The “AACTE Initiatives toward Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Colleges of Teacher Education” Deeper Dive session was held during the 2019 Annual Meeting. The session highlighted the association’s current, ongoing, and future commitments in these areas in a discussion moderated by Jennifer Robinson of Montclair State University and included panelists Lillian Sharon Leathers of William Paterson University of New Jersey and AACTE’s Jacqueline King, Jacqueline Rodriguez, and Jane West.
King, author of AACTE’s recently published Education Students and Diversity: A Review of New Evidence report, described the findings, which showed that education is the least diverse in bachelor’s degree fields. King shared other important data such as 50% of African American education students and 40% of Hispanic education students are independent; 30% of African American students and 20% Hispanic students had children; and 20% African American students were single parents. She emphasized that child care, for example, is an issue that cannot be ignored when considering the matter of diversity. In addition, 4% of Hispanic students are first generation students and 22% do not have a parent that has graduated from high school. The study revealed that one in five African American students work full-time and that the median family income of white, dependent students is more than double of their African American and Hispanic peers.
Annual Meeting Closing keynote speakers Mary Dilworth, editor of Millennial Teachers of Color, and Leslie Fenwick, dean emerita of Howard University, presented the topic, “Millennial Teachers of Color: Follow Their Lead, They Know Where We Need To Be,” on Sunday, February 24. During the session, the educators explored millennial teachers through a new lens by examining the intersection of race ethnicity and generation.
Dilworth has centered her career on teacher quality and preparation, with a keen focus on racial/ethnic and linguistic diversity and equity issues. Recently, she was a co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation (NSF-DR12) project designed to recruit, prepare, license, and employ middle and high school science teachers from underrepresented groups. In addition, she served as a visiting professor and director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of the District of Columbia. Earlier in her career, she was a research fellow with Howard University’s Institute for the Study of Educational Policy (ISEP) and became widely recognized for heightening the national discourse on the disparate impact of licensing tests on underrepresented groups.
The “Data Systems” Deeper Dive session, held during the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting examined the possibilities and challenges for using information and evidence-based research to improve teacher education programs. The discussion was led by moderator Robert Floden, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, and included four panelists: Kevin Bastian, senior research associate, University of North Carolina (UNC) and director, Teacher Quality Research Initiative Education Policy Initiative at Carolina (EPIC); Charles Peck, a professor of teacher education and special education at the University of Washington; Suzanne Wilson, Neag School of Educatin Endowed Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Connecticut (UConn); and Gladis Kersaint, dean, Neag School of Education at UConn.
The robust discussion opened with Bastian sharing the details of a two-pronged study conducted by EPIC that pairs student teaching data with workforce outcomes. He stated, “The problem we’re interested in addressing is how can programs take a mountain of performance assessment data and identify what we might call actionable evidence within it.”
The Deeper Dive session, “Too Expensive to Ignore,” held during the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting explored the many creative ways educators are working to address the high costs associated with becoming a teacher. The panel discussion was moderated by Karen DeMoss, executive director of Prepared to Teach, Bank Street College of Education, and the presenters were Tara Kini, director of state policy at the Learning Policy Institute (LPI); Karen Riley, dean of the College of Education at the University of Denver; Karen Kindle, division chair, Teacher Residency and Education at the University of South Dakota (USD); Jeannie Aversa, coordinator of educator effectiveness at the Syracuse City School District; and Nichole Brown, director of field placement and project director, Teacher Opportunity Corp II at SUNY Oswego. The group of educators engaged in a lively conversation about how to create sustainable funding for teacher residencies.
DeMoss began the discussion with an overview of the reasons solutions to the funding problem are necessary. She shared that attracting diverse candidates to the teaching profession requires a focus on the money matters that teaching candidates care about. For example, 40% of undergraduates and 76% of graduate students work full time, and they incur debt that is often untenable in comparison to the salaries they can expect as teachers.
The AACTE Holmes Scholars Program recently welcomed two new members: University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) doctoral students Stephanie Jones-Fosu and Deondra Gladney. The two Scholars share their experience as first-time AACTE Annual Meeting and Holmes Preconference attendees.
The Holmes Scholar Program is designed to provide equitable opportunities to emerging scholars from underserved populations. By having the distinct opportunity to be one of first Holmes Scholars from UNCC, an entire level of educational greatness has been literally dropped in my lap. During the 2019 AACTE Annual Meeting in Louisville KY, the Holmes Program created an exclusive preconference event where Holmes students at various levels of education came together to learn and grow from Scholars around the country.
The 71st AACTE Annual Meeting was held in Louisville Kentucky from February 22-24, 2019. The AACTE theme this year was “Sustaining and Advancing the Profession.” The attendance was impressive, surpassing the number of attendees from previous years. The meeting allowed the members and alumni of the AACTE Holmes Program to escape daily routines, work distractions, and be fully present during a vibrant and innovative experience. This special environment fostered rich dialogue, sharing of research ideas, and collaboration on finding solutions to complex problems.
Interactive Sessions, Dynamic Conversations, Innovative Solutions, and Tangible Outcomes
The AACTE Holmes preconference agenda centered around growth—both professionally and personally. While lecture-style sessions are beneficial, this year the strategic planning team implemented more interactive sessions. For example, during the Career Choice Pathway sessions, the audience was intentionally involved and invited to participate in dialogue. This year also consisted of tangible outcomes such as productive writing skills. A session was dedicated for focus based-research writing, which allowed for experimentation of a new writing tool to aid in efficient writing. Students were able to share and connect over similar writing experiences and provide guidance on how to stay motivated. Lastly, this year we were honored to have alumni host sessions, provide their mentorship, and invite collaboration on projects.
Spencer Niles, dean of the School of Education, College of William & Mary poses with Holmes Scholars (L-R) Okenna Egwu, Leila Warraich, Jessica Scott, Denise Lewis, Chandra Floyd, Jingjing Liu, Shuhui Fan
Twelve College of William & Mary (W&M) Holmes Scholars attended the Holmes Scholars Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY in February as part of the 71st American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Annual Meeting. The AACTE Holmes Program encourages diversity in education by providing mentorship opportunities to students from high school through doctoral programs who are interested in careers in education. William & Mary’s 14 current Holmes Scholars are high-achieving doctoral students from populations underrepresented in higher education.
Opening keynote speakers Marilyn Cochran-Smith of Boston College and Marvin Lynn of Portland State University, explored the challenges with accountability in teacher education in a provocative discussion on Friday, February 22.
Cochran-Smith is the Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. A teacher educator for more than 40 years, she stressed that teacher educators are passionate about accountability for the learning and development of the teacher candidates they work with, as well as the students, families, and communities the future teachers will serve.
“I have never met a teacher educator who didn’t feel accountable and who didn’t want to be accountable for his/her work,” said Cochran-Smith. “The trouble with teacher education accountability is not with accountability itself; it’s what teacher education has been held accountable for.”
Now through May 29, AACTE is accepting session proposals for the 72nd Annual Meeting, to be held in Atlanta, GA, February 28 – March 1, 2020. We also invite applications by May 15 for AACTE member faculty to review proposals.
The conference theme is “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” conceptualized as follows in the call for proposals:
Over the last year, we have witnessed a rapidly changing society. These changes are driven by policy and policymakers with limited knowledge of best practices for working with dynamic and diverse school communities. In turn, this politically-motivated process has produced a grand narrative, while claiming to be colorblind and neutral, that tends to represent a small, privileged portion of the U.S. population.
During the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting, panelists for the Deeper Dive session, “Innovations to Address Today’s Workforce Needs” examined inclusive education preparation and strategies to address the national teacher shortage. The session highlighted AACTE’s partnership with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center at the University of Florida and its federal supporters.
AACTE Consultant Jane West, who leads the Association’s work with CEEDAR, moderated a discussion with panelists Mary Murphy and Mark Seals (Bowling Green State University) and Marvin Lynn (Portland State University) on best practices at Bowling Green’s undergraduate teaching program and Portland State’s master’s program.