Posts Tagged ‘social justice’

How Will Each of Us Contribute to Racial Justice and Educational Equity Now?

Holding hands up in the sky

This article originally appeared on the Learning Policy Institute Blog and is reprinted with permission.

The protests now enveloping our nation are, in one sense, long overdue. The recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade are not isolated incidents: Every year in the United States, more than 1,000 civilians are killed by police, and Black people are disproportionately harmed. These murders and the lack of justice that has routinely accompanied them are, in turn, part of a pattern of institutionalized racism that limits the opportunities of African Americans and other people of color in every aspect of society: employment, housing, health care, and, yes, education.

Keeping an Eye on COVID-19 Relief, the Education Workforce

Financial aid concept, Life buoy lifebelt with money bagThis blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Educators Step Up for Racial Justice

Educators are responding to the killing of George Floyd and the racism it highlights by stepping up with a variety of initiatives and a renewed sense of urgency. Both the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Public Schools have cut their ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is urging school leaders to address racial disparities in discipline policies and the use of resource officers in response to the George Floyd killing and subsequent events. 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 400 other organizations, including both teachers’ unions, issued a letter calling on Congress to pass police reform legislation. They urge changes in areas including the use of force, policy accountability, racial profiling, militarization, data collection, and training.

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.

AACTE President and CEO Speaks on the Killing of George Floyd and Systemic Racism

Black Lives Matter Protest

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.

JTE Insider Podcast Highlights Preservice Teachers with a Passion for Social Justice

Check out a recent JTE Insider podcast by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

In this edition of JTE Insider, we are joined by Loraine McKay and Heather Manning from Griffith University (Australia). They are the authors of the article entitled “Do I Belong in the Profession? The Cost of Fitting In As a Preservice Teacher With a Passion for Social Justice” The article is published in the September/October 2019 issue of JTE


Loraine McKay is a senior lecturer at Griffith University. She teaches into the Bachelor of Education program. She is currently first year coordinator in the Bachelor of Education program and professional experience individual case coordinator. McKay’s research interests align strongly with her passion for teaching. She was a classroom teacher for over 20 years in the primary education sector before leaving teaching to complete her doctoral studies. Her current research centers on developing teacher identity, efficacy, and resilience in preservice teachers. Loraine is particularly interested in preparing teachers to work in inclusive classrooms. She uses collage and photo elicitation to explore the affective dimension of teaching and engagement in learning.

Helping Teacher Educators Take a Stand Against Hate

Panelists - “Combating Discrimination and Hatred Through Education

On Feb. 29, my colleagues and I had the honor of delivering the Deeper Dive presentation, “Combating Discrimination and Hatred Through Education,” at AACTE’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta. This experience was a wonderful opportunity to help deans of education and other educational leaders understand the important role that they play—not only in shaping curriculum, but also in making the world a better place.

Hate exists because people do not understand each other and want to “other-ize.” Well, the most effective way to eliminate hate is through education, and I believe the Deeper Dive presentation underscored that message.

I, along with Rick Ginsberg (University of Kansas), Marvin Lynn (Portland State University), Margaret Grogan (Chapman University), and David Machlis (Adelphi University). presented about the Holocaust—how it happened, why it happened, and how educators should approach this type of subject matter in schools. Connecting the past to the present is not always easy, but it is imperative to prepare students to be active and informed citizens.

Four Deans, four disrupters, four different challenges

Deans lead a panel at #AACTE20

During the AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of serving on the panel of the “Disruptive Deans” Deeper Dive Session along with three fellow deans. Our challenges are disrupting the one-teacher one-classroom model, closing the uneven admissions pathways between community colleges and 4-year institutions, breaking the traditional mindsets of hiring practices, and questioning the biases of traditional learning environments. These are no small tasks.

During the Disruptive Deans Deeper Dive session, the panel covered the following topics:

  • “Building the next education workforce”—(I presented this topic.)
  • “Designing a clear transfer model in the state of Oregon for community college transfer and increasing the number of teachers of color and bilingual students,” presented by Cecilia Monto, dean, Education and Humanities, Chemeketa Community College.
  • “Hiring and retaining faculty of color,” presented by Don Pope-Davis, dean, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
  • “Promoting understanding of the social justice imperative of educating teachers to educate all learners including those who are neuro-divergent,” presented by Kimberly White-Smith, dean, LaFetra College of Education, University of La Verne

Our moderator, (also a disruptor) Wanda J. Blanchett, dean, Rutgers University, has led a distinguished career promoting equity and inclusion for all.

Combating Discrimination and Hatred Through Education

An excerpt from this article appeared in District Administration on March 11.

Today, we live in a society where truth is decaying, falsehoods are readily shared across social media, and hatred and discrimination are on the rise. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the number of hate groups operating in the United States hit a record high in 2018. Hate speech creates an environment in which biases and discrimination thrive and can have a detrimental impact on a school’s culture and climate. Teaching and learning about the roots of hate are important elements in fostering an inclusive classroom environment.

Teachers play an essential role in creating a more humane and tolerant world. They are stewards of culture and are in a position to protect history, promote facts and prevent inhumanity. However, to provide students with the most effective instruction, educators must have the tools to understand the nature of hate crimes and how they impact the culture and climate of schools where they teach. Additionally, they must know how to address issues of bias and discrimination in the classroom.

Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change

Black male teacher working with students in a computer lab

The American education system was not created to support the liberation of the powerless. Instead, it was designed to instill skills, habits, beliefs, and discipline that would allow for better control of the masses. The colonizers who became the architects of this country built a system that perpetuates the status of white-skinned privilege and wealth, while leaving those in the lower and middle classes burdened with the laborious task of building and supporting our nation’s economy and infrastructure.

Throughout the history of the United States, minoritized racial groups and those who live in poverty have suffered disparities in education through laws and policies that prohibited them from socioeconomic advancement, physical safety, and basic civil rights. The anti-literacy laws enacted before, during, and after the Civil War are just one example of how white-skinned privilege and power was used to perpetuate the oppression of enslaved Blacks and concretize a system that generated more wealth for those in power.

Our current education system continues to enable inequity through policies and practices that claim to be fair, colorblind, and neutral, but tend to privilege a small, elite portion of the U.S. population. We can no longer live by the adage “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” when those who deserve a better education continue to be plagued by disparities. Addressing the persistent opportunity gap between our nation’s socioeconomic classes requires sustained engagement from leaders across every field of education.

Podcasts: University of Washington Interviews Upcoming AACTE Annual Meeting Presenters

The articles below originally appeared on the University of Washington College of Education website and are reprinted with permission.

JoTeacher working with studentsining doctoral research and teacher education program improvement

While incorporating issues of equity and social justice in the preparation of future teachers has long been a focus at the University of Washington College of Education, it wasn’t well understood until recently how that commitment is reflected in graduates’ daily teaching practice. 

That picture is getting clearer thanks to an internship for UW doctoral students in teacher education launched three years ago. In a new podcast, Patrick Sexton, assistant dean for teacher education, and Cristina Betancourt, a graduate student in teaching and curriculum, discuss the College’s work to marry teacher education program improvement with the learning of its doctoral students through its Teacher Education Research and Inquiry (TERI) internship. 

Sexton and Betancourt are part of a team who will present their work developing case studies of recent alumni for program improvement at the 2020 meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. 

Read more.

Incorporating disability studies curriculum in teacher education

While Washington has recognized October as Disability History Month for more than a decade — and schools are asked to honor the month in some fashion — teachers have had limited resources available to help them actually enact disability studies curriculum in the classroom.

Why Understanding History Matters

This article originally appeared in Education Week on February 12, and is reprinted with permission from the author and former AACTE Board Chair Renée A. Middleton.

To the Editor:

The Jan. 8 article, “Sure, We Teach History. But Do We Know Why It’s Important?” (Big Ideas special report), noted that 78% of educators surveyed believe the primary purpose of teaching history is “to prepare students to be active and informed citizens.” The article also said that understanding the present in historical context can help us “decide on the best course of action ahead.”

I would like to thank the author of this article, which focused on Japanese-Americans forced into prison camps after Pearl Harbor and the decades-later response from President Ronald Reagan and other Americans. History provides a foundation for action and affects how people perceive—and respond—to present-day horrors. All educators should take note.

In 2019, I traveled to Poland for a study tour of the Jewish Holocaust, which showed how far hate can go if left unchecked. My experience of the study tour reinforced the meaning of the Jewish rallying cry “never again.”

Texas A&M University Researcher to Receive AACTE Award for Outstanding Article in Journal of Teacher Education

Amy Rector-ArandaAACTE has chosen an article by Amy Rector-Aranda, Ph.D. of Texas A&M University, the recipient of the 2020 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award. Her article, “Critically Compassionate Intellectualism in Teacher Education: The Contributions of Relational-Cultural Theory,” was published in the September/October 2019 issue of the journal and will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1, in Atlanta, GA.

In the article, Rector‐Aranda explores how the critically compassionate intellectualism framework might translate as a framework for teacher education. Educational theorists Cammarota and Romero describe critically compassionate intellectualism (CCI) as a trilogy of critical pedagogy, authentic caring, and social‐justice oriented curriculum used to lift up previously disempowered Latinx youth. Because the compassion element in CCI is understudied in teacher education, yet crucial to the success of the framework as a whole, Rector‐Aranda applies the tents of Relational‐Cultural Theory (RCT) to enhance understandings of this component. Based in feminist theories of psychosocial and moral development, RCT expands the original framework to account for varied experiences of privilege and vulnerability when applying CCI to teacher education while retaining core emphases on relationships, empathy, and associate aspects of authentic caring. This study makes a conceptual contribution by offering an integrated framework for teacher education.

California State University Los Angeles Researcher Wins AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award

Christina Restrepo Nazar, Ph.D. AACTE is delighted to announce Christina Restrepo Nazar, Ph.D. as the recipient of the 2020 AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award for Youth as Teacher Educators: Supporting Preservice Teachers in the Developing Youth Centered, Equity-Oriented Science Teaching Practices. The author completed her dissertation for the Ph.D. at Michigan State University College of Education. She currently serves as assistant professor of K-12 science education in the Charter College of Education at California State University Los Angeles. She will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1, in Atlanta, GA.

In her dissertation, Restrepo Nazar conducted three separate, but interrelated studies that examine the ways preservice teachers (PSTs) generatively developed youth-centered, equity-oriented pedagogical imaginaries in their methods courses and how they enacted these practice(s) in their field experiences. The purpose of this dissertation is to understand how and in what ways a science methods course can support PSTs in the critical uptake of youth (and community) knowledge(s) and practice(s) and how classroom communities in the field can shift/shape these enactments. In this work, Restrepo Nazar foregrounds youth counternarratives of the culture of power in science as a critical part of learning to teach science for PSTs—a study that has never been done before.

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.

What’s New in the Department of Education?

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

As you know, all eyes are focused on the Senate impeachment trial this week.  And with the House being in recess, there is no Congressional business underway directly related to education.  This may be the case next week as well, since the trial will continue in the Senate.  We will keep our eyes peeled.  But meanwhile there is a lot going on over at the Department of Education.

Secretary DeVos Announces new Civil Rights Compliance Center

The Department of Education is launching a new unit in the Office for Civil Rights, which is intended to assist schools and universities in “proactively” complying with federal civil rights laws before complaints are filed. Dubbed the Outreach, Prevention, Education and Non-discrimination (OPEN) Center, the initiative will provide targeted support to schools, educators, families, and students in relation to federal non-discrimination laws.

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