Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson hosted AACTE’s President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone for a virtual fireside chat in culmination of a multi-part series highlighting how Mursion’s virtual simulation classroom is being used in educator preparation programs. To start the conversation, Gangone reflected on how the pandemic has shaped the need to collaborate and to think differently on the delivery of instruction in the P-20 setting. She noted, “In our strategic planning process we created a vision to revolutionize education for all learners. We had no idea how prescient that was because of the pandemic.”
Rethinking clinical practice with the use of simulation is just one way in which innovation has supported the delivery of high-quality preparation without having to be on-the-ground. This helped accelerate AACTE’s collaboration with Mursion.
In addition to addressing the challenges and innovations brought on by the shift to virtual learning, Gangone and Atkinson also discussed efforts nationally to promote an antiracist agenda in schools to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of students. Gangone mentioned the importance of AACTE’s work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We know that we all have implicit bias and that systemic racism exists,” she said. “So AACTE has been doing a lot of work in this area, from entrance exams into programs to other barriers to enter the profession.”
The discussion also focused on how simulation can support both teacher candidates and teacher preparation faculty in addressing their own inherent or implicit biases, which often carry into the classroom. “Simulation gives us an opportunity to deal with our own biases in ways that are really powerful and not bring harm,” commented Gangone. Engaging teacher education faculty in the simulation space could not only help to address biases and equity, but to better understand social and emotional learning, and effective pedagogy. There are a great number of possibilities when thinking through combining scholarship with simulation to move the field of education forward. Atkinson noted, “There is so much that we can bring to the floor, for teachers and leaders together, to really improve the way children experience school once they can get back into them again.”
Listen to the full recording of this conversation.
AACTE and Mursion are collaborating to support teacher preparation through the pandemic and beyond. Learn more details about this collaboration.
This past week, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone sent a congratulatory letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on behalf of AACTE members, congratulating the 46th presidential administration and encouraging collaboration between the Association and our elected leaders. Gangone states, “AACTE supports your education priorities, which will ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, or immigration status.” The letter further describes AACTE’s interest in the selection of a Secretary of Education who has a proven track record in promoting social justice. “Choosing a leader who is deeply committed to advancing our nation’s public schools and our institutions of higher education, as well as investing in the teaching profession so that every student has a fully prepared teacher, is essential.”
AACTE will be providing the Biden-Harris Education Transition Team with our legislative and policy priorities in the coming weeks. As we move toward 2021, these priorities will be shared with our elected leader in Congress and policymakers across the nation within each state.
Dear President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris:
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) congratulates you on your election and looks forward to working with you and your administration as you lead our nation to “build back better.” AACTE members are schools and colleges of education that prepare the education workforce of the future. Members are in every state in the nation and include public and private colleges and universities, HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions, as well as community colleges. AACTE members ensure that all PK-12 students receive high quality instruction, especially critical during the current pandemic. Our educator candidates are salient assets to public schools with long-standing partnerships between our members and their local school districts.
Educator preparation sits at a crossroad of crises generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the public education workforce has already lost more than 600,000 jobs, university-based educator preparation programs are also experiencing significant reductions in enrollment and program closures. Rising demand for new teachers and shrinking production capacity in colleges and universities threatens the high-quality education our populace needs for a rich quality of life and to ensure our global competitiveness for generations. We look forward to working with you to address this national challenge and support the institutions preparing our educator workforce.
Please join us Tuesday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. ET for a joint reflection on 2020 and a look forward to the coming year. Mursion Co-founder and CEO, Mark Atkinson will host a fireside chat with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. Join the conversation as they share their perspectives on
- The current state of teacher prep programs
- What will go back to “normal” vs. what innovations for coping with the pandemic will stay
- Models and systems are on the table for reinvention, writ large, what does this mean for higher education?
Register now for the free event.
The recorded session will be available for viewing.
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
As educators, we have confronted monumental challenges this year, and yet, have managed to still make great strides. In mid-March, while closing our classrooms due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we found ways to educate our students virtually. Amidst mounting challenges, educators united to ensure that our nation’s children were able to continue learning.
Then, just as we were discovering coping mechanisms to live amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we bore witness to incredible injustice and racial bias with the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. Educators heeded the call for justice, uniting with the community at large, to show that racism will not be tolerated. But despite having met these challenges head on, we cannot rest upon our laurels. The battles that lie ahead are too important and necessary to protect the core of our democracy.
AACTE kicks off our inaugural, virtual Leadership Academy Series today, where participants will learn best practices for “Leading During Difficult Times.” Providing you timely and relevant professional development opportunities and resources to advance your institution, your programs, and your career is central to our mission at AACTE. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and learn more about opportunities to engage with your Association.
AACTE released yesterday its latest issue brief on financial challenges facing future teachers. You may access the member-only resource at aacte.org. Your feedback on how AACTE can continue to support your work is valuable so be sure to complete the Fall Member Survey by November 6. And remember your voice truly matters; make your voice heard in the upcoming presidential election. Your voice, your vote!
The following is a quote from AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone from the article, which originally appeared in EdSurge and is reprinted with permission:
“With a 120-hour curriculum, it’s hard to find space to add more,” Gangone says. “There’s the basic ed-prep work, and then you’ve got all the other things that end up being initially seen as ancillary but aren’t—like social and emotional learning.”
On an ordinary June morning, kids descend on the campus of Auburn University to try science experiments at the college of education’s annual STEM camp. It’s an opportunity for the future teachers who are enrolled at the college to apply what they learn in class in a practical setting, testing out lesson plans with real elementary students.
This year, camp is canceled due to COVID-19. But education students still need to work on lesson plans, and kids still need summer activities. So the college is asking its future teachers to make online activity guides and videos for Home Works, a new distance learning program designed to help kids connect the curricula they usually learn in person at school or camp with what’s going on in their real lives—which right now mostly means being stuck at home.
“I want to make sure my undergrads are thinking about their impact outside of a formal classroom,” says Martina P. McGhee, assistant clinical professor of elementary education at Auburn University.
In early spring, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) shut the doors to classrooms, there was an optimistic belief that by fall the obstacles of the pandemic would disappear and in-class instruction would return to normal. However, as states began to lift emergency orders and school districts prepared to reopen schools, it became evident that education leaders would still be grappling with the unpredictable public health crisis this fall.
With COVID-19 spreading more rapidly in some regions of the United States, each state must assess whether they can safely open schools. Recently, some school districts that deemed it safe to reopen have reverted to remote learning when students and/or teachers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Certainly, navigating the current crisis is complicated, and it is having a profound effect on educator preparation programs (EPPs).
Due to PK-12 school closures in the spring, many teacher candidates were unable to complete their clinical and field experiences in a classroom setting—typically a prerequisite for licensure. Acknowledging that a lack of new teachers entering the field would adversely impact the current teacher shortage crisis, EPPs responded with alternative learning opportunities to ensure that teacher candidates are prepared and competent to enter their own classrooms. As a result, many states have implemented emergency policy changes to licensure, thus enabling recent graduates to teach this fall.
This moment in time is anything but typical. As the beginning of the school year nears and the pandemic surges, we are left wondering, what will our classrooms look like this fall? Preparing to return to school will look different for parents, students, and educators alike. And if the Trump administration has its way, all schools and universities will be forced to reopen with in-person education.
Determined to open schools despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, President Trump threatens to withhold federal funds as a means to force schools and universities into on campus, in-person education. His statement in early July was issued when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had yet to release updated guidance on how to safely reopen schools. In fact, the revised guidelines weren’t released until July 23—leaving schools only weeks to prepare for what will undoubtably be a monumental challenge.
Federal funds must not be used as leverage to force schools and universities to provide in-person classes amidst the current surge of the coronavirus. Instead, federal funds should be allocated to aid colleges and universities in their recovery from the significant, financial challenges caused by the pandemic, to equip institutions with the proper tools to reduce the spread of coronavirus on their campuses, and to provide liability protection.
Greetings from your National Office team. Thanks to all of our members who stay in touch with us. Hearing how you navigate the complex issues fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, within your local communities, allows all members to benefit from your hard-earned lessons. Additionally, our collective work in educator preparation advocacy ensures that there are federal and state funds to support ALL students. AACTE maintains its strong commitment to advocacy, particularly at this time; know that we are taking a stand and advocating for legislation and initiatives that promote the safe reopening of our member institutions this fall. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and learn more.
You can support AACTE’s advocacy work by joining our virtual 2020 Washington Week this September. Your voice matters regarding the current federal and state policies impacting colleges of education and their recovery from COVID-19. You can learn more about AACTE’s inaugural virtual conference at aacte.org.
We live in a society that is rapidly changing. The worldwide pandemic has shown us the harsh, but important, reality that divisiveness, inequality, and discrimination persist in our country. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others are stark evidence that racism still has deep and seemingly impenetrable roots in our country. This profound moment in time has brought despair to and heightened protest not only within the Black American community, but to people of all races throughout our country and the world. While addressing and rectifying these injustices requires the concerted effort of all American citizens, educators play an essential role in creating and ensuring an equitable existence for everyone.
Throughout our nation’s history, education has been pivotal in fostering citizenry. Abolitionist leaders understood the importance of a quality public education in promoting democracy. William Lloyd Garrison called for “a broader basis for government which includes all the people, with all their rights in their hands, and with an equal power to maintain their rights.” Wendell Phillips insisted that knowledge was given to impart upon others. Harriet Tubman instilled within us that “every great dream begins with a dreamer.” And Frederick Douglass wrote that “once you have learned to read, you will be forever free.”
We are indeed living in profound times. Educators face extraordinary challenges navigating not only the global health crisis, but also the racial and systemic injustices occurring within our country. AACTE and its Board of Directors are taking bold actions to augment our leading role during this time of change. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and learn more.
Educators must remain committed to teaching and modeling social responsibility now more than ever before. Stay connected with AACTE for the latest resources, tools, and information to address the issues facing our profession today. Visit aacte.org to access these benefits and renew your AACTE membership.
On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today responding to the killing of George Floyd and systemic racism:
“AACTE acknowledges an insidious threat to the foundation of American democracy—institutional and structural racism. The construct of racism in our country is rooted in the historical, systemic abuse of power, based upon white supremist ideologies, and resulting in white privilege. Racism has long been entrenched in American institutions and policies that reinforce an unjust and disparate allocation of rights and resources to white people, while disallowing them to Black and other people of color—including our institutions of learning.
AACTE is outraged over the recent videos of Amy Cooper weaponizing the police against Chris Cooper in New York City’s Central Park, George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer, and the hunting and killing of Ahmaud Aubery by men with ties to their local Georgia police department, as well as the murder of Breonna Taylor by police while sleeping in her home. The latter events represent only a few of the string of killings of Black citizens at the hands of white perpetrators and law enforcement. In each case, the victims were unarmed. In each case, the Black community was forced to mobilize, call out the racist crime, and demand justice that has yet to be realized.
AACTE continues to seek opportunities to support its members in navigating through the unprecedented educational challenges the coronavirus has caused. It is exciting to discover how AACTE members are exploring innovative pathways and solutions to the complex problems and are eager to share with the educator preparation community. Next week, AACTE and Old Dominion University will co-sponsor a 60-minute webinar featuring education faculty advising world nations on COVID-19, Wednesday, April 15 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. The webinar is open to all AACTE members.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
During this unprecedented time, AACTE’s number one concern is you, your loved ones, your colleagues, and your institutions. We will get through this together! While we all navigate the impact of the coronavirus, AACTE is working to provide you support through its COVID-19 Resource Hub and collaborations with key stakeholders from the field. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and learn more.
The AACTE national office team is thinking of everyone in our community during this uncertain time. While we also are experiencing the upheaval resulting from this pandemic, our primary goal is to continue to serve all of our members. To that end, AACTE is engaging in a number of efforts to support our members at this time.
To empower you to continue to access critical support and resources, AACTE is extending the membership renewal deadline to April 30, 2020. We want to ensure members remain informed as matters related to COVID-19 continue to develop.