This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
The “fragility of our democracy” was made evident by the events of Jan. 6 at the United States Capitol, which was incited by rhetoric around election fraud, according to Harvard University’s James Bryant Conant University Professor Dr. Danielle Allen.
As misinformation and government-related conspiracy theories continue to divide the nation, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Educating for American Democracy initiative co-hosted a webinar on Tuesday to discuss the need to promote civic readiness within the K-12 education system.
The event, “Monitoring Civic Learning Opportunities and Outcomes: State of the Field and Future Directions,” noted inadequate support for civics education from policymakers and education leaders.
Have you tried using video in your methodology courses? As the place where student teachers connect theory to practice, methods courses are perfect for video—whether you teach in person or online.
Many teacher ed programs relied on video for remote instruction during the pandemic, but some used it long before 2020—and for good reason. Research shows that video plus feedback improves student skills. In methods courses, video gives you a way to
- Show students what theoretical methods look like in practice.
- Enable students to practice methods in small groups.
- Record and give personalized feedback as students apply methods in the field.
Timothy Boerst and Meghan Shaughnessy
Working in teacher education programs at the University of Michigan and Boston University, we are well-versed with practice-based teacher education, including the usage and importance of video to connect the university classroom and K-12 schools. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, video has been crucial in engaging with our teacher candidates in practice-based work.
At the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting in February earlier this year, we shared how we used video in our work as teacher educators over the 2020-21 academic year. Our presentation, “Using Video to Learn to Do the Work of Teaching When Schools are Closed,” highlighted the ways in which we used video at the University of Michigan to support practice-based work when methods courses were conducted online. While we have robustly used video in our programs for over a decade, the last year forced us to explore new possibilities.
Don’t miss your opportunity to pilot test PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies.
AACTE, in collaboration with ETS, is excited to provide all of its members with this exciting opportunity. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, such as providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and teacher candidates while they are lesson planning in Google Docs. After an initial pilot with K-12 teachers, novice teachers noted the value and the utility of the tool in identifying a variety of new formative assessment strategies and indicated that the strategies increased their use of formative assessment with students.
Earlier this year, AACTE reconstituted the Higher Education Task Force. The task force, which was previously led by AACTE, will share information about the policy work underway in the teacher preparation world with our higher education colleagues and inform Congress and other key officials about important developments related to the field. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the change of administrations and other factors, the task force was dormant for a short time. But AACTE’s colleagues eagerly accepted our invitation to rejoin.
Task force participants are from the major associations of higher education, whose members are presidents of institutions of higher education. Members include the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and UNCF.
There is wide recognition that history and civics have been neglected disciplines in American K-12 education. Recent events, including the January 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol, underscored this point and the need to elevate learning in these essential disciplines.
The Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative has garnered broad cross-partisan and stakeholder support as a way to re-imagine and re-prioritize the important civic mission of K-12 public education. AACTE became an EAD organizational Champion in 2021 and is developing professional development that addresses inquiry-based civic instruction in our member educator preparation programs. AACTE is participating in the upcoming webinar, Monitoring Civic Learning Opportunities and Outcomes: State of the Field and Future Directions, on July 13
AACTE is excited to announce a new opportunity for members to pilot the PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including by providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and teacher candidates while they are lesson planning in Google Docs. After an initial pilot with K-12 teachers, there is increased interest in expanding use of the PlanWise™ tool to teacher candidates. Many novice teachers in the initial pilot valued the utility of the tool in identifying a variety of new formative assessment strategies and indicated that the strategies increased their use of formative assessment with students.
Video is a powerful tool—for teacher candidates and teacher educators alike—to engage in reflective practice and accelerate professional growth. And I can say this from personal experience as it has helped me grow as an educator.
As a proponent of video, I believed this innovative professional learning approach would be an asset to the undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Our preparation program is organized around a decolonizing framework that recognizes that schools are designed for acculturation and colonization. And, as such, we prepare teachers who simultaneously teach in—and resist—that context (Trinder, 2021).
As my colleagues and I were talking about bringing video coaching to our program, questions were raised about how to make sure that we do not lose the context-driven aspects of our program that are attended to as our faculty come to know the children, schools, and communities in which our students learn to teach. Questions often associated with any new technology implementation were also brought up: How hard is this going to be to implement? How am I going to use it? Is it going to take too much time?
It’s not enough for educators to know how to use technology; they have to understand the pedagogical principals underpinning the tools so that tech is used effectively and gives students agency over their learning.
For example, technology should not merely be a replacement for nontech tools. An electronic whiteboard is merely an expensive chalkboard if teachers use it only to project lessons and homework assignments. But technology can transform learning when it is used in a way that allows students to collaborate with peers and experts across great distances, gather and analyze large data sets, and use creation tools to make art that can be critiqued by an engaged audience.
The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards is an anti-racist and inclusive organization. We believe that educators must help students consider their role in a diverse world, value individual differences, and—especially in times such as these—we believe in the power of the teaching profession to defend what is good and right for all people.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is seeking applicants from the educator preparation community to serve on the committee that will develop standards in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These Board certification standards for practicing teachers also impact teacher preparation programs and assessments, professional learning programs, and state licensure systems across the country. The 10-12 committee members will receive an honorarium and will be representative of the diversity among teaching professionals and the students and communities they serve.
AACTE and GoReact recently announced a partnership that grants members additional access to video assessment tools. GoReact provides colleges and universities with interactive tools to facilitate video observation, coaching, and assessment for teacher educators everywhere. The software provides live and remote observation and assessment via simple, interactive tools, where candidates receive individualized feedback.
Through the partnership, all AACTE members receive complimentary usage of GoReact’s video assessment platform.
- If you are not yet a GoReact user, your AACTE membership grants you free access until July 31, 2021.
- If you are an existing GoReact user, your AACTE membership grants you expanded access until July 31, 2021.
AACTE partners with organizations that share its view that an intersectional lens is critical when educators are examining structures and practices that increase student discrimination and disadvantages. As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes to an end and Pride Month begins, one of AACTE’s partners, Human Rights Campaign’s Project THRIVE, is hosting a webinar with panelists that represent the intersection of these communities on May 27, 2:00 p.m. ET.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children—at least one in five—have missed critical vaccinations that keep them healthy and our communities free from disease.
Students without these vaccinations may not be eligible to return to in-person learning in the fall. Even worse, losing herd immunity could put millions of unvaccinated children and adults at risk for deadly or debilitating diseases such as measles, whooping cough and polio.
As a member of the National Coalition of Educators, AACTE announces the release of the second edition of What it Means to be a Professional Development School: Nine Essentials, published by fellow member coalition member, the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS). AACTE shares NAPDS’s goal to support high quality teacher education through effective professional development and are looking forward to collaborating with them on projects aimed at achieving that goal.
The National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) recently announced the publication of its policy statement, What it Means to be a Professional Development School (PDS): The Nine Essentials (2nd Edition), a culmination of several years’ worth of work by the association’s Nine Essentials Committee. The committee worked to identify the relevance of the essentials, which were originally published in 2008, and how they are used in the field by schools of education and P-12 schools. The document brings to light an updated and robust version of the Nine Essentials grounded in key concepts and educational research.
To effectively amplify the voice of members to policy makers to better help them understand what is happening in the field and offer sound policy recommendations, AACTE partners with other organizations to highlight the importance of certain issues.
For example, AACTE is a member of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF). CEF was founded in 1969 with the goal of achieving adequate federal financial support for our nation’s educational system. The coalition is a voluntary, nonprofit, and nonpartisan group. AACTE is one of more than 100 member organizations that represent the full spectrum of education—early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, higher education, adult and career education, and educational enhancements such as libraries and museums. CEF’s current campaign is “5 Cents Makes Sense,” which calls for 5 cents of every federal dollar to be spent on education. The campaign’s official hashtag is #5Cents4EdFunding.