Racist Curricula in the 21st Century Do Exist
Any curriculum, even the most enlightened, has traces of racism. This is simply because we all have biases that come through in multiple ways. Our responsibility as educators is to be critically self-reflective and continuously monitor ourselves, our work, and our interactions with both the students we teach and those around us.
Invariably, believing we are culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining, is an indication that we still have work to do. This is because we are always in a state of becoming. New experiences and knowledge expand our ways of thinking and intersect with our lived experiences making the familiar strange. This is true for individuals and curriculum. That is why continuous critical self-reflection is essential as it affords us the opportunity to negotiate uncomfortable and challenging spaces, experiences, and interactions. It is through this disruption that we learn.
Augusta University on a Mission to Recruit More African American Male Teachers
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
This article originally appeared in JagWire and is reprinted with permission.
Growing up in Elberton, Georgia, Marcus Allen had a lot of incredible teachers who inspired him to be the man he is today.
They were thoughtful, patient and caring, but Allen, who is now the principal of Grovetown Middle School in Columbia County, admits there was one major component missing throughout his childhood education.
“Back then, I didn’t see people who looked like me teaching,” Allen said. “I didn’t have any African American male teachers at my school. And I think it’s important for students to be able to see someone who they can relate to in the classroom. Somebody who they can say, ‘He really might be able to advocate for me.’”
Faculty from 10 of AACTE’s member institutions convened in Washington, DC on November 22-23 for the first in-person meeting of the Networked Improvement Community (NIC) focused on reducing the shortage of the special education teachers. During the 2-day convening, nearly 40 NIC members came together to share and discuss the work happening at their institutions and their goals for recruiting more teacher candidates into their special education programs in the next 6 months.
Following the NIC model of the Carnegie Foundation’s for Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the institutions set individual targets connected to the network’s collective aim statement and driver diagram, which serves as the NIC’s working theory of action. Over the summer, faculty from each institution were invited to participate in a book club lead by AACTE staff: Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better. This book serves as a foundational text for the NIC members in understanding improvement science and how to apply it to their work at their institutions.
AACTE’s DEI Video Highlights Promising Practices to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
AACTE is focusing on ways that education leaders and colleges of education can employ to address the national shortage of educators of color more effectively. “AACTE’s new mission is to revolutionize education for all learners,” said AACTE Board Chair Kim Metcalf, dean of the college of education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “We are shifting our efforts to provide members support and encouragement to be innovative in ways that address not just today’s needs in their local communities, but the needs that those communities will have in years to come.”
AACTE recently released its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, which includes a new vision statement: AACTE, its members, and partners collaborate to revolutionize education for all learners. Aligned with the new strategic plan, Ed Prep Matters is launching a new column called Revolutionizing Education to showcase the many ways the Association and member institutions are moving beyond traditional perspectives and are pioneering positive change in educator preparation.
The Revolutionizing Education column is an opportunity for member institutions and partners to share the leading-edge research, models, strategies, programs, and initiatives that focus on the three core values outlined in the new AACTE strategic plan:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Quality and impact
- Inquiry and Innovation
On November 14, I had the privilege of moderating the first in a series of webinars produced through a partnership of AACTE and the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab). This webinar, “Social and Emotional Learning, Cultural Competence, and Equity in Teacher Preparation,” will be followed by three others focusing on transformative research and practice in educator preparation.
Joining me for the webinar were Nancy Markowitz of the Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child, Patty Swanson from San Jose State University, Pat Norman from Trinity University, and Mari Jones from the HighTech High Graduate School of Education.
Both Trinity and High Tech High, where Norman and Jones teach, are members of the EdPrepLab network. EdPrepLab, which launched this year, is an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute and the Bank Street College of Education that aims to strengthen educator preparation in the United States by linking research, policy, and practice and by supporting and expanding preparation that is equity-focused, student-centered, and grounded in the science of learning and development.
This article, written by AACTE Director of Government Relations K. Ward Cummings, originally appeared in the Daily News Opinion section and is reprinted with permission.
The civil rights leader Malcolm X once famously said that the most segregated hour in American life is high noon on Sunday. If he were alive today, he might also include those weekday hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when our children are in school.
This past May was the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. The occasion inspired numerous panel discussions, seminars and reports about how much or how little the state of education has changed in the last half-century. Sadly, considerable attention also was paid to the subject of how segregated American schools remain 65 years later.
AACTE is excited to announce the release of its new video series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in educator preparation. The videos address a wide variety of topics ranging from promising practices for recruiting and retaining teachers of color, to the importance of culturally relevant teaching for growing the special education teacher pipeline, and also promoting equal access to quality teachers, just to name a few.
The video series exemplifies the Association’s new strategic priority to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. AACTE and its members value the diversity of students, their families, and educators; equity in access to high quality instructional environments; and the inclusion of all students, defined as access and opportunity in PK-20 classrooms.
The need to diversify the teaching workforce is well documented (Darling-Hammond, 2010). Student demographics across the United States have significantly changed in the last 20 years, with particular increases in bilingual and Hispanic student populations (Aud, Hussar, Kena, Bianco, Frohlich, Kemp, &Tahan, 2011). However, the teaching workforce has not reflected the shift in student demographics, and a growing gap has emerged between the racial and ethnic backgrounds of students and teachers. Because community colleges serve a high percentage of diverse students, a community college pathway into teaching represents a promising approach for increasing the diversity of the teaching workforce.
The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) holds a long-standing tradition of developing its future teachers as leaders in the community. Since 1889, the school has taken pride in its commitment to teacher excellence. However, never content to settle, the faculty and staff that constitute UNC’s School of Teacher Education (STE) continue to encourage the next generation of teachers to blaze their own trails and inspire change in their communities.
In addition to delivering the widest array of licensure programs in Colorado to meet the state and national needs, STE at UNC offers specialized licensure and endorsement opportunities within its diversity framework. Programs such as the Cumbres Teacher Preparation Program—an inclusive learning community that has served students at UNC since 1997—and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsements urge teachers to utilize culturally responsive curriculum in the classroom.
Aldo Romero, the director of Cumbres, says the Cumbres program “is a co-curricular, student support services and scholarship program. Over the last two decades, Cumbres has evolved to become a comprehensive program designed to support education majors who want to be English as a Second Language teachers (ESL). The program is grounded in four high impact educational practices: living community, learning community, mentorship, and leadership development.” He also says that Cumbres educators are constantly “acquiring new knowledge and skills to support their development to become not only excellent teachers but also exceptional leaders in K-12 settings.”