The robust support from AACTE’s state affiliates bolsters our unified advocacy endeavors, fostering the exchange of invaluable experience and expertise. In addition, it opens doors to diverse professional development opportunities for our members. With great enthusiasm, we are delighted to announce an upcoming development opportunity, accessible to all, presented by our New York Chapter.
The New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NYACTE) will host a webinar on February 28, 2024, to highlight student perspectives regarding the current status of education and the racial diversity gap among teachers in New York. Students enrolled in educator preparation programs in New York, as well as those associated with the My Brother’s Keeper Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC II) and AACTE Holmes Masters programs, will impart their perspectives and personal experiences with the current state of education. You will also develop an awareness and admiration for the importance of programs like TOC II and Holmes in helping to eliminate obstacles to workforce diversity.
Register for this webinar online.
Black History Month is not merely a reflection on the past; it is a call to action, an opportunity to amplify Black voices and contributions within the realm of education. This year, we extend an enthusiastic invitation to all AACTE members, educators, and education leaders to join us in embracing excellence as we celebrate Black History Month.
As educator preparation programs (EPPs) that produce our country’s educators and education leaders, we play a pivotal role in shaping the minds of the next generation. By actively participating in Black History Month celebrations, we create a space that fosters inclusivity, diversity, and a genuine appreciation for the contributions of Black individuals in educator preparation.
February is also the month of AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting, with the theme of Ascending New Heights: Propelling the Profession Into the Future. Part of the work to achieve a future that fully embraces and celebrates a diverse study body is actively participating in the celebration of Black history. Celebrate and engage with us February 16– 18 at the Annual Meeting events below that feature Black excellence and advocate for inclusive and enriched educational experiences for all.
This list is not an exhaustive list of all sessions and speakers that represent or are speaking to Black educator preparation topics. For a full list and to plan your experience visit the Annual Meeting 2024 Online Planner.
As the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting quickly approaches, Ed Prep Matters will highlight presenters of Featured Sessions and Learning Labs. These accomplished experts represent a diverse spectrum of thought leadership in the field of teacher education, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and groundbreaking insights to the forefront. Get ready to be inspired by members in the field, each poised to elevate and shape the future of educator preparation.
Learning Lab: Leveraging Innovation and Partnerships to Increase Educator Diversity
Investments in educator diversity initiatives continue to show measurable success. The plight to diversify the educator workforce requires federally funded programs that support innovative and sustainable solutions. This session will highlight the most recent federal effort, the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers for Excellence Program inaugural grantees, and the innovative projects and partnerships that are underway at minority-serving institutions to develop educators to meet the current and future needs of a diverse K-12 student population.
In this member spotlight, Amy Ginsberg, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education at William Paterson University discusses her presentation in this Learning Lab and what attendees can look forward to in this engaging conversation.
This article originally appeared on University at Buffalo’s website and is reprinted with permission.
Before arriving at UB to pursue her Ph.D., Dawnavyn James taught elementary students in Missouri for seven years, where she learned that young students are a lot smarter — and a lot more ready to learn about Black history — than we give them credit for.
“It all started in the classroom,” James said of her new book, “Beyond February: Teaching Black History Any Day, Every Day, and All Year Long.” The book began to take shape after she wrote a blog post referencing her experience teaching Black history. Through this post, she met her editor, who encouraged her to turn her ideas into a book. James’ guide to teaching Black history was published this fall, just a year after she began her doctoral studies.
Drawn to UB by the Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education, where she is a fellow, James studies how elementary teachers use picture books to teach Black history. “I’m really looking at how teachers analyze picture books and teach Black history based on what they know about Black history,” she explains.
Queering the Curriculum: Advocating for and Affirming LGBTQIA+ Identities in the Teacher Education Curriculum in Challenging Times is a webinar intended for faculty and staff who are preparing teacher education students to work with all students, with a special emphasis on important curricular considerations for LGBTQIA+ candidates, cooperating teachers, and K-12 students and families. Join nationally recognized experts as they discuss how recent legislation that targets LGBTQIA+ identities has the potential to shape teacher education and how teacher educators can respond via curriculum and instructional decision-making.
I started teaching high school in 2001 at a large public high school in New York City, highly regarded for its theater and arts programs. Two-thirds of the students identified as female and one-third identified as male; several students were openly gay. It was a rare and different environment for the time; though there was growing recognition and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community we were not yet at a moment where, when surveyed, 20% of the generation that I taught identified as LGBTQ+.
Teaching in New York City, and this particular school, allowed me opportunities to integrate LGBTQ+ history in ways that I might not have felt safe doing in other schools. Early in my career, I saw the way students’ faces lit up when they felt represented in the curriculum. Conversely, I also learned how to address and navigate homophobic comments that students made in class, often based on preconceived ideas they learned outside of school. Neither my colleagues nor the administration weighed in on what I should or shouldn’t teach. It seemed right and accurate to me to teach LGBTQ+ history, so I did. It was only later, as a doctoral student, that I started to understand the level of support necessary to effectively and meaningfully bring this history into our classrooms.
The Clemson University College of Education is dedicated to improving teacher preparation and student outcomes in every classroom, focusing on underserved schools and communities. With this in mind, researchers in the college are interested in classroom practices and the effects of education policies on schools, districts, and entire regions.
Two recent grants awarded to college faculty showcase both ends of this spectrum.
Faiza Jamil, associate professor in the college, uses data from multiple sources to examine the effectiveness of district policies designed to increase the number of teachers from diverse backgrounds. Meanwhile, Kristen Duncan, an assistant professor in the college, uses more qualitative research to examine how Black educators tackle challenging discipline-specific content with students.
As the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting quickly approaches, Ed Prep Matters will highlight presenters at Featured Sessions. These accomplished experts represent a diverse spectrum of thought leadership in the field of teacher education, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and groundbreaking insights to the forefront. Get ready to be inspired by members in the field, each poised to elevate and shape the future of educator preparation.
Featured Session: From Hiring to Tenure: Solutions to Diversify the Ranks of Higher Education Faculty and Leaders
Despite increased racial and ethnic diversity of U.S. college enrollees and calls for greater DEI, the lack of faculty of color in higher education, particularly colleges and schools of education, continues to persist. Faculty diversity plays an important role in college completion. This session will examine the challenges and opportunities to diversify the ranks of academia and elevate successful initiatives to attract and retain faculty and leaders of color.
In this member spotlight, Nicholas D. Hartlep, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin discusses his presentation in this Featured Session and what attendees can look forward to in this engaging conversation.
Hartlep holds the Robert Charles Billings Endowed Chair in Education at Berea College, where he chairs the Education Studies Department. His research includes examinations of the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans, higher education leadership, teaching and transformation in urban educational settings, and the impact of neoliberalism on public P–20 education. He has published 26 books in the field of education over the course of his academic career, two of which were named Outstanding Books by the Society of Professors of Education.
RCTE ribbon cutting Tahlequah: NSU officials gather to cut the ribbon on the new RiverHawk Center for Teacher Excellence in Tahlequah on November 13.
Northeastern State University celebrated the opening of the RiverHawk Center for Teacher Excellence with ribbon cuttings on the Tahlequah and Broken Arrow campuses on November 13.
NSU was awarded a four-year grant totaling more than $1 million through the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program to open the centers with the goal of increasing the number of comprehensively prepared teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Through this grant, NSU can help potential education majors, teacher candidates and current teachers be successful in their career journey to become certified, impactful and employed teachers by providing a comprehensive, positive and supportive environment for them to learn and grow.
As part of AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting, the Diversified Teacher Workforce (DTW) topical action group welcomes PK-20 practitioners, researchers, and community stakeholders to a day-long pre-conference institute on Thursday, February 15, as a part of the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting. This year’s institute will include interactive sessions with scholar-activists from across the country.
Participants will have opportunities to network with others with similar commitments as well as to share and plan in cross-institutional, multi-level working groups throughout the day. We’ve provided information for several of the planned sessions below. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to network with Holmes Scholars, the next frontier of diverse educator preparation professionals innovating in the field, at both a networking lunch and evening reception. Don’t miss your opportunity to secure your spot before advanced registration ends.
Courtesy of the University of Washington
Jasmyne Diaz’s young daughters came home one day from the Tulalip Early Learning Academy (TELA), their birth-to-kindergarten child care center, singing a stanza from “huy syaʔyaʔ”— the Lushootseed goodbye song. Over and over they sang the lines they remembered, not knowing what followed. As a member of the Tulalip Tribes, Diaz recognized the Lushootseed words but didn’t know the language well enough to help with the rest of the song. She thought of her great-grandmother — a Lushootseed educator — and her grandmother, who’d earned a doctorate in education. She thought of her three girls and the future she wanted for them. She said, “I decided if they knew Lushootseed, I also had to learn and help them.”
Diaz is now a teaching assistant with the Tulalip Tribes’ Lushootseed Language Department, teaching not only her own children but many of the community’s young students. Diaz appreciates the important work TELA is doing to educate the tribe’s littlest learners, infusing their early education with the language, culture, and teachings of their elders.
The fifth strand of AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting, Prioritizing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion includes more than forty sessions and events that demonstrate a commitment to preparing diverse and anti-racist educators, recruitment of educators in critical shortage areas, global perspectives in education, inclusive education, equitable engagement of families, and access to high-quality learning environments for all students. For those attending the conference, you will again be able to use the upcoming online planner to schedule your attendance at DEI sessions and events like the following:
As part of its Raise the Bar: Create Pathways for Global Engagement, the Biden-Harris Administration launched “Being Bilingual is a Superpower,” an initiative by the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to promote multilingual education and bolster high-quality language programs and a diverse multilingual educator workforce across the country.
“Being Bilingual is a Superpower” will promote and further the understanding of bilingualism and biliteracy as an educational and economic imperative for student success, global competitiveness, and engagement. The new initiative under the Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) seeks to promote research-based bilingual educational opportunities and language instruction in early learning education settings and beyond.
“Make no mistake: multilingualism is a superpower. Knowing more than one language, acquiring a new language through school, or learning new languages later in life can provide tangible academic, cognitive, economic, and sociocultural advantages,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As our nation continues to grow more diverse, and as our global economy becomes more interconnected, we cannot seize our nation’s full potential to compete and lead the world unless we Raise the Bar and provide all students with opportunities to become multilingual.”
PEN America’s new report, America’s Censored Classrooms 2023: Lawmakers Shift Strategies as Resistance Rises, written by program director Jeremy C. Young and research consultant Jeffrey Adam Sachs has now been published, highlighting the progress of educational gag orders as a result of state legislative sessions in 2023.
The report finds that, while the threat of gag orders has not diminished this year, the form and structure of such laws have changed dramatically. According to the report, more gag orders became law this year than in 2022, though fewer were introduced.
In PK-12, there was a major shift away from critical race theory (CRT) bans toward “Don’t Say Gay” bills, many of them as a result of Florida’s law last year. These bills attempted to censor any mention of gender, sexuality, or identity in the classroom, including extending some bans all the way through grade 12. In higher education, there was a shift away from classroom restrictions and toward limits on university governance processes that protect academic freedom. Diversity and inclusion bans, curricula, general education courses, accreditation agencies, and even university mission statements were censored, particularly in Florida, and Texas, and a bill still under consideration in Ohio.
Growing up in a small, conservative community, I learned early on to keep my true self hidden. My sexuality was a secret I guarded fiercely, aware that in the close-knit circles of my hometown, it wouldn’t be accepted. This knowledge cast a shadow over my youth, but it also ignited a flame within me — a determination to find a path that led beyond the confines of narrow-mindedness. Education was my beacon, my compass guiding me through the fog of fear and judgment.
I clung to the belief that if I could excel in school, make it to college, and become a teacher, I could escape the suffocating atmosphere of my hometown. This goal was my lifeline, pulling me forward through years of silent struggle. And eventually, I made it. I was accepted into a teacher education program, a tangible step toward the life I yearned for — one where I could be true to myself without fear.
But the journey was far from straightforward. In one of my final field experience placements I was assigned a cooperating teacher, Mrs. H, who was known for her expertise in classroom management and innovative teaching methods but who, I soon discovered, harbored strong negative opinions about the LGBTQ community. She often made dismissive comments, cloaked in humor but cutting deep, about “people choosing to be gay.”
The U.S. Department of Education has published a new Raise the Bar Policy Brief, Eliminating Educator Shortages through Increasing Educator Diversity and Addressing High-need Shortage Areas. The brief highlights key Department efforts to support and advance educator diversity and address high-need shortage areas, as well as national and state data on teacher diversity and areas in which states have particular shortages. It includes visualizations spotlighting state and national data on educator diversity, including in a range of roles and the diversity of students enrolled in educator preparation programs, as well as data on states’ projected shortage areas for 2023-24.
The Department is committed to a comprehensive policy agenda to recruit, prepare, and retain a racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse and well-prepared educator workforce. This includes promoting educator diversity while recruiting, preparing, retaining, and supporting teachers, administrators, and other educators and ensuring that education is a profession that people from all backgrounds can pursue. Developing and supporting a diverse educator workforce is critical to strengthening student success. Additionally, addressing high-need shortage areas ensures all students have access to a high-quality, well-rounded education. Through Raise the Bar: Lead the World, the Department is working in partnership with states, tribes, local educational agencies (LEAs), and educator preparation programs (EPPs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), to eliminate educator shortages in our nation’s schools and to strengthen and diversify the education profession.