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(November 7, 2017, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) has brought together a group of higher education and PK-12 leaders from across the country to examine emergent issues in the clinical preparation of special education teachers. The AACTE Special Education Task Force is an outgrowth of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) and has been charged with applying the CPC frameworks for clinical educator preparation to address key considerations and problems of practice encountered when preparing teacher candidates to meet the needs of students who require specialized supports.
“We’re thrilled with the commitment of this esteemed group of experts who willingly accepted the challenge put forth in our charge,” said AACTE Vice President Rodrick Lucero, who chairs the CPC. “This task force will ground its work within the context of the theoretical framework defined by the Clinical Practice Commission.”
This new AACTE effort, which is supported by a grant from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, presents an opportunity for experts in special education teacher development to look deeply into the field’s needs and delivery.
During its inaugural meeting in October, the task force outlined a preliminary scope of work to examine areas such as dual licensure and dual preparation models, pipeline strategies around recruitment and retention, interdisciplinary collaboration and other factors pertinent to this specialized preparation. The group ultimately plans to identify models and develop recommendations to amplify promising practices, establish continuous improvement benchmarks and provide guidance for the field.
“The time has come to move boldly to ensure that all teachers are prepared to work with every child in their classroom so that we can move students with exceptionalities, and the educators who work with them, out of isolation in teaching and learning environments”, said Debbie Reed, Coordinator for Professional Development Schools at the University of North Florida, co-chair for the task force and member of the CPC.
Rene Roselle, Associate Clinical Professor at the University Connecticut, is also a task force co-chair and member of the CPC. “Special education services vulnerable populations who need well-prepared teachers to meet varying needs in classrooms,” she said. “We hope to provide a framework and recommendations for how to structure and maintain clinical experiences to best prepare the next generation of special educators.”
Members of the AACTE Special Education Task Force include selected members of the CPC along with representatives from CEEDAR states:
Debbie Reed (Co-chair), University of North Florida
Rene Roselle (Co-chair), University of Connecticut
Michael Alfano, Central Connecticut State University
Brian Barber, Kent State University (OH)
Cecilia Batolo, Virginia Commonwealth University
Amber Benedict, University of Florida
Valeisha Ellis, Spelman College (GA)
Tammy Ellis-Robinson, State University of New York at Albany
Kelly Jewell-Glasscock, Troy University
Karmen Kelly, Colorado State University/Parent
Cara Richards-Tudor, California State University, Long Beach
Cindy Stunkard, Kutztown University (PA)
The task force will be supported by AACTE staff including Rodrick Lucero, Tim Finklea and Amanda Lester.
Learn more about the task force’s work in this article.
AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession ready as they enter the classroom. The 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. AACTE leads the field in advocacy and capacity building by promoting innovation and effective practices as critical to reforming educator preparation. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.