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Filling the QA Gaps: Get Started in Minneapolis

Update: The deadline for hotel reservations and discounted registration has been extended to July 25

As educators, we are taught to look for and then try to help “fix” any need or gap we might find in our students or institutions. That same attention can be found within our organization, where as a member of the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability, I know we have worked hard to ask fellow AACTE members about the gaps and needs you are experiencing in your departments and institutions.

We have heard – and keep hearing – that you want more information and training around all things associated with quality assurance and assessment, from rubrics to planning, analyzing data, and even how to help fellow faculty members recognize the need for change. In response, we have helped AACTE develop and provide programs where you can connect and learn from one another. Our committee has held annual preconference workshops on validity and reliability, which many of you have experienced. We’ve also given guidance and assistance with the development of the Association’s online professional seminars, and now we are deeply involved in planning and facilitating the regional Quality Support Workshops. With each of these, our goal has been to help fill you those gaps.

Using NICs to Engage More Minority Males in STEM Learning

A member of the North Carolina A&T State University team shares its work during the May event at Morgan State University.
Abiodun Fasoro of Central State University discusses his campus’ minority male STEM program during the Verizon Innovative Learning Showcase.

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in the Building a Networked Improvement Community Around Engaging Minority Males in STEM Workshop at Morgan State University. The workshop focused on advancing the work of the Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males (eSEM) Initiative, a network of 16 minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

Led by Morgan State and in partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning Programs, SRI Education, the National CARES Mentoring Network, and local school districts, eSEM is a growing collaborative seeking to address STEM achievement challenges and improve outcomes for middle school minority male students through the development of a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The initiative is supported through grants from the National Science Foundation and includes the following universities:

Introducing Lynn M. Gangone, President and CEO

Today, AACTE welcomes Lynn M. Gangone to the position of president and chief executive officer. Gangone graciously took time during her first day on the job for this introductory interview for Ed Prep Matters:

Q: Your career has spanned a variety of higher education and association roles. What attracted you to AACTE?

A: AACTE’s mission is the first and foremost attraction. In my opinion, educators are the most important professionals in our society, and the opportunity to serve an organization dedicated to their preparation is unparalleled. Not only have educators made a difference in my life, but I have had the extraordinary fortune to “pay it forward” through my career as a faculty member and a dean. AACTE aligns so many facets of my lifelong work as an educator with service to and advocacy for educator preparation programs.

Community-Based Programs Boost Candidate, Student Learning

In an AACTE major forum held March 3, a panel of teacher educators from three state universities discussed the power of partnering with nonschool sites in communities to help prepare effective teachers. “Community-Based Teacher Preparation as Praxis: Preparing Effective Educators Through Research-Practice Partnerships” was organized by the editors of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE)to bring attention to pioneering work under way on this emerging practice.

JTE Coeditors Dorinda Carter Andrews and Gail Richmond of Michigan State University served as moderators for the panel, which included the following presenters:

Major Forum Highlights PK-12, Higher Education Work to Develop Educator Pipeline

On March 4, AACTE convened representatives from organizations working with different stages of the educator pipeline to speak at the major forum “Acting as One to Support Educator Development.” The forum, one of six held during the 69th Annual Meeting, covered issues such as student recruitment, candidate support across the continuum of preparation through induction, the role of school-university partnerships, and ensuring novice teachers are prepared to engage their students in deeper learning. In the interest of collaborating as one across this continuum, panelists discussed how their roles intertwine by sharing their perspectives on the best way to achieve a national, cohesive effort supporting high-quality educator preparation.

The forum was moderated by Michael Dennehy, director of college access and completion at Boston University (MA). Panelists included Dan Brown of Educators Rising, Kimberly Tobey of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP), and Linda Darling-Hammond and Maria Hyler of the Learning Policy Institute.

Educators Called to Disrupt Inequality at TeachingWorks Forum

How does the work of teaching become the work of justice and equity? At AACTE’s 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, TeachingWorks organized one of the six major forums around this question, convening panelists from across the nation to discuss high-leverage practices for teachers to disrupt inequity in the classroom. Speakers at the March 3 forum emphasized the need for teachers to orient their practice around valuing community and students’ individual voices in order to advance social justice and learning for all.

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, education dean at the University of Michigan and head of TeachingWorks, moderated the forum with panel conversations based on building relationships with students, leading group discussions, and implementing routines for classroom discourse. Audience questions were also incorporated in the forum via live interaction and the hashtag #TWforum on Twitter.

Preconference Workshop Hones Educators’ Skills, Understanding of Rubrics

On March 1, approximately 45 educators participated in an AACTE preconference workshop (in advance of the 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa) designed to help them gain knowledge and skills related to accountability, continuous improvement, and quality assurance in their educator programs. Back by popular demand from the 2016 Annual Meeting, the session, “Rubrics, and Validity, and Reliability: Oh My!” was organized and led by members of AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability.

Over the course of 4 hours, participants reflected on how they are meeting expectations regarding the assessment of teacher candidate performance, compared and contrasted their assessment approaches with participants from other institutions, and considered the impact their candidates are having on PK-12 student learning. In small groups, attendees engaged in hands-on activities introducing them to the rationale for using rubrics, developing and implementing strong holistic and analytical rubrics, ensuring that rubrics provide for the collection of reliable and valid information related to targeted tasks, and increasing understanding about the importance of this work in the context of accountability.

Zygmunt, Clark to Win AACTE Award for Book on Teacher Education for Social Justice

AACTE has chosen Transforming Teacher Education for Social Justice, by Eva Zygmunt and Patricia Clark of Ball State University, to receive the 2017 AACTE Outstanding Book Award. The award will be presented at the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Thursday, March 2, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

Published by Teachers College Press in 2015 with a foreword by the late Peter C. Murrell (and with contributions from additional authors Jon Clausen, Wilfridah Mucherah, and Susan Tancock), this volume highlights the award-winning “Schools Within the Context of Community” partnership between Ball State and the Whitely neighborhood of Muncie, Indiana. The authors explain the situated-learning philosophy that undergirds the program and how it meshes with clinical teacher preparation, community engagement, and service-learning to both develop culturally responsive educators and elevate student learning in the partner schools.

Ball State Program to Receive AACTE Multicultural Award

AACTE has selected the Ball State University Teachers College (IN) “Schools Within the Context of Community (SCC) program to receive the 2017 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity. The award will be presented at the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Thursday, March 2, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

SCC takes an innovative approach to preparing culturally responsive, community-engaged candidates. In partnership with a local neighborhood and the Muncie Community School District, the university’s Department of Elementary Education immerses both teacher candidates and faculty into the community and provides opportunities for unique mentoring relationships, service-learning projects, family engagement, and more. Both the community and the university students have benefited in numerous ways since the program started in 2009, ranging from higher elementary student achievement to cultural immersion for teacher candidates to grant funding for community improvements, such as a shared walking path on the grounds of the elementary school.

AACTE to Honor JTE Article on Urban Indigenous Community Roles in Field-Based Teacher Preparation

AACTE has chosen Anna Lees of Western Washington University to receive the 2017 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) Article Award for her article “The Roles of Urban Indigenous Community Members in Collaborative Field-Based Teacher Preparation,” published in the November/December 2016 issue of the journal. The award will be presented at the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Saturday, March 4, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

The qualitative case study presented in this article used Indigenous Postcolonial Theory as a lens to explore the process and outcomes of a partnership between Indigenous community members and a teacher preparation program. The article offers scholarly insights and a model for the design and implementation of community-university partnerships in the support of preparing novice teachers to effectively work with Indigenous children and their families in urban environments.

Ball State Wins AASCU Award for Community-Based Program

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected the “Schools Within the Context of Community” (SCC) program at Ball State University (IN) to receive the 2016 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. The award will be presented October 30 at the AASCU Annual Meeting and recognized again at the AACTE Annual Meeting in March 2017.

Launched in 2009 as a partnership between Ball State University’s Department of Elementary Education and the Whitely neighborhood of Muncie, Indiana, the SCC program takes a unique approach to teacher education. It immerses preservice candidates in a low-income, African-American community where they are carefully matched with mentors who serve as cultural ambassadors and impart the strengths and values of the community.

JTE Author Interview: ‘Engaging and Working in Solidarity With Local Communities in Preparing the Teachers of Their Children’

JTE-new

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.

This interview features insights from the JTE article “Engaging and Working in Solidarity with Local Communities in Preparing the Teachers of their Children,” written by Ken Zeichner, Michael Bowman, Lorena Guillén, and Kate Napolitan. This blog highlights the experience of authors Bowman (MB), Guillén (LG), and Napolitan (KN). The article is featured in the September/October issue of JTE.

Second Project LEAD Summit Brings Faculty, Candidates Together to Share Progress

SLI 2015
Lisa LaDonna Cooper and Linda Mitchell of State Farm present funds to the ACI Center to support Project LEAD during the spring summit in Chicago.

In April, faculty and teacher candidate “ambassadors” representing institutions in the Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) convened in Chicago to take part in the Project LEAD (Leaders in Education Advocating for Diversity) Spring Summit. The summit, conducted by the ACI Center for Success in High-Need Schools, followed up on the inaugural Project LEAD meeting that took place last fall. (Read more about that meeting here.)

The day began with a welcome and celebration of the ACI Center and the initial successes of Project LEAD by its sponsor, State Farm. This included a brief talk by Community Relations Specialist Lisa LaDonna Cooper as well as an exciting presentation of funds to support participating institutions.

Faculty, Teacher Candidates Explore Solutions to Improve Teacher Diversity at Project LEAD Summit

Project Lead
Participants in the inaugural Project LEAD Summit of the Associated Colleges of Illinois

On September 25, AACTE staff had the privilege of taking part in the inaugural Project LEAD (Leaders in Education Advocating for Diversity) Summit in Chicago, Illinois. The summit was a daylong conference conducted by the Associated Colleges of Illinois Center for Success in High-Need Schools to engage teacher candidates and faculty in interactive discussions focused on increasing diversity in the teacher workforce.

Member Voices: The Value and Rewards of Participating in a State AACTE Chapter

Early in my academic career as a faculty member, the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) was referred to as "the deans group." Its meetings were attended primarily by those holding administrative positions, which did not include me. Still, I got to work with IACTE during this time: I had been appointed by the governor to the Indiana Professional Standards Board (IPSB) for teacher education and licensure, which worked collaboratively with IACTE on developing new standards-based licensure and assessments. At a time when teacher education was truly valued in the state, our joint efforts placed Indiana as one of the front runners in best practices in teacher preparation and the use of performance-based assessments.

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