The AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting Opening keynote speaker Robin DiAngelo, associate professor of education at the University of Washington, is widely recognized for her research in critical discourse analysis and whiteness studies. In her address, she explored how to implement strategic, intentional anti-racist actions to interrupt the system of racism in education. Her message aligns with AACTE’s core value of diversity, equity, and inclusion an integral part of AACTE’s strategic plan for 2020-23.
“The status quo of this society is racism; it is not an aberration, it’s the norm. All of our institutions effectively and efficiently reproduce racial inequality and schools are the bellies of the beast,” said DiAngelo. She noted that the concept examining the dominant culture is consistently left off the table in the conversation when discussing race issues. These discussions tend to focus on learning about other racial groups.
During her talk, she emphasized the need to decenter “whiteness” by naming it and exposing it, explaining that there is a white worldview, a white frame of reference that allowed her to move through the world from a white experience. DiAngelo shared, “Being white, I was not raised to see myself in racial terms” She reasoned that as a white person, “when we talk about race it’s about their race not mine.” She acknowledged the complexities of racism and the inability to understand every nuance. “But it’s on me to get that information, not on people of color to hand it to us.”
An excerpt from this article appeared in District Administration on March 11.
Today, we live in a society where truth is decaying, falsehoods are readily shared across social media, and hatred and discrimination are on the rise. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the number of hate groups operating in the United States hit a record high in 2018. Hate speech creates an environment in which biases and discrimination thrive and can have a detrimental impact on a school’s culture and climate. Teaching and learning about the roots of hate are important elements in fostering an inclusive classroom environment.
Teachers play an essential role in creating a more humane and tolerant world. They are stewards of culture and are in a position to protect history, promote facts and prevent inhumanity. However, to provide students with the most effective instruction, educators must have the tools to understand the nature of hate crimes and how they impact the culture and climate of schools where they teach. Additionally, they must know how to address issues of bias and discrimination in the classroom.
This article originally appeared on the University of Washington College of Education website and is reprinted with permission.
Back in 2017, the University of Washington’s Elementary Teacher Education Program (ELTEP) enrolled its first cohort of teacher candidates in which more than half were people of color and more than half spoke a language in addition to English.
While the diversity of the cohort was welcome — particularly in a state where 89 percent of teachers are white but students of color make up nearly 50 percent of public school enrollment — it also meant UW teacher educators needed to reassess their program.
“When we admitted our first group of very diverse students, I went to the faculty and said ‘We’ve got a gift’,” said Teddi Beam-Conroy, director of the UW’s Elementary Teacher Education Program. “Most efforts [to diversify the teaching workforce] concentrate on recruiting students, and they’re here. So now we have to talk about how we’re going to change to meet their needs. What do we need to do in order to sustain and learn from the students we have with us?”
AACTE says “thank you” to the AACTE members, partners, and supporters who attended the 2020 Annual Meeting in Atlanta February 28-March 1! Your presence was vital to exploring this our theme, “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change” during AACTE’s 72nd national conference.
Over the coming weeks, Ed Prep Matters will offer you a range of Annual Meeting coverage. Meanwhile, take a moment to view (and share!) conference photos and conversations on the AACTE Twitter feed using #AACTE20, and enjoy the following recap videos:
Highlights – Friday February 28
During the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting attendees went viral on Twitter using #AACTE20—tweeting, retweeting, and, liking posts over the 3 days in Atlanta! From presenters, to Holmes Scholars, to session attendees, hundreds of contributors shared photos of event activities. Thanks to the flurry of social media activity, close to 1,000 conversations took place on Twitter while participants were “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for change.”
Check out a selection of posts below. To see the full volume of tweets, visit us on Twitter at #AACTE20.
“Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions”
Now through May 27, AACTE is accepting session proposals for the 73rd Annual Meeting, to be held in Seattle, WA, February 26 – 28, 2021. We also invite applications by May 13 for AACTE member faculty to review proposals.
The conference theme is “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions,” conceptualized as follows in the call for proposals:
Collectively, we are losing traction in our democracy and experiencing reversals in the civil and human rights that leaders such as Cesar Chavez, Delores Huerta, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harvey Milk all fought to advance. Children are being educated in an environment fraught with violence on our school campuses and in our communities. They are assaulted by guns, words, and legislation that create an unsafe, hateful, and fearful climate. We are living in a time when children are taken from their families, retained in deplorable circumstances, and denied access to basic needs and education. The term “all” seems to only mean some, and people who speak out against these injustices are attacked by words and actions.
Holmes Program Scholars Monique Matute-Chavarria, Claudine McLaren Turner, and Ayan Mitra are the first, second, and third place winners, respectively, in the 2020 Holmes Scholars Dissertation Funding Competition (DFC). The competition was held during the Holmes Preconference at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
The DFC is a 10-minute session open to doctoral candidates to present their anticipated dissertation at the “pre-data collection” stage in a creative and compelling way. The first place awardee receives $3,000, the second place winner receives $1,250, and the third place winner receives $750 to support the finalists’ dissertation research proposal related expenses.
AACTE Conference Addresses How to Disrupt Inequities in Education
Nearly 2,000 teacher educators kicked off the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis yesterday. The conference, themed “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” is being held February 28 – March 1. Attendees include deans, faculty, students, and administrators from undergraduate and graduate education programs, community colleges, and K-12 schools, as well as representatives from state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations.
America’s educator preparation community is keenly aware of and uniquely positioned to change the systemic challenges occurring in PK-16 environments that serve the nation’s most vulnerable populations—students of color, students with disabilities, students from immigrant families, students from low-income families, and LGBTQ students. Under its 2020 theme, the AACTE conference offers attendees hundreds of concurrent sessions that explore how to redefine the meaning of success for all students and encourage them to become active learners, productive citizens, critical thinkers, and leaders in their communities and across the globe.
The American education system was not created to support the liberation of the powerless. Instead, it was designed to instill skills, habits, beliefs, and discipline that would allow for better control of the masses. The colonizers who became the architects of this country built a system that perpetuates the status of white-skinned privilege and wealth, while leaving those in the lower and middle classes burdened with the laborious task of building and supporting our nation’s economy and infrastructure.
Throughout the history of the United States, minoritized racial groups and those who live in poverty have suffered disparities in education through laws and policies that prohibited them from socioeconomic advancement, physical safety, and basic civil rights. The anti-literacy laws enacted before, during, and after the Civil War are just one example of how white-skinned privilege and power was used to perpetuate the oppression of enslaved Blacks and concretize a system that generated more wealth for those in power.
Our current education system continues to enable inequity through policies and practices that claim to be fair, colorblind, and neutral, but tend to privilege a small, elite portion of the U.S. population. We can no longer live by the adage “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” when those who deserve a better education continue to be plagued by disparities. Addressing the persistent opportunity gap between our nation’s socioeconomic classes requires sustained engagement from leaders across every field of education.
The articles below originally appeared on the University of Washington College of Education website and are reprinted with permission.
Joining doctoral research and teacher education program improvement
While incorporating issues of equity and social justice in the preparation of future teachers has long been a focus at the University of Washington College of Education, it wasn’t well understood until recently how that commitment is reflected in graduates’ daily teaching practice.
That picture is getting clearer thanks to an internship for UW doctoral students in teacher education launched three years ago. In a new podcast, Patrick Sexton, assistant dean for teacher education, and Cristina Betancourt, a graduate student in teaching and curriculum, discuss the College’s work to marry teacher education program improvement with the learning of its doctoral students through its Teacher Education Research and Inquiry (TERI) internship.
Sexton and Betancourt are part of a team who will present their work developing case studies of recent alumni for program improvement at the 2020 meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Incorporating disability studies curriculum in teacher education
While Washington has recognized October as Disability History Month for more than a decade — and schools are asked to honor the month in some fashion — teachers have had limited resources available to help them actually enact disability studies curriculum in the classroom.