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AACTE Board of Directors Calls Educators to Courageous Action on Race Matters in America

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Board of Directors, Chair Ann Larson issued the following statement today on race matters in America:

“AACTE leaders are compelled to voice our dissent of the recent, tragic events that have resulted in the horrendous murders of Black Americans. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others represent incendiary racism that has deep, historic roots in our society. This profound moment in time has brought despair not only to the Black American community, but also to innumerable individuals, families, and communities representing legions of cultures and ethnicities throughout the country and the world. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’

It is imperative that educators embrace their responsibility as front line workers in dismantling structural racism within the American education system. Schools play a critical role in educating students about citizenship and societal values, which have long perpetuated the cycle of racial injustice. Educators must be change agents for reversing the miseducation of white people about black and brown people, and for promoting racial equity. There is a critical need for well-prepared, culturally responsive teachers who can educate and guide learners to value the lives of all human beings and hold others accountable in practicing justice, ensuring equitable access, promoting and assuring diversity, fostering inclusive policies and practices in all aspects of our society, and offering hope and optimism to all children.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE DEI Video: A Focus on Gender Equity in Education

A Focus on Gender Equity in Education

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.

In this segment of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members celebrate differences among individuals and promote gender and sexuality diversity as important aspects in preparing teachers to educate diverse student populations. Education research has found that societal stereotypes and biases of male and female roles are often reinforced in our schools and classrooms. The video participants encourage educators to address gender disparities in curriculum, teaching practices, and student engagement.

How the Center for Urban Education in Denver is Reimagining Teacher Preparation Programs

Revolutionizing Education

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers proposed a bill that would task their state’s Department of Education and Department of Higher Education with devising strategies for recruiting more teachers of color. Almost half of Colorado students are students of color, while teachers of color comprise about 10 % of all teachers. This mismatch is even wider in Denver Public Schools, the largest district in the state, where 75 % of students are students of color but the share of teachers of color is a mere 27%.

Worse still, enrollment data from Colorado’s teacher preparation programs suggests these numbers are unlikely to inch up anytime soon: The state has not seen growth in the number of Black candidates enrolling in teacher programs in almost a decade, and its seen only a modest increase in the number of Latinx candidates. In the 2017–18 school year, only about 28 % of those enrolled in teacher preparation programs identified as people of color.

Research shows that teachers of color can boost the achievement of students of color—a needed skill in a state where these students face wide gaps in academic performance. However, it is increasingly clear that preparation programs will need to be more forward-thinking if they are going to usher more aspiring teachers of color into the profession.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE DEI Video: Promoting Equal Access to Quality Teachers

AACTE DEI Video: Promoting Equal Access to Quality 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.

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, AACTE spotlights “Promoting Equal Access to Quality Teachers,” as the next segment in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, In this video, AACTE leaders discuss the important role effective teachers have in student learning and achievement, and advocate for poor communities to be given equal access to high quality educators. With the recent disruption in education caused by the coronavirus, several inequities regarding equal access to quality instruction has come to light as well as the important role teachers have in student learning. AACTE members are committed to producing high quality educators for the 21st century learner and strongly believe all students should have access to excellent teachers.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE DEI Video: The Importance of Equitable Disciplinary Actions in Schools

AACTE DEI Video: The Importance of Equitable Disciplinary Actions in Schools

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.

In this segment of the AACTE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members promote equitable disciplinary practices for teachers to use as restorative measures to build positive relationships with students. The video segment, The Importance of Equitable Disciplinary Actions in Schools, addresses the importance of eliminating prejudgments so educators can better understand students’ contexts and backgrounds and develop a new lens for addressing disruptive behaviors in schools.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE DEI Video: Building the Special Education Pipeline

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.

In the next segment of the AACTE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members address the critical shortage of special education teachers and how to ensure teachers can effectively serve students with disabilities. The video aligns with AACTE’s strategic priority to advocate for high-quality educator preparation and the inclusion of all students in equitable access and opportunity in PK-20 classrooms. In this DEI video, Building the Special Education Pipeline, leaders in educator preparation consider approaches to increasing the pool of highly qualified special education teachers.

Revolutionizing Education

A Look at Black Males and Education Using Critical Race Theory

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.

Mother helping son with homeworkNewly-elected AACTE Board member Kimberly A. White-Smith and her colleague Quaylan Allen published the following two studies in Urban Education and Equity & Excellence in Education in which they examine practices that influence the education of black males in the United States. The studies are summarized in the abstracts below with links to the full articles.

“That’s Why I Say Stay in School”: Black Mothers’ Parental Involvement, Cultural Wealth, and Exclusion in Their Son’s Schooling
This study examines parental involvement practices, the cultural wealth, and school experiences of poor and working-class mothers of Black boys. Drawing upon data from an ethnographic study, we examine qualitative interviews with four Black mothers. Using critical race theory and cultural wealth frameworks, we explore the mothers’ approaches to supporting their sons’ education. We also describe how the mothers and their sons experienced exclusion from the school, and how this exclusion limited the mothers’ involvement. We highlight their agency in making use of particular forms of cultural wealth in responding to the school’s failure of their sons.

“Just as Bad as Prisons”: The Challenge of Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Teacher and Community Education
Drawing upon the authors’ experiences working in schools as teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and community members, this study utilizes a Critical Race Theory of education in examining the school-to-prison pipeline for black male students. In doing so, the authors highlight the particular role educators play in the school-to-prison pipeline, focusing particularly on how dispositions toward black males influence educator practices. Recommendations and future directions are provided on how education preparation programs can play a critical role in the transformation of black male schooling.

If you would like to share your story about how your institution or organization is revolutionizing approaches to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation, please contact Katrina Norfleet at knorfleet@aacte.org.

Revolutionizing Education

Developing Trauma-Informed Teachers: The Story Of One Teacher Preparation Program

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.

Long before the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey illustrated the dire consequences of adverse events on children, educators have known that today’s students are more stressed than previous generations. They face greater challenges developing executive functioning skills needed to succeed in social-emotional and academic tasks. Trauma-informed school approaches have flourished in an attempt to more effectively teach students suffering the consequences of home-based or social-cultural trauma. But we know that this challenge requires more than just offering teachers conferences or webinars on trauma-informed school techniques. We need multi-level systemic change in the way our profession conceptualizes what it truly means to incorporate advances in the neurobiology of trauma and learning.

In our open access, no cost text Trauma-Informed School Practices we address this challenge by detailing systemic change processes in the application of trauma-informed knowledge. The Trauma-Informed School Practices Tri-Phasic Model (diagram #1) outlines best-practices as applied to students. It is embedded in the Six Elements of Education System Change (diagram #2) needed to ensure a lasting incorporation of this paradigm shift. The reality is, we can’t place the burden of change on current teachers; all of us need to participate.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE’s DEI Video on The Importance of Culturally Relevant Teaching

The Importance of Culturally Relevant Teaching

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, Equityand Inclusion; Quality and impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.

The next segment of the AACTE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series features AACTE’s strategic priority to advocate for high-quality educator preparation. Equitable access to education for students from all cultures requires teachers to use knowledge, frame of references, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning more relevant and effective to them. In AACTE’s DEI video, “The Importance of Culturally Relevant Teaching,” leading educators discuss a teaching pedagogy that affirms students’ differences and diversity.

Revolutionizing Education

Virtual Math Mentorship Project: Partnering Elementary Math Methods Course with Rural Title 1 School

Two students working on math

Photo Credit: Ben Wyrick

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 was written by Jennie M. Carr of Bridgewater College and Tammy T. May of Rockingham County Public Schools.

Educator preparators are often seeking unique and meaningful experiences for their teacher candidates. With the knowledge that high quality mentoring relationships can demonstrate positive improvements in academic performance, attendance, feelings of self-confidence, resilience, perceived social acceptance, and relationships with others, we began working collaboratively to create a mutually beneficial math mentorship partnership between Bridgwater College and an elementary school in the Rockingham County Public School District (Coller & Kuo, 2014; Masters & Kreeger, 2017). The logistics of managing a traditional face-to-face mentoring experience was too difficult and there is no required field experience in the college’s elementary math methods course.  Because online tools are typically utilized on college campuses and with the school district’s recent 1:1 Chromebook adoption, we crafted the virtual math mentorship (Hartun & Harvey, 2015).

Connecting the virtual math mentorship to teacher candidates’ capstone project in the math methods course was vital to its success. The eight-week project consisted of a teacher candidate field trip to the elementary school, two virtual Google Hangout sessions, four virtual Seesaw pen pal exchanges, and the creation of a personalized and interest-based differentiated math lesson for a fifth grade mentee, which was implemented during the students field trip to Bridgewater College.

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