Posts Tagged ‘content areas’

Aiding Teacher Candidates’ Understanding of Learner Variability

Rachel Besharat Mann will share her experience in translating learning sciences into practice using the Digital Promise Learner Variability Navigator tool during the webinar co-hosted by AACTE, “Learning Sciences Research for the Classroom” on September 26, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Below, Mann offers a preview about her experience using the web app for whole child learning.

You can read all of the teaching books and take all of the courses but being in the classroom is a completely different experience. You are working with individual people with varied backgrounds and needs and their behaviors; strengths, and needs can change based on a variety of factors outside of a teacher’s control. There is no roadmap to tell you how students learn differently or even if they are learning at all. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way over the years and have vowed to help my higher education students avoid the same pitfalls in K-12 classrooms that I did.

Civics Secures Democracy Act Reintroduced in the Senate

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives have introduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act, which would authorize an historic investment to support K–12 civic education and American history. AACTE urges members to reach out to their Members of Congress to encourage them to support the Civics Secures Democracy Act through the Action Alert in the AACTE Advocacy Center.

Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. Given the divisiveness in our politics and the lack of knowledge and understanding of democratic principles, norms, and institutions, a robust investment in civics education is needed.

The Family Engagement Core Competencies: Preparing Educators to Reflect, Connect, Collaborate, and Lead Alongside Families

Last summer, the National Association for Family School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) released, in partnership with AACTE and other vital partners, findings of our national survey of educator preparation programs. We thank many of the AACTE members who responded to the survey the purpose of which was to investigate how educators are prepared to engage families and communities in their practice.  Results of the research showed that only half of educator preparation programs have a standalone course on family and community engagement and nearly all struggle to embed family and community engagement topics throughout their curriculum meaningfully.  This is unfortunate, particularly in light of the teacher shortage crisis,  given that strong respectful relationships with families and communities are key reasons that educators choose to stay in the profession.

Literacy Leaders Undergo Transformative Experience Through Warren Fellowship

This May, a group of students in the Texas Christian University’s College of Education took a week-long trip to the Holocaust Museum of Houston as part of the Warren Fellowship program. The trip was a culmination of studying the Holocaust and antisemitism in Jan Lacina’s Literacy Leadership class. Lacina is the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education and associate dean of graduate studies in the TCU College of Education.

“I was compelled to integrate course goals, readings, and discussions about the Holocaust into my Literacy Leadership class because of recent antisemitic acts that took place in Texas,” Lacina said.

University of Iowa $15M Gift to Support School Mental Health

This article was originally published by the University of Iowa College of Education.

Thanks to a generous $15 million gift from the Scanlan Family Foundation, the Iowa Center for School Mental Health in the University of Iowa College of Education will be renamed the Scanlan Center for School Mental Health, pending approval from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, at its July 27 board meeting.

In addition to the new name, the gift will expand clinical support for school mental health in collaboration with the Belin-Blank Center, not only across the state but across the nation.

The Importance of Community Engagement and Freedom of Expression in Higher Ed

Educational institutions must engage with their communities to illuminate the systemic injustices experienced by those hypermarginalized, including people and communities of color.

In the Spring 2022 issue of AAC&U’ magazine, Liberal Education, AACTE member Tania Mitchell reflects on the killing of George Floyd to highlight these structural inequities. She urges those in higher education to rethink how community can be created and how to engage differently within the context of racism, economic inequality, and COVID 19:

“Our community engagement work of colleges and universities should be revealing. It should illuminate the systemic injustices that reify and deepen the marginalization already experienced. Moreover, it should focus on the policies, practices, conditions, and experiences that shape the everyday realities of the poor and people of color.”

Register for JUSTEC 2022 by August 15

Educators in the United States and Japan are invited to register for the Japan-U.S. Teacher Education Consortium’s 32nd conference, JUSTEC 2022, which will take place September 23 – 25. This year’s three-day conference is supported by AACTE; the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo; and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan. It will draw its focus on the theme, “Collaborative Teacher Education in the United States and Japan in the Era of Uncertainties.” Register by August 15 to reserve your spot.

Representation Matters: The Necessity of LGBTQ+ Content in Schools

GLSEN’s 2019 National School Climate Survey (N=16,636)the most recent for which results are available—provides an alarming overview of the state of LGBTQ+ inclusive education. According to GLSEN, only 16.2% of participants reported engaging with positive representations of LGBTQ+ content, and fewer than 20% stated that LGBTQ+ topics appeared in their textbooks and curricular resources.

Civics Secures Democracy Act Reintroduced in the Senate

 

A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act of 2021, which would authorize a historic investment to support K–12 civic education and American history.

Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. Given the divisiveness in our politics and the lack of knowledge and understanding of democratic principles, norms, and institutions, a robust investment in civics education is needed.

Interactive STEM Camp at MSU offers Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Chance to Learn Physics, Consider College Options

(Photo by Grace Cockrell)

A group of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are interested in science, technology and related fields are getting a new chance to learn about physics and other topics as part of an innovative camp at Mississippi State, which may be the country’s first of its kind.

MSU Assistant Professor of Physics Ben Crider is using a prestigious $600,000 National Science Foundation 2019 Career Grant to advance his nuclear physics research, which includes a highly interactive summer experience for students with autism that was delayed due to COVID-19.

Opinion: The Ugly Backlash to Brown v. Board of Ed That No One Talks About

Sarah L. Murphy teaches children in a two-room schoolhouse in Rockmart, Ga. on June 23, 1950. | AP Photo

This article, by AACTE dean in residence Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., was originally published in Politico and is reprinted with permission.

Today, most Americans think about the segregation-shattering 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision in one of three ways. We may think about Linda Brown, the plaintiff in Brown, a little girl forced to walk miles to a segregated Black school instead of attending the white school down the block. We may remember the famed Norman Rockwell painting featuring 6-year-old Ruby Bridges escorted by U.S. Marshals past a wall splattered with tomatoes and a racial slur. Or we may recall the tumult of busing in the South — Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia… and even much further north of the Mason-Dixon Line in South Boston, too.

But there is plenty that we have not been taught about Brown, which turns 68 today, or how it continues to impact us. We know about Linda Brown and Ruby Bridges. But we don’t know about Pressley Giles, Mary Preyer, Virgil Coleman and Jewel Butler. They were among the 100,000 exceptionally credentialed Black principals and teachers illegally purged from desegregating schools in the wake of Brown.

How EPPs Can Support AANHPI Faculty and Students: Insights from AACTE’s Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner

In the final installment of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month blog series, AACTE and Valerie Ooka Pang spoke with Lin Wu, recipient of the 2022 AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award for “Borderland Teaching of Chinese American Teachers with Mexican American Students: Toward the Development of a Theory,” about his research, experiences in the academy, and insights on the triumphs and challenges of AANHPI educators and students.

Wu, who completed his dissertation for the Ph.D. at the University of Washington-Seattle and currently serves as an assistant professor in the College of Education at Western Oregon University, is the first Asian male to receive the distinguished award. When he began his graduate scholarship in the Deep South, where there is a Black-White racial binary, he says, “I just always felt like I did not belong to either group. I am somewhere in between.” This led Wu to his dissertation research and he asked himself, “What if I’m not alone? What if other Asian American teachers, specifically Chinese American teachers, share a similar experience?”

Wu’s dissertation studied three Chinese American teachers working with 11 Mexican American students in three ethnically diverse urban secondary schools in the Pacific Northwest, a unprolific research topic in the field. “As I was doing a literature review for my dissertation, [most of the research] was on teachers of color working with students of color from the same ethnic or racial group. I don’t know if it is intentional, but I ask myself [why is it] few folks want to discuss crossing ‘minority’ cultural borders in our research?” He reminds scholars of a quote from Toni Morrison that motivated him through this challenge, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

In his acceptance speech at AACTE’s 2022 Annual Meeting, Wu reminded the audience of the anniversary of the deadly shooting in Atlanta that killed eight people, six of whom were working-class Asian women. We join Wu in asking members to remember their lives and say their names: Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng. 

To create a more just society for AANHPI communities, all teachers must represent and validate the prolific histories and multi-dimensional identities of AANHPI students. This need was encapsulated perfectly in advice Wu received from Gloria Ladson-Billings about his job as a teacher educator, “It is not about you.” He elaborates, “[she said] I am not invalidating your struggles. Your struggles are real …. However, when your daughter goes to school, she will have to learn to navigate this world in a way that does not see her fully. So, your job is to make sure that the teachers and adults who will work with her one day will not do that.” We agree that all teacher education faculty share responsibility to ensure all preservice teachers are prepared to see students for who they fully are.

Wu’s Doctoral Experience
In addition to improving AANHPI inclusive curriculum and pedagogical standards, we know that representation matters. There is a lack of male teachers of color in the United States, AANHPI included. Wu reflected on his experiences as a doctoral student and recommended that programs be more intentional in providing financial support to Asians and Asian Americans, a barrier he faced in funding his education partially due to the model minority belief. This and other themes raised in Wu’s experiences resemble barriers to becoming a teacher found in AACTE’s Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher NIC, including feelings of isolation, lacking familial and academic resources as a first-generation college student, family caretaker expectations, needing to work to support oneself while studying, and racial and gender stereotypes. 

Wu explains that the male teacher of Color shortage is even worse in teacher education. When he began working as a graduate teaching assistant, he was the only male doctoral student of color for two years in that teacher education program. Beyond the socio-cultural barriers, Wu recalls a lack of curricular representation in many graduate courses, either for or by AANHPI scholars. When describing the research used across most of his methods training classes as a doctoral candidate, he says, “If I remember correctly, there were only two articles written by Asian American scholars, neither of which focused on Asian American students or teachers.” To be more inclusive, EPPs must ensure their curriculum represents every group so that students interested in research in those directions have access to representative resources. Finally, Wu describes the role mentorship played in his success: “I am eternally grateful to the sustaining mentorship from eminent scholars, including Dr. Geneva Gay and Dr. Valerie Ooka Pang. Cross-cultural and cross-gender mentorship is crucial for me because I will need mentors with different backgrounds and expertise to guide my work to represent my community better.”

Wu’s Teaching Experience
Now, as a faculty member teaching Social Cultural Foundations of Education and Multicultural Education, Wu works with predominantly White female preservice teachers. Besides preparing them to become culturally responsive teachers, he hopes to (re)present Asian men positively since most of them never had the opportunity to learn from Asian male teachers. That is another challenge facing all leaders in spaces where they are underrepresented — the expectation to “do everything right because you want to be a good representation of your community.” Wu continues, “My first time teaching the multicultural education course was challenging because some students did not perceive an Asian man to be qualified to talk about race.” His response is advice all educators should take since no one can be responsible for explaining or representing any group perfectly: “How do I humanize and correct the mistakes I made and teach my students to do the same?” What is even more essential within Wu’s advice is to do so with humility.

Earlier this year, in AACTE focus groups on teaching the truth in history and civics, teacher education faculty consistently agreed that end-of-course student evaluations created hesitation around discussing race and racism in the classroom, even when they desired to do so. Normalizing these open discussions and providing students with tools to analyze and counter accusations about critical race theory and other frameworks for democratic discussions on race and racism is essential. AACTE is grateful to Wu for modeling its efficacy, “I am committed to helping teachers transform their struggles into agencies to support all students, especially students of color.”

Wu’s Recommendations
Lastly, Wu shares some recommendations to support AANHPI faculty and be more inclusive of AANHPI students and other students of color in schools.  First, he says faculty should be prepared to have effective and frequent discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion, by asking “How is the end-of-year feedback going to improve my teaching or your learning? My job is not to nag you about how racism impacts everybody in society. My job is to prepare you for the work you need to do so that you can succeed and sustain your success in this profession.” To accomplish this, faculty should remain committed learners by reading classic and emerging research and scholarship on advancing racial equity. Wu says, “I always strive to pair classic readings such as culturally responsive teaching with emerging case studies on [what] it looks like in practice for ethnically diverse students across content areas and grade levels.”

When it comes to program structures, Wu recommends EPPs make social-cultural foundation and multicultural education courses a requirement for all teacher candidates. Hire qualified faculty members, especially those of color, to teach the courses, provide systemic support, and ensure that the course content is historically grounded, theoretically rich, practically nuanced, and represents every racial group.

Finally, teacher education programs must allocate sustaining support for AANHPI faculty to pursue their research and develop their leadership capacity. “I am grateful to my mentor, Dr. Ken Carano, for helping me navigate my journey as a tenure-track faculty at Western Oregon University. I also appreciate my dean, Dr. Mark Girod, for funding my research and supporting me to lead the annual AAPI Heritage Month celebration in our college,” says Wu.

Wu wants Asian American scholars and other scholars of color in teacher education to know they should find colleagues and mentors who can support their personal and professional growth within and outside their institutions. Even though every institution has its problems, scholars of color can build a supportive network that nurtures their souls and helps them thrive.

The biggest takeaway in our interview with Wu is this: Teachers must understand that this job is never about them. Wu adds, “Your job is to teach students to be critical thinkers, engaged citizens, and supportive community members, who can challenge things when they are not right.”

Read other blogs in the AANHPI Heritage Month Series:

Asian American Leadership in Higher Education: A ‘Glass Cliff’ or ‘Golden Opportunity?’

What do we mean by a “glass cliff?” It happens when a member of an underrepresented group assumes a leadership role during a period of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest. Research has documented the “glass cliff” for Asian Americans in corporate America; for instance, when companies are in decline, they’re two and a half times more likely to appoint an Asian American CEO.[i] This made me wonder if there is also a glass cliff for Asian American higher education leaders.

Asians make up 5% of the population, 6.5% of college students, and 8.4% of faculty members — but they comprise only 1% of college presidents.[ii] Based on an annual growth rate of 6%, racial parity in the presidency for Asian Americans will occur by 2036 (see Figure 1 below). Parity is defined as the year in which the representation of Asian Americans in the presidency reflects their overall representation in the U.S. population. Data on the future demographics of the United States come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s projections.

AANHPI Literature for Children and Adults

In the second article commemorating AACTE’s recognition of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) Heritage Month, Valerie Ooka Pang, a professor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University, shares her favorite literature sources for teachers to use in their P-20 classrooms. Watch AACTE’s webinar with Ooka Pang and others to learn more about AANHPI representation and inclusion in classrooms and educator preparation.

Valerie Ooka Pang in front of State CapitolAs a teacher, how often do you consciously choose literature that is about AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) populations or was written or illustrated by AAPI authors and artists?

What do you know about AAPI children and their communities? Do you only know about Chinatowns or Chinese New Year? Stories about these singular aspects often convey stereotypical perspectives. AAPIs are people like others with dreams, fears, and hopes.

If you have little knowledge of AAPI communities and you would like to know how you can begin to integrate fantastic AAPI literature into your classroom, keep reading.

Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice and Beyond

The AACTE Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group (TAG) held our annual business meeting during the AACTE 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans in March.  Among food and new friends, we elected new officers, reviewed the past year of work, and shared current themes in co-teaching. Amber Bechard, University of La Verne, is continuing as co-chair and I will continue as secretary (Kelly Meyer of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities). Newly elected as co-chair is Wendy Murawski, California State University-Northridge. We are still seeking a treasurer for this TAG.

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