2024 Featured Sessions



Disrupting Conventional Assumptions About High School Learning

When Crosstown High — an XQ school in Memphis — opened, teachers and students alike embraced the school’s commitment to authentic, rigorous project-based learning, but struggled with doubts arising from their own deeply held assumptions about what high school teaching and learning should look like and achieve. Through clips from a new documentary, “The First Class,” and lively conversation, participants will explore new paradigms for student learning — emphasizing the crucial role of project-based learning in fostering a comprehensive and engaging educational experience. AACTE members will walk away with fresh perspectives and practical tools to build belief, spark conversations, and ultimately transform practice.



Integrity and Social Responsibility in Teacher Education
Sponsored by: The Kern Family Foundation

Character education and integrity are pivotal aspects of educator preparation as they form the bedrock of an educator’s professional identity and practice. Integrating character education into educator preparation programs (EPPs) equips future educators with the tools to address complex ethical challenges they may encounter, ultimately contributing to the creation of safe, respectful, and nurturing learning environments. Through their commitment to honesty, empathy, equity, and respect — educators can inspire the next generation to become not only academically proficient but also morally grounded individuals who contribute positively to their communities and society at large. This session will feature insights from experts representing a diverse range of private and public universities, sharing their experiences in seamlessly incorporating character education into the fabric of their institutions. This professional learning opportunity aims not only to enlighten the educator preparation field but also to encourage collaboration, exchange of best practices, and the provision of guidance to institutions that are beginning to weave their character education journey.



Competency-Based Education and Teacher Education: Next Steps

AACTE continues to partner with the Competency-Based Education Network (CBEN) and together have invited CAEP to work in alliance towards infusing CBE into teacher preparation. AACTE’s collaboration with CBEN began at Annual Meeting 2023 and there have been subsequent meetings at CAEP and CBEN. This featured session dives into the topic is to update the field on our progress to date and next steps to support members and the field.

Growing Our Work in Internationalization

AACTE has extended its work in internationalization in support of its members and the field. From the Global Education Professional Learning Community through strategic partnerships with the University of Glasgow to the Global Network of Deans of Education, AACTE is committed to creating capacity for the field to be strengthened through internationalization. This session will bring together institutions and individuals who can provide real-time strategies for the expansion of global work in educator preparation.

Diversifying the Teaching Profession: Strategies for Success

The Public Education Business Coalition (PEBC) is a Colorado-based organization with national reach. PEBC strives to create schools and systems worthy of our children. Forged in Denver in 1983, the PEBC represents a convergence of stakeholders keen to uplift learning opportunities for each and every student. Today, PEBC catalyzes high quality instruction with teachers, leaders and districts nationwide through excellent lines of work in teacher preparation, professional learning, education policy and diversity, equity and inclusion. This session will focus on local and national strategies to diversify the teaching profession.

Election 2024:  Implications of Federal and State Races for Educator Preparation

What is at stake for educator preparation in the upcoming election? What could changes at the federal and state level mean for important issues such as the affordability of educator preparation, academic censorship, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB)? AACTE has assembled a panel of political and policy experts to address these issues and your questions.

AI Integration in Education: Bridging the Gap for Future Educators

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to shape the world at large, it is imperative that educator preparation programs (EPPs) adapt to equip future teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate this evolving socio-economic system. This AACTE-featured session, developed by the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, will offer diverse perspectives from higher education and PK–12 partners on the critical role of EPPs in preparing future educators with adequate AI knowledge, ensuring they are ready to harness the benefits while acknowledging the ethical concerns stemming from the technology.

The following AACTE members serve on the AACTE Committee on Innovation & Technology: (Chair) Lorrie Webb (Texas A&M University-San Antonio), (Board Liaison) Marcie Wycoff-Horn (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse), Laurie M Bobley (Touro University), Michael Kennedy (University of Virginia), Punya Mishra (Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University), David Slykhuis (Valdosta State University), and Guy Trainin (University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

From Hiring to Tenure: Solutions to Diversify the Ranks of Higher Education Faculty and Leaders

Despite increased racial and ethnic diversity of U.S. college enrollees and calls for greater DEI, the lack of faculty of color in higher education, and particularly colleges and schools of education continue to persist. Faculty diversity plays an important role in college completion. This session will examine the challenges and oppportunities to diversifying the ranks of academia, and elevate successful initiatives to attract and retain faculty and leaders of color.

Shifting From Preparing to Sustaining a Teacher Workforce

For far too long, education conversations in teacher preparation have focused on enhancing how teachers are prepared, yet graduates are still entering an untenable work environment. We do have qualified teachers, but we do not have pathways designed for professional growth and career advancement. Globally, education conversations are beginning to address fundamental workforce innovations. Teacher preparation programs are uniquely positioned to influence change in the workforce environment their graduates are entering. This session serves as an invitation to join the Teacher Education Global Learning Futures Collaborative which will serve as a network to leverage the collective power of teacher preparation programs across the globe.