influence Teacher Effectiveness,” which was recorded and is now available in AACTE’s Resource Library.
Papay, assistant professor of education and economics, and Kraft, assistant professor of education, shared findings from their research, recently published in Productivity Returns to Experience in the Teacher Labor Market: Methodological Challenges and New Evidence on Long-Term Career Improvement and Can Professional Environments in Schools Promote Teacher Development? Explaining Heterogeneity in Returns to Teaching Experience. These studies show that teachers’ learning develops exponentially in their early years in the classroom but also continues to grow throughout their careers at a slower rate, and teachers working in more supportive professional environments improve their effectiveness more over time than teachers working in less supportive contexts.